It takes a village – raising kids (yourself too) in community.

 It takes a village. Truly I can’t tell you how many people we come into contact with every day. And we need every single one of them to raise our boys. Whether it be for actual physical needs; for the contributions they can make into who my boys are becoming; or as voices and a presence in our lives as parents, partners, individuals and followers of Jesus. Each member of our community is absolutely essential.

Last week my son Camper was sick. My dad watched Cashel, my eldest, while I took the baby to his one-month checkup and had Camper checked out for the flu. My mom ran to the store to get all the necessary items that the doctor wanted us to purchase to keep him healthy.  The next day I found myself leading our moms group and needing to be there because I’m the facilitator. And Camp is sick… What to do? Call my dad. He comes to the library, where we meet, to pick him up and watches him at their house so that he doesn’t contaminate the other kids.

Not to mention all the ways my husband fills in for me when I’m attending to a sick kiddo or nursing a new baby.

These experiences grab my attention, and make my limitations more evident. I can’t deny I need our village when I just simply can’t do it myself. And the physical example is so helpful in showing me how I need our village. It shows me my needs in more ways then just these literal physical limitations, it also helps me realize my parenting limitations, my personal shortcomings, and when life just happens and things are out of my control. It also shows me clearly just how much I need Jesus and want what HE has for me.  I am not enough, but Jesus is. And thankfully here on earth He gave us this village.

You see, these people fill-in when limitations prevent me from physically meeting the needs of my kids… or at least doing it well. But who they are also does that. Where I am inpatient one of them is patient. Where I am bossy one of them is gentle. When I talk too much one of them is there to listen. Maybe when I am not patient my kids will become patient because they saw it in them. Maybe when I am not organized they will be organized because a friend or family member shows them how to be. Maybe when I am grace-less, one of these village members will be gracious. When I am rigid and harsh they will be shown flexibility and understanding. And as those in our village demonstrate and ARE these beautiful things to my children they are them to me as well. They are the hands and feet of Jesus in my life. You see it truly takes a village.

I am who I am because of a village. A village who teaches and enables me. A village who loves and cares for me.

Thank you village.

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