Creating Community

I have become very passionate about building an encouraging community with those around me, whether online or in real life.  But I am realizing how much hard work this really is.  I am tired of telling everyone I see Let's get together! or Let's talk soon! because if I'm honest, it never happens with a culturally acceptable farewell phrase.

Authentic, intentional community rarely happens today.

It rarely happens not because we don't care about deep friendships. and not because we don't want to be involved in one another's lives.  It rarely happens because the most valuable things in life takes concentrated, conscientious effort.  The greatest relationships take more time and hard work than we care to invest.

Look at the strongest marriages you know or the tightest bonds of best friendship you have seen.  You will find they have been forged day after day, year after year.  Through conflict and celebrations.  In good times and bad.
^^ this girl challenges and encourages me in my relationship with Jesus so much, even thought we live so far apart. the last 8 years since meeting in china have been one of the greatest gifts God has given me! ^^

I am learning that if I want those relationships that challenge me, encourage me, that lift me up, I have to stop throwing mindless words of intention to the wind and I have to make community happen.  I have to actually open my calendar and write down a time to meet with those I desire to truly know.  I have to be willing to sacrifice some mindless time I would spend watching my favorite show to make that phone call to a friend.  I have to stop suggesting things that cost more money than I have and simply invite friends into our home for pizza.  I have to plan short coffee dates rather than wait for an entire free day together.

I also have to realize that I may not be able to live in close community with every person I meet.  I have to realize that I can be friendly with all and intentional with a few.   I need to gather around me those that speak to my heart the most.  The people that challenge me to love Jesus more.  The people that ask hard questions and hold me accountable.  The people that inspire me and make me want to love my family better.  These are the ones I must hold close and pour into.

We are beings that crave community.  Deep intentional community.
So this is my time to stop talking and start gathering.
A season to create the community that we were always meant to have.
^^ brittney is such a treasure to this online community of women.  plus three cheers for blogging friends turned real life friends! be sure to read her beautiful, gut-honest post about anxiety.^^

^^ some quality costco time with my beautiful sister when she was home from mexico last month. long distance family creates such a hole in your life, but thank the Lord for facetime and social media! ^^
^^ pretty mail is one of my favorite ways to let my friends know they are loved and valued by me! you can read more about this year's pretty mail project here ^^

- - - 
What have you found helpful in creating intentional community?

- - - 
Let's be friends! You can find more of me here:


  1. YES. I am so on board with this entire post. Community is SO important and it takes real dedication and intentionality!

  2. I absolutely LOVE your thoughts on this. I was just telling Kevin today that finding those people you connect with most, and being intentional with them takes work and prayer:) I loved how you said not everyone you meet will become a close friend (as much as you may want), but that it's important to pursue the community you desire:) Thanks girl!

  3. i'm glad to hear you are in the same place!! it's so wonderful to find kindred spirits that have similar vision and passion in life and to just run together with them. XOXO

  4. and you obviously do VERY well with supporting and building community!! thanks for being a great example of that. xo

  5. Oh yes. Our talk needs to lead to action. :) Community is so biblical yet so foreign in the way we live lives these days

  6. So true- I have a few best friends, lifelong never stopping best friends, but... None of them live in the same town as I do. I tell you- it's hard to make those kinds of connections at this stage of life- everyone is so busy and seems to already have a group. So yes, being more intentional, maybe even pushy, could do the trick!


  7. Its so true...connection + community does take deep, intentional effort and sometimes our culture of ease influences us away from that effort far too easily. A long time ago I had a stranger on a plane tell me something that has stuck with me endlessly regarding relationships: if you're coasting, you're going downhill. The thing I've learned in my life so far is that effort put forth towards friendship and connection is always, always, always worth it. Thanks for this challenge today!

  8. Great post! Community is so important and it's been amazing in the year I have been travel blogging to connect with travelers and bloggers from around the world and bond over a shared passion for seeing the world. It's definitely work to stay in touch and keep those connections! I live in NYC where one week of being "too busy to meet up" quickly turns into 3 months before you know it.


  9. oh wow!! a travel blogging adventure?! i'm so curious i have pop over to your blog right now! thanks for sharing and visiting my space. xoxo

  10. definitely. my best friend lives in southern california and we are lucky if we get to see each other one or twice a year BUT we talk/ichat all the time! it's so wonderful to live in an age that minimized these heartbreaking distances. xo

  11. oh my gosh! yes! it's sad to watch how easy it is to walk into church and then right back out without evening connecting with one person. definitely something i'm trying to grow in. xo

  12. i love that little tidbit of advice! so so true in any relationship! thanks for sharing and reading. you are a gem. xoxo

  13. Yes. And we always have so many other things to do that we feel like there is no time to stay and chat.... I am praying for a good community for you. You don't need to know your whole church, just some of them. ;) I have a community four years building and we still have to be intentional to spend time together!