Tuesday, March 24, 2009

It all began with the Esther study ...

The Esther study is a Beth Moore bible study and it's fantastic! Beth Moore is amazing and I've loved the studies I've done of hers and this one is perfect ... couldn't have had better timing in my life because It's Tough Being A Woman! I was invited to attend the bible study at Southpoint Community Church via my friend Becky. It was not her intention to have me join the church but just that she thought it'd be something I'd like to do and she'd enjoy my company. Well, from the moment I stepped through the doors something said, "home".

Let me start of by pointing out a few things about this church: First, before I even started I received a call from my small group leader telling me who she was and that she was excited to meet me. Second, when I came that first meeting she asked me some things about myself and then encouraged me to meet up with Tracy who is in charge of the Single Young Professionals group. Third, Tracy contacted me and said, "I was told to contact you." No lip service here ... real people who follow through. I was quite pleased right from the beginning.

At the end of that first evening of bible study, after watching the video, the pastor's wife got up on the stage and said a prayer over us and then talked about this new website they were utilizing called Women That Lead. There are two websites the church utilizes to help their congregation build connections and in addition to the women's site they have SCC 600 which is the men's equivilant. This church is all about technology. They encourage you to build connections through the computer which really helps you to become more active despite your busy schedule.

My small group leader had mentioned that I should meet Tracy, the leader of the SYP group. I registered myself on Women That Lead and that next day Tracy had sent me a message! She said that Kim had told her to get in touch with me and that she was interested in meeting up. We decided to meet up before the Esther class that next Monday. Needless to say she was very friendly and invited me to the SYP event at the church that following evening. I showed up Tuesday night and had a great time! Everyone was so real and friendly and Christ-centered ... it was refreshing. I met a few girls and a few new facebook friends that evening.

The first Sunday I went to a service I came early and hung out in their coffee shop, Doc's. This is located right in the main rotunda where you can see all the worshippers felowshipping together before and after the service. This church has a large area right in the center of the building (the rotunda) where everyone gathers and it truly helps to create a sense of warmth and community. It's always packed and you're bound to run into someone you know even if you're new. While I was seated drinking my coffee I watched another great bit of technology being utilized. A mother walked her children over to a small bank of computers against one of the walls and proceeded to check them in. The computer printed out a bunch of stickers which she placed on each child and then escorted them back to their various classrooms.

It's so awesome to be surrounded by forward thinking people who aren't afraid of technology, people who when they say, 'you should meet so and so' they follow through and actually introduce you to that person, people who are genuinely interested in fellowship and being real in their faith. Stacey and Tracy have both remained friendly and in continual commnication with me and we've chatted outside of our SYP events and Esther study. This Thursday I'm meeting Stacey and some girls at YogaBerry at the Town Center. I'm super excited to be making these new connections and building new friendships and establishing this as my church home. I had thought great things about Crossroad Church but I never really felt connected. This church is a whole new experience and I'm really thinking this is a good fit.

Some random thoughts and updates ...

I have such great intentions ... always ... in all aspects of my life.

I'm a starter definitely ... enthusiastic, full of ideas, raring to tackle whatever it is head on. And then it fizzles. I get exhausted with too many other projects I'm trying to tackle.

I'm in a book club that meets every other Sunday evening now, and of course there is work throughout the week, and I'm a member of Beaches Rotaract which meets every other Thursday, and I'm in the Single Young Professionals group at church which meets every other Tuesday, and I am doing the Esther bible study on Monday nights, not to mention the various volunteering that comes with being a part of the various groups.

This past weekend I was at the beach Saturday morning bright and early for a beach clean-up. It was rewarding to do something selfless but it was super windy outside and my face received a facial because of the sand blowing around. That evening I went to my friend, Renee's to help her celebrate her birthday. It's great to be a part of all these things but it sure is exhausting. I think I've mentioned it before but I love all of these things, I do, I just wish I had more time.

This past Sunday I went to The Grotto for a wine tasting with a few friends and we decided that we liked it so much that we're going to move our book club meetings there. It was $10 for 6 glasses and each glass was more than just a taste but rather almost a full pour. Nathan, the manager and sommelier, was super friendly and knowledgeable. We tried a 2002 Bridlewood Syrah that was amazing and Nathan said he knew people at the vineyard in Santa Barbara so he's going to hook me up when I go out to see my sister in Los Angeles in June!

My birthday is on Saturday. This year - because of the crappy economy - I'm going to stay local. I'm headed to Disney with my sister, Lauren. This year Disney is letting you in free on your birthday ... woo hoo! So, we're going to get park-hopper passes and try and hit up all the roller coasters. We'll spend the night at the Dolphin on property and I'll travel back to Jacksonville on Sunday for my party at The Lemon Bar. I'm meeting my Jax peeps at 3:30 pm ... sure hope I can make it back in time!