Cultivating Community in 2020

We had just moved in to our new house and, other than getting some decorating done and making our space cozy, one of the first things I wanted to do was practice hospitality and invite some people over. The big kitchen opens into the dining room and is connected to a large living room by two pocket doors. Not to mention there’s plenty of yard for kids to play in!

This house was perfect – practically made for hosting and entertaining.

At the time, I was a stay-at-home-mom and spent most of my days looking after my two girls, both under 3 years old. It took a few months of getting settled, followed by celebrating Cate’s 1st birthday, and then figuring out what this new “normal” looked like before we really started to feel at home. That’s when it happened…I had a fun thought. I knew it was a great idea.

I should start a book club.

It wasn’t long before I excitedly invited a handful of my mama friends from church. The plan? We’d get together on Tuesday evenings, share a meal, then chat about the book we were reading. I even made arrangements to have our babysitter come and keep the kids entertained for an hour or so, thus eliminating the common reason why most moms don’t get out as much as they’d like: childcare. The book was one I’d started reading and decided all my girlfriends should read it, too: Desperate: Hope For The Mom Who Needs To Breathe by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson. It was a hit from the start.

For several weeks, we’d meet on Tuesdays. We’d sit around the living room and laugh and talk while we ate salads and homemade baked potatoes with all the fixin’s or Domino’s Tuesday special: $5 2-topping pizzas. After supper (that’s what we call dinner here in the South), the kids would go down the hall to the playroom with our babysitter to watch a movie and play and the moms would retreat to the living room, cozy up on the couches, watch a quick video, and talk about the book. We shared what resonated with us, we prayed for one another, and our friendships deepened in those few months we met. It was a sweet season of fellowship, learning, and growing together.

Earlier this year, I had a great idea. Again.

I’ll start a Book Club.

Much like my heart in the Spring of 2013, I wanted to create a place of connection and community. I wanted to share all these great books I was discovering with my audience at Lettered Grace – comprised mostly of women: high school and college students, newlyweds, mamas, sisters, and friends. The books I tend to gravitate toward are ones that encourage intentional living – something that I believe you want, too – and after discovering my own joy of what reading a book with friends can offer, I wanted to figure out a way to create that same experience for the women who have followed along, supported Lettered Grace, and who I have grown to love, too!

After launching the Lettered Grace Book Club this September, it’s been so fun to see old friends and meet new ones inside our Facebook Group – the Cozy Chair Community! We’ve had women join us from all over the US – Georgia, Florida, Illinois, Missouri, Texas, Washington, Virginia, North Carolina, and Arizona – which just blows my mind! It’s like that movie scene: “You like me! You really like me!”

Well, friend, I like you, too!

One thing that’s been weighing on my heart in the last 4 months, though is that there are a lot of women who would LOVE this Book Club and what this Cozy Chair Community has to offer, but maybe there’s just no wiggle room in the budget. Maybe life’s circumstances have flipped their world upside down and they’re figuring out their new normal. Or maybe it’s just that they aren’t sure if it’s a good fit for this season…but really would love to try it. Well, here’s some good news, friend:

You can now join the Lettered Grace Book Club simply by signing up!

You can visit www.letteredgrace.com/bookclub and find out all the details, see the books lined up for the first half of 2020, and sign up right there on the page! You’ll get an email confirming your registration and a link will be sent out soon so you can access the private community on Facebook.

One of the first questions I’ve heard is “What about the Book Box?!” If you’ve enjoyed the sweet surprise of getting one of our exclusive Book Boxes each month, you’ll be happy to know that they will still be available to those inside our Cozy Chair Community! Each month, you’ll have the option to order that month’s Book Box only from within the group. Still exclusive, still available, still the same treat yo’self experience so many of our Premium Members enjoyed as we launched this fall!

The virtual coffee date is still on, too! Once a month, we’ll “meet up” face-to-face for an hour-long chat about the book of the month. I’m already looking forward to seeing so many friends at our January online meet-up!

I believe whole-heartedly in the power of words and community. We were created by a relational God to be plugged in, connected, and to do life together. I’m so excited to invite you along as I read through some more amazing books in 2020! I am giddy with anticipation, hoping you’ll drop by the Book Club page and join the group this month!

2020 is shaping up to be an incredible adventure through the pages of some life-giving, encouraging books. So, what do you say?

Are you with me??

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