photo from emersonmade

A few months ago, I posted about my feelings of isolation and homesickness, and I'm so glad some of you chimed in to encourage or empathize with me.  I can't tell you how much that helped on a day when I was feeling blue.

Since then, I've been working on being more intentional about being present in my community - saying yes to new friends, speaking up, and asking for help or support when I need it.  Although I still have those sad days when I miss my family and hometown, we've been putting down roots and growing in community with others.  This isn't a huge milestone, but to me it's a big deal to celebrate the little ways God answers prayer (and not focus on the negatives).

I know some of you have struggled with feeling isolated because of moving away from "home" too, so I thought I'd post some of the things that have helped me build relationships.  Please add to the list with your own suggestions.  It would be so helpful to get some fresh ideas from you lovely and wise friends!

  • Invite people to your home.  Our home is one of the best expressions of who Zach and I are, and inviting new friends into our house has helped them to quickly get to know us.  It stimulates conversation and since our Indy friends don't really know our family, our house gives them some background info about our lives.
  • Say yes to invitations.  For the record, I am a bit of a homebody.  I like our routine on the weekends and am accustomed to spending free time with Zach.  If I am going to make relationships, I have to be willing to allow others into that time.  For example, instead of our normal Friday night date, we played volleyball with a group of work-friends.  (I was more than a little apprehensive about this, but it was so fun!)  
  • Join a group.  In our case, we joined a house church and everyone lives within a few blocks of each other.  We'd been putting this off because we thought we couldn't fit it into my husband's crazy work schedule.  But he's been able to make it work for the past 8 weeks, even in busy season.  The thing that I love is that we are committed to living life together - on Wednesday nights, and also throughout the week.  These are the people who are quickly becoming our family in Indy.
  • Find favorite spots.  One of the things that made me miss home was not being able to go to those spots around town that I'd gone to for years.  Those places that ground you after a long week, you know?  We've found a couple spots around Indy that have slowly become favorites - Patachou, La Piedad, Brugge, all the walking/biking trails, the IMA gardens, and Fresh Market.  When I go to these places, I sort of breathe a sigh of relief because of their familiarity.  We still like to explore, but too much exploration can leave me feeling more exhausted than exhilarated.
  • Practice good habits when you are alone.  Cooking in my kitchen, reading (good books and the Bible), walking around our neighborhood after dinner, blogging/reflecting, and working out are the habits I need on a consistent basis.  They ground me and remind me of who I am, which makes it easier to be myself with others. 
So, go ahead and chime in with your thoughts!  We're heading home for the first weekend in a long time, and I'm stoked.  I hope you all have a lovely weekend too, friends!

1 comment:

tiny twig said...

you are so wise, sweet friend. now, really...when can we get together? could i bring you lunch someday at school?

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