Throughout the Spring, Ben and I went through an 11-week Discipleship experience with our Community Group called Rooted.
It was unlike any "bible study" I have done before.
It was intense and purposeful with a movement toward action.
We started the first few weeks in the basics of the Bible with creation and God's love story for us through sending Jesus.
We met every Sunday from 8:30-10:30 and with our group.
We studied a week on prayer and had a 3 hour prayer experience at our house with our group.
About mid-way through the program we studied a week on strongholds and broke in to men and women and dove deep into our struggles and hardships and got so real and raw and it was powerful.
Then week by week we were built back up in our faith.
Strengthened from community and accountability and realness.
We studied a week on service and then all went out on a Saturday and served together at Mission Arlington.
We got to bring our kids on our service day and it was so fun for us all.
Ben and I decided to only bring Kinley and leave the boys at home.
All we did was bring water and bread to some apartment complexes around the mission.
We didn't "preach" to these precious people or try to "fix" anything.
We just went to fill physical needs.
It was eye-opening for our kids.
There were apartments with no furniture, not one item of food in their fridge, kids opening the door with no parents home.
It brought up a lot of good discussion and questions for our kids.
All in an area less than 10 miles from our home.
They served so joyfully and without one complaining the whole day and at the end of our time just hung out and played on the playground with some of the apartment complex kids for a while.
Kinley walked away wishing she could be like those kids and live in an apartment complex with friends surrounding her all the time.
She had questions but, only saw people, just like her.
A few service day pics.
Addi spent most of her time with Kinley, Ben and I and it was so fun for the girls.
Group kid pic that day on our picnic lunch at Sonic. This is really only like half of our kids.
Our last week of Rooted we spent an entire session of 2 hours just affirming each other in our community group.
It was a love-fest full of emotions, tears, joy and praise to God who has brought us all closer and changed us through the process. I learned more about myself and how these people, who so carefully have observed my walk with Christ, think that God uses me than I ever knew. We sped right through that 2.5 hours and rushed through as quickly as we could. It could have lasted hours and hours.
We ended the experience with a celebration night. It was a delicious dinner full of cardboard testimonies of how people have changed during their experience. It was filled with powerful, incredible worship, and lots and lots of baptisms. There were no dry eyes and SO much celebrating.
I am so, so glad we went through Rooted as a community group.
It changed us for the better. We are closer as a group and committed to growing in Christ together. We are more committed to service and outreach and evangelism and accountability and prayer. And we are REAL. No joke, just real with each other. With our struggles and triumphs. With our joys and insecurities. It is refreshing and the true definition of community. I pray we don't forget all that God has walked us through during this journey.