My family is part of a small group from our church that we've been meeting with twice a month for nearly seven years now. We're a mixed group, with and without kids, and even some with grand and great-grandchildren. Even though we all come from different walks of life we've become a second family to each other.
We spend time sharing and reflecting on our faith and how we see God working in our lives. We've seen each other through sickness, mourning, and marriages, and new babies. Going there each month is a renewal, a re-centering.
Sometimes when life is running at a faster pace than usual, we drag our feet about taking the kids and going to our next meeting. But time and time again we arrive to a place where we are loved and accepted, and leave filled with God's love.
These photos are from the backyard of one of our group members. I went with the kids to our meeting this week while Chris was working, and our wonderful friends, Tom and Agnes, shared from the abundance of their tangerine tree.
After our gathering, I stepped outside with a couple of the kids and we picked these juicy tangerines straight from the tree. Touching God's creation--the very food he has crafted for us--is a holy experience.
Whenever I'm feeling stressed, I like to step out into our own little garden and look at it more closely, admiring the life within it's leaves. These little moments with God's creation renew and sustain me. And so does this second family that we've been gifted with.
Where do you find sustenance in your life? What gives you strength and direction?