Circles

j0439002 Everyone lives in a circle.  Their circle is their world.

Isabelle’s circle is her family.  Her preschool.  Her world.

Ellie the dog’s circle is her food.  Her toys.  Her treats.

There are these Circles around me. I find myself wandering around the outside edges, kicking the lines, trying to get out, while trying equally hard to be in the middle, a self-imposed tug-of-war that I am never quite comfortable with.

There’s the Granger Community Church Circle, the Christian blogging circle, the Mom Blogger circle, the Christian celebrity circle, the Blogger Celebrity circle, the Educated circle, the Missional circle, the Pastor’s Wife circle, and then the closer to home, Family, City, School circle, the Neighborhood circle…you get the idea.

Circles are fine.  Everyone has a circle. 

But what if your circle never touches another person’s circle?  What if you don’t even know anything about that person’s circle, or that it even exists?

I’m not saying that it’s all bad, but it’s definitely not all good.

I think understanding other people’s circles help us understand the place we hold in our own.

I think if we don’t understand other people’s circles, we start to honestly believe we are the center of our own, and that our circle is the only one that’s really important.

As I said, there is a never-ending tug-of-war inside of me about this, but I try to do stuff outside of my circle frequently to keep perspective.  I’ll be writing more about that later this week.

How about you?  What circle are you in?  What do you do to keep perspective?

11 thoughts on “Circles

  • February 15, 2010 at 9:22 am
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    Will be thinking about this one for sure but wanted to say this section made me stop in my tracks. You are a very eloquent writer and I love reading your blogs.
    “There are these Circles around me. I find myself wandering around the outside edges, kicking the lines, trying to get out, while trying equally hard to be in the middle, a self-imposed tug-of-war that I am never quite comfortable with.”

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  • February 15, 2010 at 10:07 am
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    What an amazing blog Michelle. Caused me to stop & think. I wonder sometimes if I spend TOO much time in “others” circles to avoid my own. Feeling that if I focus on what everyone else has going on around them, somehow I’ll find my way into my own circle. Working from the outside in…but I’m not sure that’s the way it should be. Hmmm…lots to think about for sure.
    -Kristin

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  • February 15, 2010 at 11:46 am
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    Thanks for your blog. As a pastor’s wife I have a circle with boundaries and often times don’t wander outside of my own circle to join with others. It is a difficult balance and one I feel I have to be selective about. Thank you for your perspecive. Definitely made me think.
    Laura

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  • February 15, 2010 at 4:09 pm
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    As a stay-at-home mom, sometimes my main circle feels tiny and suffocating. I frequently find myself looking for other people, and trying to make our circles overlap without seeming desperate. It’s easy to get jealous of my husband’s larger (and seemingly more interesting) work circle, but I know that these days will go by so quickly. I have to remind myself to find the joy in little moments.

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  • February 15, 2010 at 4:10 pm
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    Michelle,
    Thanks for getting this idea out there for people to chew on.. Many times we don’t think beyond our circles or perspective. I think it is helpful to try to imagine the perspective of the people that we come in contact with, or at a minimum to remember that they may see things differently. I suspect that most are prone to think (sometimes) that they are the center of the circle(s). Often it is hard to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes. Although I think it is necessary.
    Dan

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  • February 15, 2010 at 9:31 pm
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    You know, it’s funny that I’m reading this tonight because tomorrow I’m going to join a circle I am completely unfamiliar with–on purpose. I met a woman at a neighborhood Christmas party last December, and we got to talking about books and how we both love to read. She called me about three weeks ago to invite me to be a part of a book club that she’s starting. I don’t know this woman. I don’t know the other women who are going to be in it. But I feel God calling me to expand my circle, so I’m going. (I hated the first book we read, though. Could be a challenge!)

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  • February 16, 2010 at 12:29 pm
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    Great post Michelle. I have a tendency to avoid all things circle until I am pushed screaming and kicking in. And then I find out the experience wasn’t as bad as I thought. I guess some of us spend so much time thinking outside the box that we forget to step into the circle.

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  • February 20, 2010 at 12:35 pm
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    Yes, Dana, I know all about living w/someone who seems to have a much more exciting life than my day to day ordinary existance. 🙂 I have to remind myself of the canvas illustration quite frequently. 🙂

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