It’s funny. Lately, I’ve noticed on Facebook that you can “see your memories.” Posts that you’ve made a year, or eight years ago! I clicked on my memories this afternoon and found that I started this blog 5 years ago today. I wish I took the time to write more. I love to write and often times it’s therapeutic. I also have a little problem with perfectionism and details, so hitting “publish” on a post takes me a long time. The editing takes far longer than the writing. I want to make sure that what I’m saying is exactly what I want to say. I don’t want to inadvertently offend someone, yet at the same time I know not everyone will agree with me. Often times my thoughts change too, but I think the conversation is what I value most. I have so many drafts I’ve started that I never published. Sometimes I think they’re still important conversations. Maybe I’ll be brave enough to post them someday.
In honor of The Potter’s Hand’s five year anniversary, I thought I should write something… so I’m going to talk about my weekend experience of hosting my very first IF:table.
Here’s the backstory…
In February of 2015 I went to a women’s conference in Austin, TX called “IF”. On my own. No kids in tow. No one to manage but myself! I stayed in a condo with 4 other women that I had never met, from every corner of the United States, and it was awesome! The idea is this: “If God is real (and we know that He is…) then what does that mean for us? What are the implications in our lives?
IF exists to gather women, equip them to lead where ever they are (at home, at work, at church, etc.) and unleash them to live out their purpose. (I don’t know why, but I have *such* an issue with the verb “unleash” here. I get that it is an act of being free to live out your purpose, I suppose. But somehow it makes me feel like a wild animal being “UNLEASHED.” Images of jaws and fangs come to mind. Like y’all better LOOK OUT because I am being UNLEASHED! I don’t know, could “launch” be a better word? …but I digress…)
Gather, equip, “unleash”. That’s the deal with IF. And they do this in many ways.
I’m going out of order here, but they equip women by posting daily (very short) studies. Read the bible passages, watch the short clip and journal if you have the time. If you’re pinched for time, the minimum amount you’d need is 5 minutes (the journaling/reflection will take a bit longer).
Women are gathered at these large events such as the one I went to in Austin. Women are also gathered around small tables in our local communities called IF:tables. The premise is this:
6 women. 4 questions. 2 hours.
Quite often it’s in someone’s home, but I hosted my first IF:table at my own church. IF:tables meet across the country and all over the world on the second Sunday of each month. But truth be told, you can host one any ol’ time you like. I just love the idea of women meeting together at the same time each month. That’s a lot of ladies talkin’ about God. And I’m convinced He will do something with that.
The host prepares a meal or you can choose to make it a potluck. (Or you can order Chinese food, or you could meet for coffee. You can eat off of your fancy plates, or you can serve it on paper plates like I did… anything goes! You get the idea.)
This isn’t a bible study. It is an honest conversation about who God is and where you see Him working in your life. And the best part is, everyone is welcome to the table, no matter where you are in your walk – believers. seekers. doubters.
Just so you have an idea, here were this month’s questions (provided by IF:table). They were catalysts for discussion and wisdom-sharing.
In looking at your past, what experiences have influenced what you believe about God?
What and/or who are the greatest influences in your life right now?
What is something that you are learning right now?
Is there an area of your life where you desire to see healthy change or growth?
So my current goal is this. To reach all of the women in my church. I want to get to know these women more. And I’m letting God form these groups as we meet monthly. The second goal would be to have If:tables gathering outside our church; watching leaders rise up from our humble beginnings (I guess that’s the
unleashed “LAUNCHED” part!) Or perhaps we’ll have several tables meeting at our church?
We’ll see where God takes it…
Thank you for hosting the first IF gathering. It was wonderfully rich in friendship and encouragement.
I agree! So glad you and your sister were able to come. So much wisdom and encouragement around that table. :)