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Jennifer's books

Goodbye, Vitamin
American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land
Mrs. Hemingway
Poetry Will Save Your Life: A Memoir
The Princess Diarist
Watch Me Disappear
Hello, Sunshine
Peak Performance: Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with the New Science of Success
A Man Called Ove
The Heirs
Our Souls at Night
White Fur
Confessions of a Domestic Failure
The Map That Leads to You
The Little French Bistro
Love the Wine You're With
Always and Forever, Lara Jean
Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore
The Party
New Boy


Jennifer Curry's favorite books »

Thursday, December 14, 2017

How Meeting Around a Table for Bread and Wine Restored My Faith in God, People, and Myself

We’ve learned to be Present Over Perfect, celebrated and reflected over Bread and Wine, and learned we are Braving the Wilderness together. And, a year later, I cannot imagine my life without regularly meeting this group of women around the table.



I went through a season where I felt a little unhinged. We moved. We hit pause on searching for a new church. We backed away from commitments. We took time to ourselves and our family. We rested.

We did end up finding a church that fits our family – and it ended up being walking distance from our front door.

But, I started missing gathering with women in my home to discuss faith, life, parenting, the world, etc. So, in March 2018, I posted the following message:

Spartanburg friends: I am going to be hosting a dvd/book study of Shauna Niequist's Present Over Perfect with some friends beginning in April. We will meet Wednesday evenings in my home every other week (the study is 5 weeks, stretching it out and giving us more time to read through it, to 10 weeks). If you are interested, let me know! I'd love to have anyone who is interested join us.

Because God is in the details, He orchestrated a mismatched group of women from different walks of life, beliefs, and churches (and a few church misfits) that have been the perfect people to help each other feel comfortable asking the hard questions and accepting when there are no set answers.

We met every other week until we finished the study. Then, we decided to move on to another book and open the group up to a few more. This time, we added in dinner. We started rotating houses and started enjoying potluck style feasts while talking about everything in the book and under the sun. And, we grew. And, we finished that book and started another. Currently, we are planning for future books.

When we gather, it is not to do a Bible study. But, when we gather around the table, it has become a sacred time and place. We have laughed over our children (and cried over our children). We have laughed over the state of the world (and cried over the state of the world). I always leave feeling like God has used these women to minister to me. It fills my cup rather than just being another commitment that leaves me feeling drained.

No one is this group is perfect. I am, in particular, immensely flawed. But, this beautiful group of women has made me feel known, seen, heard, loved, and valued. Before I opened up the doors to them, I was trying to find my place again in the world – in the Christian community – in my local community. And, they have provided just the right amount of encouragement to remind me that God can’t be kept in a box…and neither can we…and that sometimes the wilderness is the best place to be.



PS. If you are feeling lonely or lost, I encourage you to open the doors to your home and put out some extra seats at the table. As scary as that may sound, I guarantee there is someone looking for a seat.


PPS. I highly recommend all three books. Plus, these are great starter picks for book clubs or dinner clubs. You can get them from Amazon by clicking on the titles. These are affiliate links - thank you for supporting my blog!

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