A few days ago I wrote about a sunflower I saw on my bike ride. It is still one of my favorite things to look for each time I ride by, but yesterday I saw something that made me think. I have ridden my bike to the same spot many times, but yesterday I noticed a whole field of sunflowers. They were beautiful! I am guessing they may not have bloomed yet the last time I rode that way. Or, my vision could have been blocked by the ugly road construction sign posted right in front of the field. (Those construction signs are EVERYWHERE in Ohio right now!) I was so captured by the beauty, I left my bike on the trail, walked past the ugly sign and did an Insta live. The pictures velow do NOT give these flowers justice.

One thing I noticed about the beautiful field of sunflowers was how big they were. They were bold and colorful and all bowing toward the morning sun. The sunflower I took a picture of earlier in the week was beautiful and mighty growing amongst the other weeds, but the flowers in the field were larger and thriving! They were surrounded and supported by each other.

This made me think how much we need community in our lives. Yes, I still stand by everything I wrote the other day about taking steps and doing what is needed no matter how you were planted, but how much easier it is for us to do things when we are supported by community! Community is a place to belong, feel supported, and loved.

I am privileged to be part of a healthy community that I love and adore. I am accepted, loved, and encouraged daily. When we tackle things in our lives we are unsure about it is so helpful to have others around us. People like-minded working alongside us and having similar goals right there with us. Another place to find community is within church and specifically smaller groups within the church. We all want to belong and feel wanted and accepted for who we are. Each of us desire support when things are tough and have others celebrate with us in our victories.

I know I have thrived on my health journey because of the community established within the program. People who identify with where I am at and encourage me along the way. Mentors who challenge me to do and be more and help me see where I can grow and mature. Seriously, the best source of community I have ever been involved in. Even if I didn’t lose all my weight, what I have gained through this community has been life changing!

My morning devotional today was talking about friendship. The author talked about walking in a room and having the feeling of wanting to belong. Have you ever been there? I know I have! I can identify with walking in a room filled with groups of people having conversations and wondering where in the world I should go. You feel left out and unsure of where you fit in. You don’t want to bother people or interrupt their conversations, and you are worried that they don’t want you around. In the devotional the author then mentioned a circle that opened up and a friend that waved her over to join the group. She offered her a place to belong, feel wanted and accepted. Isn’t that what we all want?

Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.

Romans 12:10

When my family and I first moved to Ohio I was pretty lonely. I only knew my family, I didn’t know the area and I certainly didn’t have friends close by to call on. We started attending a church and slowly were trying to feel accepted and wanted. I attended bible studies and mom groups and was trying so hard to feel like I belonged somewhere. It was a really hard and lonely time and I know the community I have now would have been so nice to have at that time!

I will never forget the day I was walking to my car and I received a text. This girl (now one of my besties) texted me and just said hi. She asked how I was doing and said she would love to get together some time. That was the BEST text I probably have ever received. I hope she know this, it really was so wonderful. I just wanted community, I wanted to belong, feel loved, accepted and that I had a place amongst the field of flowers.

I truly hope I make decisions daily to be the one who opens the circle and allows others in. Community is so important and helps us thrive and I hope this helps you to look around and see who around you needs to belong. Will you open the circle and invite someone to join you in your field of sunflowers?

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