Community Is Why I Write

I must have been born with an invisible handicap when it comes to this elusive thing called community.

First, I was born into a family with two much-older brothers. I never had a sister or a sibling close in age. Growing up, I was used to playing alone.

Second, my inborn temperament is of a quieter nature. I like to listen, especially when I’m in a group. Too much talking makes me tired.

Obviously, I’m an introvert. I “recharge” by spending time alone. Reading. Writing. Whatever. Sustained quiet time is nourishment to my soul.

In my experience, I’ve learned what they say is true . . .

Introverts don’t feel lonely when they’re alone.
Introverts feel lonely when they’re with other people.

It’s weird being an introvert because, on the one hand, I’m rather content spending time alone. Just me and God. Or just me and my books. Or just me and my pen.

Between the Bible, other good books, and blank pages to write on, who could ever be bored or lonely?

On the other hand, God made us relational beings. We need connection.

I guess the answer lies in this simple truth . . .

I don’t need lots of connection, but I do need a few, deep, meaningful connections. I need friendship, like anybody else. I need community.

For some, though, friendships seem to come easily. My daughter is the quintessential extrovert. Simone is 17 years old, and she has about a thousand friends; whereas, I’ve been alive almost four decades, and I barely know 300 people. (I know this because I’m “Facebook friends” with just about everyone I’ve ever known.)

My sweet daughter can talk non-stop for hours too. (Sometimes I wonder how she sneaks in breaths between her words. It must be a talent.)

Simone teaches me every day how God made us all unique, or in my case, uniquely challenged.

But even though I’m community-challenged, I will continue to reach out. It’s why I write. Sometimes I find it easier to share my heart through written words than spoken ones. It’s through words that we connect hearts and build futures, in community.

And I think now would be the perfect time to say, “thank you,” to all of you. Your kind words always brighten my day. Your encouragement helps draw me out of my shell, a little more each week.

Blessings to you, dear friends. What a joy it is to journey along this road of words together.

How do you recharge when you’re feeling tired? With friends? Or with quiet time?

Today, I’m joining Lisa-Jo, taking 5 minutes to write about “community.”

Writing this post: 5 minutes
Uploading photo and links: 8 minutes
Spending Fridays with you: Priceless

20 thoughts on “Community Is Why I Write

  1. I am going to comment about your post writing time. So many times I neglect my writing because I believe I don’t have enough time. Then… nothing gets written. 5 minutes? Are you serious? I was re-reading portions of Anne Lamott’s “Bird by Bird” and she suggests we write about what we can see through a 1″ square window then stop. Thank you, for I am encouraged to get on with it. Time it took to write this comment: 1 minute. Lesson learned: priceless.

  2. Thanks for sharing your ‘5 Minute Friday’ thoughts. I’m another introvert. After sharing in my hubby’s pastoral ministry for 40 years I’ve learned to adapt to relationships and community, but I do crave alone time. I recharge best while sitting on the rocks by the ocean, letting the sound of the waves wash away any stress. Now that we’re retired and living rurally, I also enjoy the solitude of our woodlands and watching the birds.

  3. I am an extrovert but I also cherish my alone times: ;more and more as I grow older. I definitely recharge by being alone.
    And..btw…i love being with you at table time 🙂

  4. When I was younger, I was a total extrovert, always wanting to be around people. I was the life of the party. As I’ve gotten older, I am finding I desire my alone time more often than not. I still love being around people, but I have to be in the right mood. Mid-life stinks some times.

    PS – sorry I haven’t commented here too often lately. I am having trouble commenting using my WP account. Something about a lost password. Perhaps it’s because I have three WP accounts. Anyways, commenting with Facebook now! I am still here!

  5. Moving post. Very open.

    I used to recharge being around people. I can still do that, but now, I really like sitting at home and reading or writing. Of course, I’m wriring this just after being at a retirement party for a somebody. Plenty of social interaction. But, now I’m writing. We definitely were made for community, and this is can be a good way to find it. Good post.

