Make new friends, but keep the old,
one is silver and the other's gold.
I visited my daughter's Brownie troop this past December to teach the girls how to make fresh-cut evergreen swags. The craft went quickly; before long it was time to wrap up and I was invited to join the "closing circle."
We stood with our hands held together, right-over left, and it came back to me in a flash - the way we closed Brownies and then Girls Scouts when I was a child with the same circle, the same gentle hand squeeze that passed from person to person.
With your hands crossed that way you can turn and spin your way out of the circle, everyone slowly unwrapping like a pretzel while still staying connected.
If anyone told me three years ago that I would find significant community online, I would likely have given them the same doubtful looks, the same disbelieving questions that I get from others these days.
You can't really get to know people online, can you?
And yet, here I am, with a significant amount of my most meaningful support, encouragement and comradery coming from online relationships.
There's the former Pastor, now writer and Spiritual Director in California who pops in from time to time, always with a word of encouragement. And the new friend in Washington State who sent me a book in the mail because she "really thought it would speak to where I'm at."
There are the men who graciously allowed me to walk through Advent with them, and the other author who trucked his whole family out to our house to do a small book reading. Online, I have the privilege of finding others whose voices and way of being in the world echo my own and that, for me, is a rare and real gift.
It's hard sometimes for people to understand how isolating having twins can be - how difficult it is to get to and enjoy even the simplest social gatherings. While we still need (and are grateful for) the real flesh-and-blood neighbors who fill-in with a warm meal or a walk in the park at the end of a long, frustrating day, I find myself immensely grateful for the wide world of connection that waits here at my finger-tips.
This week I'm grateful for the wonder of supportive community and, in honor of that, I want to introduce you to the circle of women who help host #SmallWonder. We stay connected through a private facebook group and one of us aims to visit and comment on your links each week. It takes a community to lead a community and this is the smaller circle that supports you all:
Beth Hess, in her own words, is a "Beauty Hunter, God Spotter, Grace Giver, Story Teller, Key Dropper." She blogs regularly at her newly redesigned blog space Trading Good for Grace.
Amber Cadenas writes "with the hope that others might be inspired to see their own lives through different eyes." Her blogging home is called, Beautiful Rubbish: everyday art of learning to see.
Jody Collins is a substitute teacher by day and writer by heart who describes herself as "looking for Jesus in the everyday light, singing and writing along the way." She blogs at Three Way Light.
I would love it if you could make a habit of visiting and encouraging these wise and gifted women.
Here we are - Jody, Amber, Beth and I, linking hands, left over right in a circle together. Won't you join us as we stand and sing, twist and turn, unfolding together in friendship?
* * *
Welcome to the #SmallWonder link-up.
What if we chose to deliberately look for the small moments of wonder, the small sparks of presence, of delight or sorrow, of true humanity in which we meet God?
That's my proposal - that we might gather here each week to share one moment of Wonder from each of our days.
You're invited to link-up a brief post of about five hundred words or less about a small moment of wonder. Don't worry if your post is too long, too short, or not just right - you're welcome to come as you are.
While you're here, please do take a look around and encourage at least one other blogger with a comment.