On Community

On Community

“For as in one body we have many parts, and all the parts do not have the same function,

so we, though many, are one body in Christ and individually parts of one another.” 

-Romans 12: 4-5

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I’m running about 15 minutes late, but I still slice through the onion with little rush. For a Type A, punctual person like myself, that’s not the norm. But, I know my people. The set meeting time of 7pm is hard deadline for some, and a soft deadline for others. I know Emily will pop in about 10 minutes early and offer to jump in and help prepare even though tonight is not her night to cook. And we all know not to wait on Callie, because she’s a soft deadline kind of girl. Rachel will pour herself a glass of red wine and entertain us all with some hilarious story or another. Chelsea and Elisabeth will sit quietly, always the introspective listeners. Ashley and I will be on the fringes, popping in and out of random conversations adding our two cents while we move about the room. Katherine will interject here and there with her quiet, sharp wit. This happens every single Wednesday. Like I said, I know my people. And in spite of our obvious differences, I need them. 

Dinner will start late, and for once in my life where I’m the hostess, I will be 100% ok with that. Because that is the flow we’ve developed. Over the year and half that we’ve met for fellowship and prayer, we’ve gathered around tables and kitchen islands. Bad (bad) dates were hashed out, marriages were dreamed about, engagements were screamed over, and work talk overwhelmed us. We have marveled at Pope Saint John Paul’s Theology of the Body and God’s design for our corporeal beings. We’ve fumbled our way through the communal rosaries we said in unison, gaining confidence in our faith with each decade. These girls are my sisters.

I was so blessed to be randomly matched with these women through our church’s community group program. We started off shaky—each one of us at different phases in our faith. But I consider the growth we have made together one of the greatest blessings from God. We have a sense of responsibility to each other and we are getting into that hard phase where we want to hold each other accountable. It takes guts (and love) to say to someone, “You really need to look at your heart and change this feeling.”  But we’re doing the hard things. The hard things matter. The hard things grow us. And more importantly, the hard things make us holy. And that is something I wouldn’t reach on my own. I need these girls. 

So, go find your people. It’s going to be weird and awkward at first. It always is. But we are meant to be in community and accountable to those around us. And the blessings that come with living in community don’t come without tough growth, lots of learning, and uncomfortable situations. You’ll make small talk and wonder what they secretly think about your home. You’ll obsess over the meal, making sure it’s not over-salted and that you picked the right wine for the dish. Eventually, your people walk in without knocking, joke around with your husband, help themselves to what’s in your messy fridge, and go pull a bottle of yummy red out of your pantry. And, my goodness, is that a good place to be in!

Jennifer Rendon-Williams is happily married and celebrating her honeymoon this week! She writes from Texas where she recently wrapped up a teaching career in anticipation of beginning to puruse a degree in library science. She is a homemaker, hospitality lover, proud Texan, small magic finder, navy stripes wearer and staunch Martha Stewart fanatic. You can follow her newlywed adventures (and catch a wedding picture or two) on Instagram at hersoutherncharm .


Jennifer’s Secret Meat Sauce



Ingredients:

  • (1/2) pound ground beef

  • (1/2) pound ground Italian sausage

  • 1 onion chopped

  • 1-2 stalks of celery stalks cut into small pieces (optional)

  • (3) cloves of minced garlic (I love garlic, so I use more.)

  • (1) 28oz can of crushed tomatoes

  • 1-2 teaspoons of salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh oregano

  • 1-2 tablespoons of sugar (depending on how acidic you like your tomato sauce)

  • 1 small can of tomato paste

  • Handful of fresh, chopped basil

  • Olive oil (optional)



Instructions:

  1. Combine both meats in a non-stick pan. Using a hard spatula, separate and cut meat until it’s uniform consistency. Drain. Set ground meat aside.

  2. In the same pan, add onion, celery, garlic, and a splash of olive oil and cook until tender. (about four minutes)

  3. In a larger pan, add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, cooked ground meats, cooked onions, celery, and garlic, salt, basil, and sugar.

  4. Reduce heat to a simmer and let it sit for anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour. The longer it gets to simmer, the better the flavors meld together. (It’s even better the next day for leftovers!)

  5. Pour over spaghetti noodles and top with freshly grated parmesan cheese and more basil.

Praying Together

Praying Together

Day One

Day One