We read this statement together before every group discussion. It helps transition the group to discussion time, it reaffirms our highest values, and sets a tone of trust, consistency, and safety for everyone in the group.
We are a group of imperfect people pursuing a perfect God. We exist to help each other find and follow Christ. These are some things we want to be true of our group:
- We create a safe and honest environment, staying transparent and authentic.
- We keep it inside the circle. Confidentiality is necessary for a healthy group.
- We look together to the Bible for help and guidance, and keep out our own politics, sales, or agendas.
- We do not try to fix each other, preach sermons, or give unsolicited advice. We instead encourage, listen to, and celebrate each other.
- We handle conflict between us quickly and honestly by going to the person, owning our part, and practicing forgiveness.
- We respect each others’ time by starting and ending when we say we will.
- We trust that it is God’s role to change people, not ours.
- We believe that in Jesus Christ, there is hope for everyone.
- What is something you’re really good at? Describe the first time you realized you were really good at it.
- How would you summarize Part 5: Living In Time?
- What are some passages that stuck out to you the most? Why did they have an impact on you?
- Shauna writes a lot about she and her family spending summers at the lake and her desire to bring her “lake self” to her home and family more often. In “Learning to Play” she notes, "My goal upon returning to real life after lake life is to keep my summer heart- flexible, silly, ready-to-play, ever-so-slightly irresponsible heart.” Do you have a place, activity, or tradition that brings out this part of you? How can you relate to Shauna's desire to bring that self back to normal life?
- In the chapter “Morning and Evening” Shauna writes about her routine for each. She writes, “I’m learning to leave sort of a sacred margin at the beginning and end of the day, to go to bed earlier and wake up earlier, letting the transitions between sleeping and waking and the reverse be a little gentler.” Do you have a morning and evening routine that helps to create “a sacred margin?” If so, how has it helped you? If not, is it something you crave?
What are some things you could do to create a routine that adds a bit of margin between sleeping and waking? What obstacles stand in the way of creating that margin?
- In “Simplicity” Shauna writes about simplifying her wardrobe, kitchen, life. She notes, “I want the stuff in my life to be light, easily managed, simple, so that the best of my energy is free for people, dreams, creativity.” She goes on to note, “How we live matters, and what you choose to own will shape your life, whether you choose to admit it or not. Let’s live lightly, freely, courageously, surrounded only by what brings joy, simplicity, and beauty.” Have you ever seen your stuff start to shape your life in some way? What would a simplified life look like for you? Where would you start?
- In the chapter “Happy Medium” Shauna writes about finally making peace with her size medium body. She notes, “And so at long last, I’m making peace with medium. And choosing to be happy. Rested, not exhausted, not afraid, not wired and panicky all the time. This is countercultural. This is rebellious.” What is something in your life that you might just have to finally make peace with? Something that would be countercultural and rebellious to let go of?
Scripture For Reflection: Job 37:5-6
“God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding. He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth,’ and to the rain shower, ‘Be a mighty downpour.’”
- In the chapter “On Snow” Shauna poses a few questions:
“What are the things that God’s asking you to do, the things he made you to do, the things you do effortlessly and easily?
What do you do with the ease and lightness of falling snow?"
How would you respond to these questions? If you’ve wandered from doing the things you were made to do, how can you start adding them back into your life?
8. At the end of the same chapter, "On Snow", she poses more questions, “What do you need to leave behind in order to recover that essential self that God created? What do you need to walk away from in order to reclaim those parts of you that God designed, unique to you and for his purposes?”
Scripture For Reflection: Ephesians 2:10
“For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”