faith. family. friends. love.

Keeping it real, so that you know you are not alone.

A gathering place.

** This post was inspired by the new book: Listen, Love,  Repeat by Karen Ehman which releases November 15th! You can purchase a copy at http://listenloverepeatbook.com **

I am thrilled to be a part of another launch team for one of my favorite authors – Karen Ehman. You may recall when I had the opportunity to be on her Hoodwinked team. 

This time I get to preview her book Listen, Love, Repeat. Let me tell you – It’s a game changer! This opportunity has come at a perfect time, because I’ve been praying for God to help me be a better friend. I love my friends, and I’m certain they know this. I’m a great listener, and I love nothing more than to have the privilege to pray with them… But I want to be good at the little things… I really want to go beyond the ordinary. 

This book is helping me to see ways to do just that. I loved learning about “heart drops” in chapter one. 

As a launch team we have a different photo challenge each week. Our first week, the theme was “gather” and I do hope that you will read the book and find out why this was so special. 

As I thought about my home, and if there was a special gathering place there, I decided to look through the pictures on my phone and it became obvious that we spend a good bit of time gathered on our bed in the master bedroom.

This may sound odd, but hear me out. It’s a place to read bedtime stories and pray each night. It’s a fun place for indoor picnics and family movie time during the hot summer months. It’s a place to spread out and do school work. It’s a place of comfort when there is a storm or a bad dream. It’s a place to snuggle and cuddle and rest. It’s a place to be silly. It’s a place that is safe. 

And not just for us and our kids. It occurred to me that often times when we have friends over, the females will migrate to our room to visit, while the guys gather and talk in the livingroom and the children run around and play. 

Also a few years ago I hosted a Bible study at my house with some girlfriends and we choose to watch the DVD in my room do we could stretch out on my bed and be comfy. 

As this realization came to me, I was moved to tears. I was remembering another bed that was a gathering place. 

You see, my mom has a best friend that I lovingly call my aunt. They have been friends for about 45 years and are like sisters. They love each other fiercely. And some of my favorite memories of growing up is going to this families house.

It was always welcoming and fun. There would be great food, and fun music. There would be laughter and love. But what I remember most is that the ladies would gather in my aunt’s room to visit while the men stayed in the living room visiting or watching a show. The kids (me and their youngest daughter – who by the way, my kids now call aunt) would run around and play…

I always wanted to join them, and sometimes we could, but we usually got bored and ran off to play again. I remember thinking – even at such a young age – that that was a special place. A special time for the adults. I couldn’t wait to grow up so I could hang out with my mom, her friend, and the older girls. 

Now, I realize I’m creating the same special environment in my own home, and it warms my heart.

So what about you? Where do you gather with loved ones? I would love for you to share your story in the comments, and be sure to pre-order Listen, Love, Repeat by Karen Ehman (available November 15, 2016).

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