Every Tuesday morning, there is a MOMS group at my church. MESSIAH UNITED METHODIST CHURCH One wouldn’t think that I would like this group, not having children myself. But this MOMS group is comprised of women my age, or a bit older….more like GRANDmoms. (By the way, I have just started attending due to the acceptance of ALL women, not just those with children. MOMS now stands for Mothers and Others in Mission and Study) Sure, there are infants breast feeding in the room, and the occasional little kiddo running around (just at the beginning- the toddlers and small children go to daycare next door), but I’m pretty used to it. After all, being with a little Elena for about a month and a half in total (when they were visiting from Bulgaria and when they were transitioning back to the US). Elena is my good friend’s little girl; the best thing is-THEY JUST MOVED DOWN THE STREET!
My fur baby and I are always walking to or by their house. Chazz is another way I can relate! Just because he’s a dog, doesn’t mean I love him any less. But I always end up talking about Elena. I would go over and babysit her, play with her in her backyard and make soup for her sick momma or Pinks (her stuffed animal) who got sick. That’s basically all she knows; it is a very rare occurrence to see her well, or anyone in their family well actually. Daycares all over are a petri dish of germs and once the illness is in the house, everyone gets sick!
It feels good to be involved with a Bible study with my peers; Or mostly my peers, there are like 4 or 5 girls that are all like 35! (including myself). And I really like the book that we are currently studying. It is very thought provoking and makes me feel very smart; like I earned a college degree for a reason, and am now putting it to use. Sure, you learn good skills to work with other people in college, [Longwood University, which has the most succinct therapeutic recreation program in the state of Virginia; skills like interacting with others’ people that have disabilities] but I haven’t really put any of my academic/critical thinking skills to use in a while. Working at the nursing home one has to prepare the trivia, for instance at a fifth grade level, or even younger, something that residents with dementia can understand. I would look up crafts for children on Pinterest, but I suppose unless you’re involved in a book club or writing about adult topics that require research, most people do not do much with critical thinking.
Back to the book we are reading, Making Sense of the Bible: Rediscovering the Power of Scripture Today by Adam Hamilton. This book brings different views into the light, things I have thought about previously, but have never quite understood. He delves into the science behind creation and the depiction of Adam and Eve in the Bible. The author tries to make sense of all the violence in the Old Testament without justifying it. In later chapters of the book, Hamilton is often questioning if we can trust Gospel accounts of Jesus [ch 24], touches on the topics of women’s roles, tattoos and homosexuality and giving in his opinion a way proving the truths of the Bible.
I am also participating in a study conducted in the middle of the day on Thursdays. Needless to say, I am the youngest person there [those with time in the middle of the day during a workweek are mostly retired], being with a variety of people also teaches me a lot. And in each of the studies I also learn about other denominations of the Christian faith; in the adult group one women was talking about a different study in which she participates with people who are in the Baptist belief, and we have discussed the differences in the opinions that these faiths hold as truth. In this adult study, we also have mentioned the comparison of the Hindu faith, as well are currently reading a book whose author is a Christian who does not actively pursue formal church services (we assume).
On Wednesday nights there is a girls youth small group that I have been helping out with recently. We are currently examining and talking about ‘obsessions’ that we hold. Like my ‘obsession’ is with coffee (as my Pinterest board clearly displays), or our similar ‘obsession’ with boys, like Doug Kammerer [NBC weatherman] . I feel like I can more closely relate to the girls’ group of high school/middle schoolers; I have more of the same issues as them, but having already experienced the struggles that we all go through in high school, am able to share some of the accounts that have worked for me.
Although, I am not in the exact same “walks of life” as the people in these groups, I find myself being able to relate with them in some fashion, and it feels great to be included. This is what I am THANKFUL for this week, being ‘part’ of something, a group or a few groups. Feeling I fit in and can contribute and participate in the discussions in some way. Isn’t that what we all want? After being so isolated and alone all of the time before, (or feeling so alone, I was actually surrounded by people) my times after my accident in high school- and post college just going to work and coming home each week. I may be alone in my specific travels of life [like we all are, we each have our own goals of what we want to accomplish], but I finally do not feel so alone. And I am so very THANKFUL for that.
Danielle, I am so happy that these groups are bringing joy into your life. I enjoy our conversations as we travel to and from the church. When these groups end for the summer, we will have to make some dates for Peets!