Tribe. Family. Village. Stakeholders. My people. Words that envision community. It is the way we are made. Even the most introverted among us best flourish alongside friends, albeit a smaller ensemble.
In true community, the face you project is the real you. It’s amidst the people where vulnerability does not feel risky. Feelings laid bare are handled with care. Everyone is precious and valued more than priceless gems.
I remember fondly the Mom’s Morning group when my children were young. So real! Prayer partners and mission serving groups over the years created new forever friends for me..
A new community has been blessing me as of late. My writerly family, Redbud Writer’s Guild, is generous and filled with mature Christ-followers of many different backgrounds. Our non-competitive environment enables each of us to find our voice and impact the world. Advice, encouragement, and occasional gentle rebuke create a healthy space for growth and support.
Through strength drawn from this environment, our guild assembled a collection of our writings. Feeling loved and supported within our own community emboldens our willingness to be transparent for others. It is in this broader audience where words profoundly touch lives and impact a person’s outlook.
The anthology Everbloom: Stories of Living Deeply Rooted and Transformed Living is now complete and released! Here is a sampling of some of the writing….
“But here is the surprising thing we learn from the tree: We know more than we think. We have lived through more than we acknowledge. We are stronger than we realize. Each of our experiences adds a ring to our tree…There is a generation of saplings who need a forest of people with their many-storied rings, each telling of God’s redeeming grace.”
~Bronwyn Lea, p. 98
“Surely there’s more to feeling good about ourselves than feeling good about ourselves. I think there is. I see it on the faces of a few women I know in their seventies and eighties, women with wide waists, sagging chests, and creased, smiling faces, faces brightly turned to others. These women who feel good about themselves, but clearly they feel even better about others.”
~Lesley Leland Fields, p. 176
“Strength. Courage. Endurance. There are the attributes of my maternal grandmother…She was a true survivor and woman of great faith. Hers was not an easy journey, and that journey continues to speak into my life and inspire me decades later; and it always will…”
~Terri Kraus, p. 198
“A trinity of capacity
Expanding dimension and scope
A magnitude of out-of-proportion love
A bigger on the inside kind of love …”
~Tammy Perlmutter, p. 223
“You may not identify yourself as an advocate any more than I did, but God has given you unique experiences, preferences, pains, and passions. And you, too, can grow into them as expressions of faith and hope in God.” ~April Yamasaki, p. 125
“Above the noise, my voice starts to rise
Amplified by travel companions emptied of pride
Beyond care of critical eyes I write with freedom and joy
Now journeying, yet sheltered, under the Master’s family eye.”
~Sharon Hoover, p. 85
Despite unprecedented connectedness with cell phones and internet apps, it is easy to feel alone and misunderstood. The feeling try to creep in everyday. The stories in Everbloom give words to emotions I need to explore. May they open doors of transformation — as they have for me — as you pray and journal through this collection of hearts poured out.
Posted by Sharon R Hoover