Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A Story About Life

This is a story about 5 very different couples in very different phases of life that chose to live life in community 3 years ago.  We are a unique group.  We go to 4 different churches.  We aren't the "typical" life group.  We don't agree on everything.  Many thought we wouldn't last.  BUT, we love each other.  We see the value in our differences and embrace those.  I think true community happens when you are willing to be who you are, let others be who they are, and learn from that experience.  The thing that I love most about this group is how much we laugh.  It is truly "life-giving" to me EVERY TIME we gather.  

We have prayed through the many challenges we have faced.  We have endured job changes, financial struggles, health issues, parenting challenges, family craziness.  We have sent gifts to a missionary family in Africa, bought charcoal-efficient stoves for families in Haiti, participated in World Water Day, and supported missions trips to Africa.  We have had picnics, cookouts, movie nights, guys' nights, girls' nights, worship nights, double dates, overnight trips.  We have celebrated births, new houses, Birthdays, anniversaries, new jobs, ministry opportunities.  We have been to the Chynoweth's amazing costume parties and my favorite, our Life Group Christmas party.  

It always involves fabulous food, festive drinks, the question cup, a white elephant gift exchange, and  prayers for the upcoming year.  The Fowlers hosted this year.  Their home is so cozy and relaxing. 
  Laura had the table set beautifully
Some of the boys
The girls
This table was full of laughter, good food and deep discussion
 The question cup ranged from your favorite worship song, to what TV show you would like to live in, to what we love about each couple in our group.  
As always, we had a hilarious white elephant exchange.  
Elaina was the lucky recipient of this original, autographed photo of her husband, Garrett
(This gift may or may not have made its debut last year and most likely will become an annual part of the white elephant gift exchange.)

I walked away with this gem
This is Dave Houle when he was a kid.  He created this extremely motivational piece of art. 
I displayed it in our house for a few days until my kids said, "Can we take that picture down.  It is really creeping us out!"
Our night ended with a time of prayer thanking God for what He has done and asking Him to lead us in the new year!
Here's to another year of lives lived together!!  
Love you Houle, Chynoweth, Fowler and Maas Families

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