I have had the pleasure of knowing Sarah Peasall McGuffey almost her entire life, and have had the privilege to watch her grow into the beautiful, talented young woman she is today.  She is a testament to her parents and to her Lord, and I am so excited to have her on the blog today!

My long-time friend, Beth, has asked me to write a guest blog on her site. Because I look up to Beth in many ways, I was quite honored that she would pick me as a guest writer for her own personal blog. However, when she told me the topic, my heart sank. Community? I don’t like community. I don’t even know what that means! My husband and I are the most un-communal folks. We don’t enjoy going out with people. We’d rather sit at home and just talk to each other and watch birds eat from our bird feeder. We like to spend time with family, and occasionally some close friends, but we’re just not the ‘let’s go on vacation together’ crowd. Isn’t that what community is all about? Being enmeshed in multiple people groups’ lives? Spending every waking moment with lots of people? Sounds like a bad case of claustrophobia heading my way.

So, as any good writer would – I procrastinated. I thought, “I know… I’ll put it off! Maybe something will come to me and if not, I’ll just make up something.”

Thankfully, something interesting happened. I took my two youngest sisters to their Summer Ballet Camp a few days ago. What I witnessed there was absolutely astounding. I saw several types of “community” among the females of the Ballet school. From my standing-room-only spot in the corner of the waiting room, I noticed several different aspects of community from several different people groups.

At first I was deeply annoyed with what I saw. I was so miffed that I decided to write a blog on my own site called: “Excuse Me, Your Yarn-Ball Took My Seat (and Other Self-Absorbed Dance Mom Issues).” Then I considered writing one called: “What To Do When Your Daughter’s Feet Have Become More Important To You Than Your Daughter.” But that seemed a little too personal – not to mention, tacky.

But as the afternoon wore on, I noticed something quite phenomenal. As the little ballerinas were released from camp they trickled into the waiting room to find their own Mothers, pack up their designer, organic things and head home. It wouldn’t have been interesting except I saw something I’m pretty sure no one else saw…

Every little girl who walked down the hallway had a smile of pure joy on her face, until she reached the waiting room. Then the smile faded to a look of slight terror, and an insane amount of self-consciousness. Each girl then assessed the entire room of waiting parents and grandparents. One girl in particular scanned each adult’s face – searching for what? I obviously can’t know for sure, but I believe that she was judging her response to others by the response others were giving her.

I saw her get “shut down” by her own Mother who was so busy ignoring other Moms that she didn’t even ask her daughter if she had enjoyed her day. Then, in turn, I saw the young girl shut down another dancer, who just moments before had been her best dance camp buddy.

That’s when I realized two things:
1. Community is all around us – whether or not we think we “like” it.
2. Not only is community affecting us, we are affecting it.

Jesus was such a beloved figure by those who knew him intimately. But, he also was admired by strangers. People knew there was something special about him even if they hadn’t had dinner together for 30 years. As Christians, we need to be aware of the role we are playing in our communities. Let’s make sure we are affecting them in a positive way! People who are associated with us – whether it’s another Dance Mom, or the lady in the check out line at Kroger, or your best friend that power walks with you on Tuesday mornings – will be affected by us. It isn’t always in a major way, but regardless of the size of impact, let’s strive to let it be a positive one! You never know who might be watching!

In closing – There is a possibility that this Pastor’s daughter who has been a ministry leader for most of her life has a misconstrued view of what “community” actually is. The fact that my first thought was “Oh no!” could be a window into an issue that is deeper than I’d like to go in this particular blog. Having said that, I am truly excited to read the rest of Beth’s summer series in hopes that someone else will help me understand that community is more than living in some kind of hippie commune. Here’s to having open minds and open hearts!

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I am thrilled to be a guest writer for Beth’s blog! It truly is an honor to me. Chris and Beth have been two wonderful influences in my life for many years. I got to know them when they came to minister on staff at our home church in White House, TN. I’ve always been so impressed with their knowledge of God’s Word and their sweet and precious spirits!

Here’s a little bit about me, so I don’t feel like a total stranger:

My 26 years of life may seem short to some, but I promise you, they have been quite full! Most of my “growing up” years, I was a lead singer in a family bluegrass band called, The Peasall Sisters. I had the amazing opportunity to travel the country with my family, performing for all kinds of interesting people. One of those interesting people became my husband 5 years ago. He’s my favorite. We live North of Nashville, TN and have two dogs – Moose and Rugby.

When our touring days came to a close, due to college, weddings, life, etc… I switched my focus to writing. I’ve been blogging since January 2011. I’m also a songwriter and as of this year – a Bible study writer. If you are interested in finding out more about me, please visit my main blog, “Makin’ It Work” (http://www.sarahpeasallmcguffey.blog.com) and if you are a woman interested in a new Bible study on the restoration of your soul, check out “The Daughters of Zion.” (http://www.thedaughtersofzion.wordpress.com)

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