I enjoy community conversations. I like sitting with like-minded people and learning from them. Even more so, I love bantering with those who aren’t necessarily like-minded with me and gleaning from them as well. I’ve learned much just conversing with others.
I’m sure this love of community is deeply rooted in my childhood. I grew up in a family of 6. Conversations were abundant and meal times were especially raucous. It seems like most meals had at least 3, if not 6, conversations going on all at once. Of course, with four children vying for attention, we did not all agree on every conversation topic. Somehow my mother balanced the different conversations, spills and stories with ease. As we got older, meal time seemed to take on a life of its own. Laughter, lively discussions and lots of spills made for some pretty funny memories.
Of course, we all brought our prospective spouses into this mayhem. For the most part, they all seemed to do okay (I think we probably overwhelmed our dear sister-in-law the most). I will never forget one particular meal at my parent’s farmhouse. All four of us were married and there were four little grandchildren joining in the meal. My ever-hospitable parents had invited a friend, Tony, to the meal as well. Fifteen people gathered around the table and no less than 10 conversations were taking place. Of course, those of us with little ones were multi-tasking the entire meal. My dad sat at the head of the table and participated in every single conversation! By the end of the meal, I think Tony’s brain was on over-drive from trying to keep up with all of us!
Today, I was reminded of how much I enjoy community conversation times. While Ellen and I were waiting for Eric and Emily to finish their Spanish class at our library, another homeschool class was happening. After a short time, several homeschool moms had gathered around a table in the children’s department (it’s easier to talk in the children’s department…it’s hardly ever quiet there…). Some of us had never met before but within a few minutes we were all sharing curriculum ideas, convention experiences and children’s learning styles. Great homeschooling ideas were being shared while spiritual struggles were voiced. I don’t think there were any less than 5 conversations taking place at any one time.
Of course, it doesn’t take women long to find something to talk about…. I have found this type of community conversation at church, at reunions, at ball games, at MOPS meetings, at Bible studies and over dinner at friends’ homes. I love when God blesses me with these community conversations. So many times I have been blessed by a statement made in the midst of the mayhem…a nugget I can take with me. Today was no different…thanks God!