So, Monday is my first small group. I led one for little girls last year, but this time I’m leading one for grown ups. grown up women. gulp.
I have never been a big fan of women’s groups or conferences or retreats. I’ve always seen too much judgement and forced emotion in those circles. It’s just not for me. My very best friend is a boy I met in high school. I have few close girlfriends, but the ones I choose to do life with are pretty spectacular (: All that to say, hosting a women’s small group is t o t a l l y out of my comfort zone. In fact, it was one of those spur of the moment, I-feel-like-God-wants-this-so-I’ll-sign-up type of things. I’m probably suppose to be all leader-like and say I’ve prayed over it for weeks and that I’m expecting God to show up and weave bonds of sisterhood between us, but that’s a bunch of crap. I just want to get through the group with as few awkward silences as possible. In fact, if no one showed up at all I’d be just peachy drinking my tea and enjoying the silence. Honesty, people. Try it sometime.
There is this teeny tiny part of me that wants some amazing things to happen though. It’s that 5% of me that signed up in the first place. I have been watching the small group list come out for years and it’s struck me as odd that with a church our size, I’ve never seen a small group for blended families. I’ve toyed with idea of starting my own, but always brushed it off. I don’t have time. I’m really just flying by the seat of my pants in my own family, I don’t really know anything about blended families. Marco works so much, he wouldn’t have time. Blended families can be weird; what if I don’t like the other people? For one reason or another, this year I actually did it. I signed up — with a twist. It’s true, Marco doesn’t have time to host a small group with me and I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing a family group without my ummmmmm, family. Duh. So, I settled on leading a small group for blended family moms. good lord have mercy.
Two things here:
1. I originally wanted to do it for step moms, but was a teensy bit worried that it would turn into one big bitch session and I’d be powerless to stop it. Ok, ok, really I’d be too into the gossip to stop it. It’s all about prevention.
2. By bringing in the other moms — i.e., the “real” moms — I think it gives us step moms a better glimpse of how they see us. I mean, let’s be honest, if I was doing something unintentionally offensive, I’d be more prone to correct it if the advice came from a mom other than Daniela’s. That’s just human nature. Bottom line, moms and step moms can learn a lot from each other and the result is a better blended family! Who can say they don’t want that!?
Before you ask, the answer is no. No, I have not extended an invitation to Daniela’s mom. I’ll get there, but I’m not there yet. No shame. I want this group to evolve into something bigger than me just giving my own story before I invite Dani’s mom. Don’t get me wrong, I would LOVE to hear her side of our story! I really, truly would — but judging by past experience I think #1 that she wouldn’t come, and #2 that if she did, any awkward group newness would scare her away. When that time comes, I’d like to have a support system there for her. People that I know will welcome her and click with her and giver her a place in the group to belong. The new group-ness is hard enough for me in my own home, it would be a huge feat to survive it in her home. Does that make sense?
And yes, I know there’s a chance she could be reading this. Talk about awwwkward. But that’s life, right? We put ourselves out there and hope the other person is brave enough to see through the differences and admit to the similarities. Birth mom, step mom, adoptive mom, foster mom, heart mom. We are all women doing our best in this life and celebrating each little triumph. This group is gonna kick booty and you can sign up here if you feel so inclined.
But honestly, feel free to bail on the small group — I won’t mind (;