  6. My honest answer would be I don’t know! I LOVE my time quietly alone to read, write, walk and ponder and I’m happy in my own company. I often need a little push – either by myself or others – to join “the party.” But oh – how I love it and feel fulfilled after spending time in community and fellowship with others. I think I need a bit of both 😉
    One thing you wrote that really struck a chord with me however was this, “Sometimes I find it easier to share my heart through written words than spoken ones” Whether it is a word to share or just written for myself, I often find it easier to write of things of the heart written rather than spoken. Thank you as ever for your insightful post.

  7. I echo your words… I would call myself introvert also. I do have a heart to encourage others however, despite being introvert.

    Thank you for being brave and honest as I would have been afraid to admit the aforementioned apart from present company. I have been hurt so many times during my life by hard-hearted and cold people that I tend to stick to one or two close friends and am content and grateful for such.

    I love to be alone with my books and my blogging with and for the Lord, and so in answer to your question: “How do you recharge when you’re feeling tired? With friends? Or with quiet time?” It would be quiet time for me.

  8. Denise, you described me! Especially the lonely part. In fact that’s what I was thinking a moment before I read your words. What a blessing it is to have “met” you online! How sweet it would be if we could someday meet in person. 🙂
    Blessings Friend,

  9. Thank you for building community with your words, Denise…Yes, we are each wonderfully unique in how we experience community.
    I am probably more of an introvert because I recharge best by spending time with God but I also enjoy my friends, but I am much more of a small group or one-on-one person than a big party person. Hmm, I am still not on FB…how is Twitter coming along for you? I am still bumbling around. Blessings to you 🙂

  10. Oh, I am with you. An introvert through and through. I can socialize with the best of them, though…as long as it is only an hour or two 😉
    And I would much rather express myself in words than in voice. which is what makes this community such a blessing!
    So blessed to be a part of your community, Denise!
    Enjoy your weekend
    All for Him,

  11. This is beautiful! So we’re 5 Minute Friday friends today! I’m much like your daughter and it does my heart good to understand my friends that aren’t. ; )

  12. This is fantastic, Denise… I am definitely an extrovert, but I think as I continue to mature, my introverted side is becoming more and more defined… I LOVE my quiet time and am very challenged to reach out into our community. I used to be all about quantity– but now am shifting to quality– especially now that I am part of a military community. Thank you for your great words… And here’s to awesome blogging communities! Blessings to you friend!

  13. Its funny…the older I get I feel I am changing…or maybe really just becoming more comfortable in my skin…I used to think I was ver extroverted…now I I think I am both…not full on either one…community is like the body…it comes in all shapes and sizes…what is community for one may not be community for another…there is room for all…blessings to you~

  14. love this, denise! you and i are kindred spirits, with daughters that are much the same, too 🙂 my friends often wonder why i don’t have energy for them–ummm, let me count the ways: oh, yeah, four kids that talk all. day. long! by the time hubby gets home, it’s all i can do to mumble something coherent and not run for my bed and lock the door against the “noisy” world of my home. i do love my life, but i’ve got to have some quiet in there to recharge. my kids know when my “gas” is running low, and they’ll often send me to another room to re-fuel. it’s become a bit of a joke.
    anyway, obviously i related to too much in your post! and i’m right there with in you in extending myself more and more into “community.” finding ways to do that while still staying sane. even Jesus had to retreat at times, though, right? so i think He understands and wishes a balance for all of us in our own lives.
    okay, i’m done “talking.” mornings are my most talkative time of day, obviously.
    have a blessed weekend!

  15. “But even though I’m community-challenged, I will continue to reach out. It’s why I write. Sometimes I find it easier to share my heart through written words than spoken ones. It’s through words that we connect hearts and build futures, in community.”

    appreciated those words… i write for the same reasons, and ’cause i think best with my fingers.

    i’ve got three extroverted kiddos… they tire me out just listening to them, but i’m so thankful for how God teaches me through them and their gregarious, outgoing, delightful selves!


  16. Probably won’t surprise you as the blogging community is full of introverts who are awed by their extrovert daughters, still it comforts me to read about someone who is so similar to me. Thank you for sharing.

  17. I’m an extrovert for sure. But I DO need some quiet space alone. I didn’t used to, but I htink having four children and being always on the go leaves me craving some quiet more than I used to. This was a lovely peek into your world, friend 😉 Bless your heart. Thank you for sharing this.

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