Community Brew Link Up // Community

Words literally cannot express how overjoyed I am about this link up! Many of you linked up with Madison and I for our Coffee Date, and we loved getting to know so many of you, that we decided to take things a level deeper. We have spent a lot of time praying over this link up, and brainstorming what would be the best for us all! We wanted to create a link up that welcomed vulnerability, honesty, and transparency. So Community Brew is all about knowing each other more, and pushing each other to loving the Lord more! The link up will happen once a month, and some months we will have prompts like this one, and others will be open for you to just share where you are and what you are learning!

So grab a button for your page, if you'd like, link up below and we have one more treat for you! This month we have a giveaway sponsored by Sweet Aroma Coffee. This coffee shop offers monthly coffee subscriptions AND a large portion of the proceeds go towards organizations that fight against sex trafficking. Enter below to win some goodies from Sweet Aroma!

We are also opening up this link-up to one co-host each month. This is a great opportunity to gain exposure for your blog and grow in community. If you'd like to be a co-host please click here and look for Community Brew Co-Host.

Let me introduce you to this month's co-host: Holly from Holly's Joy!

"Hi, I'm Holly! First and foremost, I am a Jesus-follower. He has totally transformed my life and I would be completely lost without Him.  I'm also wife to Derek, an absolutely lover of all things DIY, and a private childcare provider by day/entrepreneur by night. Holly's Joy is my creative outlet where I get to share my passion for people and encourage others. From customized invitation designs to motivational prints to organizational tools, each item in my Etsy shop was created with love to inspire and bring you closer to what matters most in life. I spend most of my time over on my blog talking about DIY home projects, organization, and life's adventures as we strive to live a life filled with joy, simplicity, and balance."

Today's prompt is community. Some questions to go along with the prompt, and a passage of scripture-

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
What does community mean to you? 
Why is it hard to pursue community or open up to others? 
What does it look like to "live in community" with other believers and non believers? 
Why is community important to you? 
What does it look like to love your neighbor?

Community is a tough one. All of us are wired for community. We see in Ecclesiastes that two are better than one, the Lord designed community to be enjoyed and pursued. So why is it so hard? Well, I think I could write 17 different posts on this topic because it is so packed full...but for me, community is hard because it is not cut and dry. Friendships, relationships, and community are not all the there is no system or method that can be put into place when you are trying to pursue have to invest. And you cannot just invest a little bit. To really live life in community you have to jump into other people's lives, and messes, and heart aches, and let them jump into yours, and then attempt to navigate murky waters together. Y'all that is scary!

I think the hardest thing about finding community is really pressing into the reality that community is not always pretty. You have to open up, and let others in, and see you for who you really are...and that is really uncomfortable sometimes. BUT, while it is uncomfortable, it is worth it.

It is worth it because true life on life, deep in each other's messes kind of community looks unique. It is counter cultural, and so it draws attention to itself by just being different. This attention then gets to be directed to Jesus. So to me I think that "living in community" should be done with other believers, for the purpose of loving each other well and bringing non believers in. When those that do not know the Lord step into a community that loves each other in the messes of life, they become curious because this kind of community is not common. So praise JESUS, community gives us a chance to make his name known!

I know that since I have been married, pursuing community often just means opening the doors of my home. It means inviting college students in, and not just for one meal, but for people to come into our home, and into our lives on a regular basis. This is a struggle for me. I LOVE hosting people in our home, but often I view it as that..."hosting". I am viewing it as a production. House clean, food ready, dessert, and my hair all curled and looking good...but this is not real life. The Lord has really shown me lately that community happens is the moments when Ben calls from work and asks if a single guy from church can come over for dinner because he is having a rough day (and it means me being okay with that last minute change, even though I haven't showered, cleaned the house, or have a great menu planned out).

I am learning to live in community in real life...not just during the coffee dates, church meetings, small groups, and cook outs...but in the little moments of last minute dinners, drop in guests, meet strangers in our city, and loving people well in the midst of a messy house or less than clean kitchen. Does that make sense? Can anyone else relate? Where are you in your journey to "living in community"?

For all future dates and prompts go here!
community brew link up