Friday, March 11, 2016

My first IF: Table

What is If:Table?

A place to gather women and share a simple meal and dive deep with people over real stories and Christ centered conversations. A time for a whole lot of laughter – and maybe a few tears – but time spent that leaves us with glad hearts. Full hearts. Grateful hearts.
The vision is
6 women
4 questions
2 hours
(Acts 2:46)
I heard about IF: Table when I attended a local IF: Gathering in February. It was such and emotional event for me and I am still trying to wrap my head around all that I given. I was inspired to continue my faith journey and reached out to a neighborhood friend, Tiffany. It was something she has been wanting to do ever since she attended a Gathering last year. Rather than invite those we knew in the neighborhood and who we were comfortable being around, we decided to post it in our neighborhood group and see who God called to us. What a wonderful surprise when we saw so many women interested in attending. 
We made it a potluck and asked others to bring a dish or items to share: Appetizer/Starter, Main, Side, Bread, Dessert, Drink. I wish I had taken a picture of Tiffany's beautiful table scape and of the group of beautiful ladies who attended. It's such a neat feeling to be able to meet someone for the first time and be able to chat like you have known them for years. The conversations definitely changed tone once we started asking the questions posted for March with the theme centered around loneliness. Be prepared to answer some tough questions. 

What did I learn from If: Table?
{Plan your IF: Table} I would highly recommend planning or attending an IF: Table to any women embarking on a spiritual journey, whether you are just starting out or have been on the path for some time. Even if you have not started the journey, this is still an event for you.
{Venture out of your usual circle of friends} Once we leave school, it becomes harder to meet and make lasting friendships. You also grow as an individual and the friends you had in grade school, high school and college may not grow along with you. 
{Keep it simple} There is no need to go all out for this event. Use paper plates and cups. Buy pre-made dishes if you don't have time to make something. Dress in your comfiest leggings. Don't stress about the condition of your home. Not everyone lives in a model home.
{Stay on Course} Once you start opening up, it is easy to want to continue talking about your answers. Be sure to allow the other women an opportunity to discuss their answers to the questions. If you feel a connection to other women, schedule time for a one-on-one meet up.
{Don't judge a book by its cover} We prejudge and form opinions about others that might prevent us from seeking new friendships. It's easy to find surface friends; you meet someone, you talk about topics you may have in common, hobbies, kids, movies, etc.  You might think, "Wow, we have so much in common, she likes blue M&Ms, I like blue M&Ms, I can see us being bosom buddies" or maybe "Good Golly, this chick is bonkers with her crocheting cat sweaters!" But in order to find deep, friendships, you have to dig deeper. Look past the surface. You may find that lifelong friend who will come over with a bag of blue M&Ms and some yarn and you can both crochet cat sweaters.
{Be open and communicate} The questions can be difficult to process and answer. If you are going through some tough times, there will be some tearful talks. Be prepared with tissue and hugs. 
{It's cathartic} As much as you may not want to divulge personal information, especially to strangers, it is amazing freeing to be able to talk about the issues that are troubling you. You will be surprised how many others are walking the same path and dealing with similar hardships. This is one event you want to make sure is a no technology zone. 
If you are interested in starting your own If: Table, you can find all the info and download the questions on the If: Table pagePinterest has so many ideas you can use to make it as simple or as elaborate as you want. You can also follow my board, Anchored in Faith.