October 2, 2012

Introducing (in)courage Community Groups!!!
-- Marriage & Mommyhood {finding grace in the balance} --

Nine and one-half years ago, I met this guy named Aaron.

After seven months, I married him.

Only ten months after that, I gave birth to our first child: a healthy, but premature baby girl.

My friend, Kayse, and I share similar stories, and what she says about our beginnings is indeed correct--

That's a LOT of new in such a short period of time!
-A lot of new to grow into very fast.

But no matter how long or short you’ve been married or had kids, it’s hard work.  Worth it, but hard.  It was harder than either Aaron or I expected it to be, and yet it was more glorious than either of us expected as well.  God made us a home in one another, through many good times and many bad times, and He has brought us through.  As I write this, we now have been married almost nine years, have three daughters, one glory baby, and one growing in my womb that is due November 22nd.

Some days the happy outweighs the hard by leaps and bounds.  But there are other days where the hard outweighs everything else.  It's the day-to-day where it's easy for me to get "lost" in.  Intentionality is key, being real, loving my husband more than who is "right," and clinging to Jesus' side.  But all of that is so much easier said than done, isn’t it?  

To be real with you, friends, there have been moments when I wasn't sure about the future or how I could go on.  While being a wife and mother is what I have always desired to be and is a huge, indescribable blessing… some days it feels like anything but a blessing, and weighs heavy on me.  I can honestly say from experience that as you continually choose what God has given you...man!  He blesses and solidifies covenant and hearts and minds, even emotions and thought processes.

But oh, how we (women) need each other!!!  Women to encourage, receive encouragement from, glean and learn heartily from.  God surely knew what He was doing when He had Paul write Titus 2!  ;-)  We women need to come together in a place of honesty, transparency, and community; sharing openly the joys and the struggles of life as wife and mommy.  We need a place full of grace, encouragement, and understanding, where we can simply be ourselves and embrace one another.
While we already have access to everything we’ll need along the way through Jesus, we were never meant to do this alone, friends.

So, in hopes of encouraging authentic community, Kayse (from kaysepratt.com) and I have been asked to lead an (in)courage community group (hosted by the folks over at (in)courage through DaySpring) focusing on the balance between the roles of wife and mom.   

I’d like to invite you to join us as we figure out how to gracefully mesh marriage and mommyhood in a way that brings more peace than panic.  We’ll be talking honestly about our joys and our struggles, bonding over date nights and diapers, and encouraging one another in the roles that God has given us.

We could NOT be more excited, and hope you will be too!!  We would absolutely LOVE for you to come on over and join us.  You can find our group, Marriage and Mommyhood {finding grace and encouragement in the balance}, on Facebook.  Simply click on the link above and ask to join, and either Kayse or I will add you!

Also, we will be hosting a brand new weekly LINK UP PARTY/BLOG HOP every Wednesday (starting tomorrow *squeal*) for both those women in the group and bloggers not in the group alike!

We will be delving deep.  Laughing freely.  Sharing honestly.
Learning together what it means to embrace the call to be an
Abiding Woman in Grace
and letting go of the drive to be Super-Woman.

This first (in)courage community group session will start TODAY, October 2nd, and run through December 2nd.  So don’t worry, you’re not committing to forever, just to a couple of months.  ;-)  But I do hope you’ll join us and I guarantee that if you do, you’ll find a group of welcoming women who are excited and ready to be real and share life together as we all reach for a common goal.
I can’t wait to get started and meet ‘yall!!  We plate-spinners gotta stick together, ya know.  ;-)

----------------UPDATE -10/3/12----------------
Our Facebook group is at capacity!  We've been blown away at the response!  Beginning immediately, though, we will not be able to accept any additional requests to join.  What a fantastic "problem" to have!
HOWEVER, there are many other groups on marriage or motherhood that other fabulous (in)couragers are leading.  Please check out the full list of groups here. 
ALSO, remember that you can still interact with us every week through the Marriage & Mommyhood Link-Up Series AND on both Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag: #marriage&mommyhood  :) 
----------------UPDATE -10/3/12----------------

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  1. Im glad you started this. I.really needed this encouragement TODAY. Im in the midst of what feels like a valley clinging to God and Im happy to know I can receive GODLY encouragement. I will be.linking up weekly !

    1. AMBER! So thrilling to receive your comment today. :) I'm so looking forward to linking up with you weekly!! God is so good, and He has so much in store for this group. My anticipation kept growing and growing as I prepared for the launch today and prayed for all the women that would take part. If you'd also like to join our Facebook group for a more close-knit kind of community and encouragement, please find it here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/marriageandmommyhood/

      Love you so!

    2. REBECCA, you don't know how glad I am to read your encouraging blog. We need to keep in touch! I look forward to this link up
      love you sooooo too :)

    3. Oh thank you, sweet girl! I'm so tickled you've begun a blog as well. I look forward to keeping up with you via that as well! :)

  2. Such a lovely community idea! I love {in} courage and the ways those ladies bless. Tremendous. Amen to women needing women. Amen to that. So glad you linked up to Playdates with God.

    1. Thank you so much for the encouragement and support, Laura!!

      -Rebecca :)


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