Bible studies

I’ve been in Bible studies/small groups/prayer groups/discipleship groups/accountability groups since before middle school. I am only in my 20s, so I know I don’t know the half of it. or even the eighth of it, but I do feel like I know a little something. There are several reasons to join a group like this:

 

  1. To study and know the Bible (you think this is a given, but it isn’t always).
  2. To be in community and grow and learn from other women and men.
  3. To pray for one another and together.
  4. To challenge one another and hold one another accountable to the things we say we believe but don’t always put into practice.
  5. Other reasons I am sure I am forgetting in my pregnant stupor.

 

I have been in groups that have done some or one of these things above well, but the best groups have always done all of these things. Those groups are rare, but life changing.

A friend recently asked me what I loved most about the Bible study groups I was a part of in California (I mentioned them in the previous post). Honestly, God knew exactly what I needed and when I needed it. Below is what I wrote to her:

My Bible Study was amazing for several reasons. It was just the normal women’s study at our church in SF, but the first year (when I was pregnant with #cavebaby) I was in a group of young moms with kids ranging from just born to 9 or 10. WOW! What an incredible experience to learn with them and from them about the Lord and His word along with all the wisdom, prayer and support they showed for one another in all things parenting small children. The timing was just SO PERFECT. We studied the books of Nehemiah and Daniel and I learned not only about God, His Word, but also real life application. Just a great group. 

Every year they switch up the groups which I was sad about but understood. Knowing I was just going to be living there for 2-3 years, I was really praying to stay in that group that seemed so perfect for 2 years to continue to deepen those relationships. Well, the second year starts and I am in a group where the person closest in age to me is probably in her late 40s/ early 50s. And she doesn’t come every week. The next youngest person has sons my age and the rest were all in their 70s/80s/90s.

“One of these things is not like the others…and it is the redhead with an infant” 

I was totally skeptical and my small group leader told me that she almost came to me after the first week to let me know if I wanted to switch, that I could. She didn’t approach me about this and I am very thankful because the things I learned in that room from women who have seen it all (cancer, widowhood, children battling deadly addictions, cross country moves, etc…) will stick with me. I don’t mean this in a cocky way, but I am typically never (probably/actually never) the person in the room that knows the least about the Bible. This is for several reasons, but mostly because I have always been in a church, school setting or group that has studied the Bible. I know I don’t know much still, but I typically can hold my own in a room. Not this room. And I am so thankful for that.  

These women’s dedication and love for God’s word and prayer was astounding. They weren’t just talking about it like so many people my age – they were doing it day in and day out. Praying for hours, giving so much of their time and resources to those in need, digging deeply into the Bible so they could truly test and approve their faith. And they LOVED me and #cavebaby SO much. He reminded almost all of them of their grand children. And great grandchildren. It was a time in which I knew that they were praying for me and I knew I felt so cared for. It was incredible. We loved our church in SF and we are definitely missing it. It was also incredible because of my small group leader. This woman oozed joy. I mean, if you could literally ooze joy, she would. 

I am now back in DC and have joined the group that I was a part of three years ago. I LOVE THESE WOMEN and this is the kind of group in which you really dig deep and learn SO much about the Bible. And I know they are praying for me too. I am excited to dive into this next chapter.

♥sam

The in-betweens of life

I wrote this in June 2015 but forgot to post. oops :)

 

I have learned something the past few years. You gotta live in the “in-betweens” of life or you won’t really live.

 

I am currently in an in-between. We are moving back to D.C. in August so I have started to slow things down here in San Francisco. My Bible study ended in May (I should write a blog post about that group – AMAZING) and so did MOPS (did you know you can attend MOPS even if you don’t have a preschooler? It was great). I am really going to miss these people. It is amazing how long three years actually is and at the same time it feels like I just left D.C.

I am crossing things off of our bucket list. frantically.

1. Drive the PCH

2. See Hearst Castle

3. Eat at the Breakers in Stinson Beach. one. last. time.

4. Take a trolley ride

5. Walk up the steps on Russian Hill

6. Run the second half of the SF Marathon

7. Drive through a Giant Sequoia

 

I have some work to do in two months! This in-between started a few months ago when the huz got the call that we would be moving. You have to take advantage of these in-betweens or half your life will be spent waiting for the next big adventure. It is easy to think of this time as just prep time for our move. Time to plan our cross country drive. Time to purge my closets and crawl space. Time to look for our new home. And while it is all of these things, you cannot forget to live where you are. I want this time to be characterized by other things:

1. Pool parties and BBQs with friends

2. Making new memories in new places and old, familiar places

3. Deep and refreshing conversation with friends that became so dear in three years

4. Soaking up the sun with NO humidity

5. Hiking in real mountains (no offense, VA).

 

Well, off to enjoy!

♥sam

 

 

my thoughts on moving

If you have moved before, you know the thoughts/feelings/emotions that go along with it.

-You miss your friends terribly

-You are excited to explore a new area

-You are excited about being closer to your parents

-You are sad about being further from your husband’s parents.

-You are anxious about starting new routines

-You are excited about new routines, new hiking trails, new restaurants

Obviously, it is a lot of mixed emotions.

Well, we have been here now for over 4 months and I can say one thing for sure. The beauty of Northern California definitely helps me cope:

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a sunset as we drove home from Napa.

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driving home from Monterey.

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my view from my patio.

You know what helps the most? Divine Intervention. The huz’s best friend from middle school lives out here with his wonderful wife. The huz hasn’t really even spoken to him since middle school and he just happens to be here. Another friend, who grew up just miles from the huz’s lives out here with her fiance and we have already met some other couples. This isn’t normal for me when I move. It usually takes me awhile to feel settled and have friend dates lined up. It is throwing a curveball in my moving theory.

I have this theory – its takes a solid two years before a place feels like home. The first year, everything is foreign and you need a map to find all your new stores, shops, stylists, and doctors. The second year, you reevaluate some of these things until you get it just right. This is the abbreviated version of my theory.

I think that theory still stands, but I would be lying if I said it was this easy to feel comfortable in DC. It took me two plus years to begin to like DC, and even then, it was just like, not love.

Will San Fran become love? I’m not sure yet. What I can tell you is this, I know this move was what God had planned from the beginning and I am excited to see how He uses it in our lives. I am excited to make new friends, explore new places and be back on the West Coast.

♥ sam