It’s back-to-school time. New beginnings. New schedules. New opportunities. New friends.

photo credit: usag.yongsan

Growing up I never moved…18 yrs in the same house.  In my first 5 years of marriage I moved to 4 different big cities. This Indiana girl who found comfort in her dislike of change, was struck head-on with a LOT of change. 

One of the hardest moves was to San Francisco.  Gorgeous city, but nothing like Indiana (the topography alone…). Even harder to move when you know absolutely NO ONE.  And have no job. And no commitments or responsibilities.

However, I found that no matter where we moved, we quickly found a church and got plugged in. By the miracle of the body of Christ we connected in deep ways with complete strangers. Even more miraculously I began to embrace change. I began to seek out new faces and introduce myself.

Fast forward 10 years…and now I have a heart for the “new girl”. Last spring I was at our local arboretum and I saw a sweet mom with her two young boys. I offered to take a picture of her with her boys (moms just are not in enough pictures with their kids!!). She and I started talking and I learned that she would be moving to Dallas in the fall.  We exchanged email addresses, became friends on Facebook and even did the #hellomorning challenge together  (www.inspiredtoaction).

This fall my oldest son will be starting Kindergarten at a small classical Christian school. I’m excited about the opportunity to meet a whole new group of moms. We had a playdate last week for all the new students. I kept finding myself going up to the mom who was standing by herself. Asking her about her kids. Where she lived. What church she attending. Making a mental note of her name.

Here is my challenge to you…meet 3 new people this school year. When you attend an event at church or at your children’s school, go out of your way to introduce yourself to someone new. If they are new to the area help them get connected. Can you invite them to a Bible Study you attend, your Sunday School class, a playgroup?

This is an exercise in humility. Serving others before yourself. You will be tempted to seek out comfort. Looking for a familiar face. But resist the comfort and embrace “the new girl”.

You may discover a rich, new friendship. You may learn something new. You may give her a reason to smile that day.

 I’ve been the new girl. I am the new girl. Thank you to all those who have welcomed me in the past and will in the future!