Traveling and Friends and Craving Community

Do you ever wish for the days when making friends was as easy as sharing your strawberry fruit roll up and playing on the same team at recess?


When finding a group to hang with meant standing just close enough to the dodgeball boundary line to get absorbed nonchalantly into a game?

When the word friends didn’t elicit the hierarchy of friend-types…

a.     The Acquaintance

b.     Your Kid’s Friend’s Mom

c.      That Church Friend

d.     The Work Friend

None of them knowing the whole of you.

Simply experts on parts of you.

All of them filling an easy spot on your phone’s contact list, but maybe not quite a place in your guarded heart.

You know them in the context of where you met—church, work, the salon, the school car line, the library, the gym, the conference circuit—but outside of that sphere with its activities and lingo and gossip, parts of you are redacted like CIA files peppered with hurried black sharpie lines.

The most sensitive parts hidden from view.



Do you ever crave community?

I have been recently. After the year of travels, with the new move, because of the fresh awareness of the need for adventure in my daily life…I have been hungry to dig deep roots and live in community with others.

What does living in community mean to you?

Here’s what living in community means to me:


Doing this adventure of life

with people

who center on this one axis:

leaning into brave, wholehearted lives.


Notice, I didn't say I wanted to be around people who lead whole hearted lives. I don't think it's ever an achievement you can stand on, like an earned badge. I want to be surrounded by people who say, "A whole hearted life is important to me, too. I'm doing the best I can TODAY to foster that."


So, what does the pursuit of a whole hearted life look like?

Brene Brown summarizes wholehearted living beautifully. You can read more here.



I want to fill my life with people committed to the adventure of life and to wholeheartedness.

And if that’s you, I don’t want to meet the fragments of you.

I want to know all of you. I want to hear your struggles just as much as your triumphs. I want to come alongside in the processing of life where the rambling and tears and confusion exist so that when there are crisper days of understanding and clarity and progress, I can celebrate with you.

And I want to invite you into the same.

God help you…into my messy and neurotic life.

And I don’t want to have to apologize for the chaos like I do when you come over to my house after a crazy day or when you hop into my minivan after my last road trip with the kids.


Community isn’t the honeymoon I always imagined. It is the grueling work of the courageous.


Most recently, I’ve wondered if I have the energy or the stomach for it, as I battle the desperate urge to withdraw and isolate.

But I'll keep pressing into

opportunities...and people...and life,

because, I don’t know…I have a feeling that real life exists there somehow with its juicy growth and electrifying transformation.

That somewhere there, intertwined, the best parts of us will be ignited.


Samantha NelsonComment