A Love Letter To My Book Club

Here we are ladies, almost October and I am quite certain that you all are gearing up for your next meeting.  I can see it now.  You'll be at Minette's home.  There will be snacks and wine and bubble water and hugs when you enter and cross over that threshold.  Music playing in the background and maybe even kiddos dashing upstairs to watch.  Dishes tilting in your hands, paper bags hanging on your wrists and hopefully a book tucked under your arm too.  I am thrilled that you all are carrying on.  That you will be gathered around the table sharing a toast and a prayer.  

Each time I have sat down to hand write these letters to you all my tears have stopped me.  They've clouded the view and I just couldn't put to words all the big feels I was experiencing.  You see, you all, this book club family that was knit together, has touched me in a way I never expected.  I prayed from the beginning for leading and direction in whom I asked to participate.  I prayed that connections would be made.  Vulnerability spoken and grace served in heaping portions.  I prayed that the book chosen would be relevant to everyone.  In some way sparking a memory, healing, a conversation, a truth, laughter when needed, honesty when it wasn't easy.  That was my hope.  For one night a month to be in a community of women that could potentially journey alongside one another.  

Lo and behold all of the above came to fruition.  Over the course of two years and a few books that happened.  It wasn't always easy or pretty and shiny.  It was however, always real.  I am so very grateful for that.  There were moments where I had to try hard.  Make more of an effort than I wanted to at the time.  Keep my mouth shut when I didn't want to.  And of course speak when I wasn't sure how it would be received.  I learned more about grace and authenticity than I thought possible.  Each meeting was a date on the calendar I looked forward to.  You all kept it real.  You all spoke into each other when one was feeling empty and called me out on my stuff when necessary.  We shared countless laughs.  In fact I can hear you all laughing now and it is music to my ears.  Truly.  We didn't ring doorbells or knock on doors any longer.  By this last book, we were aware of drink preferences, time constraints, children's stages and whether it was a double chocolate night or just a single.   That is true friendship right there.  

I have enjoyed sitting back and watching the common ground come into view.  Similarities coming to surface that maybe weren't there before.  Struggles and challenges shared.  Heart aches aired and triumphs celebrated.  That was fun.  Cooking together could have possibly been the best ice breaker.   When I think back to all the conversations we have had, answering book questions and IF:Table questions I throw my head back in wonder.  You ladies rock!  You are intelligent, capable, strong, honest, genuine, empathetic, encouraging, spirit filled, downright hilarious and just lovely.  Really.  Thank you for being brave and joining me.  In the words of Shauna Niequist, "I can't imagine life without a table between us".  Aint that the truth?  

And by the way, if you didn't sign our family table before we left I suggest you pick a date on your calendar and schedule a little jaunt down South.  I'll be waiting.

I wrote this about a week ago and never did publish it.   Then last night, October 6th, I received a late night text and photo from Minette, a picture of y'all leaning in around her table.  Smiling.  Plates of food everywhere.  And your beautiful faces looking at the camera.  Thank you.  Thank you and thank you once more.  

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