I have always wanted to be a part of a book club or bible study but have never had the guts to seek one out or start one of my own. I have always been worried that others have such meaningful things to say and that my thoughts wouldn’t be anything of value to the group. This may be because of an experience I had while volunteering in Benin, Africa several years ago.
One Sunday, I was invited by a young family to join in their weekly home church and jumped at the opportunity to meet other English-speaking people who were also in Benin to serve the Lord. The church group was comprised of 5 married couples and two other young volunteers like myself. The other volunteers had been attending their Sunday worship for weeks, if not months, and were very comfortable sharing what they were thinking and how they were feeling.
We opened our Bibles and began reading from 1 Samuel. The verse that caught my attention was 1 Samuel 16:7 which says, “…The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” I remember thinking that I needed to look into the hearts of the people I would meet during my time in Benin. This verse was a reminder to see past the exterior and really get to know what mattered most to the people I would be spending so much time with over the 2 months that followed. There were so many thoughts going through my head but by the time the church group looked to me for my response, I said nothing. I was intimidated by the responses that had already been shared and felt that anything I had to say would be worthless to them.
I am reminded of how I felt that day every time I consider getting involved in a book club or Bible study. Luckily, I recently found a way to ease myself into a book club. The Bloom Book Club was started by 2 women that I admire and whose blogs I have followed for quite some time now. They are now on their 3rd book and I am thrilled to be actively joining a group of thousands of women (and some men, I’m sure) as we dig deeper into Paula Rinehart’s, Strong Women, Soft Hearts: A Women’s Guide to Cultivating a Wise Heart and a Passionate Life. Notice the connection between 1 Samuel 16:7 and the title of this book? A coincidence? I think not.
The book club starts in just under a week and I can’t wait to dive into this book. Hop on over to the Bloom site if you want to learn more about how you can get involved and if you are already a part of the club, I’d love to hear from you.