Guest post by Lacey
One of the things motherhood has taught me–besides how much I love my daughter–is to value community. Yes, my baby girl is great, and I adore spending time with her, but time with other moms is incredibly important for the heart and soul. Too much time in isolation, and I find myself growing discouraged, impatient, and less likely to embrace the goodness I have been given.
Spending time with other women who are in the same spot in life provides encouragement and perspective. But, if you’re not careful, meeting up with someone else or a group can turn expensive quickly. It’s easy to say, “Meet me for lunch,” or, “Let’s get coffee,” and not think about how much money you’ll be spending.
So, here is a list of 20 things you can do with others for little or no money that still allow you to find the community that we all need:
1. Go to a park and enjoy a pretty day.
2. See if your city has a Science Spectrum. In the city where we just moved, a year long membership costs just $5 a month–and I can invite another adult woman for free, as long as our children are under age three.
3. Make your own coffee and invite someone over. If you want to make it extra special, try making some homemade syrups or your own lattes.
4. Rent a redbox movie and pop your own popcorn.
5. Walk around the neighborhood and enjoy a pretty day.
6. Do potluck lunch. Suppers are often hard to do (and that’s family time), but a potluck lunch with several friends could be a lot of fun!
7. Have a dessert buffet: everyone brings one snack or sweet to share! (This could be a lot of fun around Christmas time!)
8. Start a book club.
9. Have a baby sitting circle–one mom watches the other kids while the other moms shop or run errands.
10. Have a baking day and get caught up on all of your baking for the month.
11. Take a picnic.
12. Take a nature walk with all your children.
13. Walk the mall (and window shop!).
14. Visit a museum.
15. Hold a craft party, or any other “skill:” knitting, photography, etc.
16. Make brunch.
17. Have a weekly/monthly group where each member takes a turn teaching the others how to do something.
18. Start a blogging group.
19. Plan menus together.
20. Create an accountability group.
::It doesn’t matter what you do. The point is to build a community of people that helps you stay encouraged and in the proper perspective.
::In order for this to happen, the people with whom you are in community (yourself included) need to be real, vulnerable, and honest. This is the surest way to build solid community.
::As well, each person needs to be willing to be sensitive to the needs of others—listen at least as much as you talk (if not more). Keep your eyes out for new people to include–remembering that you were once where they were!
What are your best tips for finding and building community, without spending a lot of money?
Lacey lives in Lubbock, Texas with her husband, Kade, and sweet daughter, Selah, where they work at Redeemer Church. She regularly captures her musings on all things related to being wife, mommy, and recipient of grace at her blog. There’s usually a cup of coffee involved.