Over the past two and half years I have learned a lot about what it means to be a mother and a wife. The most important lesson that I’ve learned about myself from this time is the importance of community in my life. Although the beginning stages of your child’s life are so rewarding and miraculous there comes a time where you begin to crave adult interaction. I am a firm believer in the phrase that, “It takes a village (or community) to raise a child.” There are so many things that I can learn as a mother and my daughter can learn from the people that God has strategically placed in our lives.
I’ve been so blessed in my own walk to have people come alongside me and join me in this journey of life. I’m so grateful for each and every person that God has used to foster and build up this beautiful state of community that I live in. I have godly friends that serve not only as spiritual leaders for myself, but also as encouragement for my family. I also have a church that is positive and uplifting.
My family belongs to a small group from our church that meets on a weekly basis to discuss life, struggles, and sermons from the pastor. I find this group particularly encouraging because we were led to join a group where we were the youngest couple. It is so awesome to have the resources of mothers who have children older than my own to seek wisdom from. These moms get what it’s like to be in my shoes and they have survived. I look forward to meeting with these families every week and they are so special to my family. This is a goofy picture of some of our small group packing candy for a Trick-or-Treat outreach we did this fall. I’m not quite sure why the men decided to make silly faces…maybe too much candy.
I’ve also met one of my dearest friends through this church group. One week as a prayer request I mentioned needing a new sitter for my daughter as my sister who was the previous sitter was moving. If you’re a working mom you know how scary this can be. I was really fearful of the idea of not knowing who I was going to end up entrusting my daughter’s care to, but this friend of mine stepped up and I just felt so at peace at her offering to watch my daughter. That has been such a huge blessing and confirmation to me that we are where we are supposed to be as a family in this group. My daughter loves her new sitter and she is such a good friend on so many levels. (More on her in another post to come)
God has also blessed me with a friend that I work with who has been there for me through so much over my past four years of employment. We’ve been friends through so many of life’s big stages and milestones and I feel that our faith has kept us close even when our lives are busy and insane. We’ve continued to make our friendship a priority even when we both are stretched super thin. We share many values, but are both uniquely different in our personalities. I love it. This picture is of my good friend watching the fireworks with my daughter last Fourth of July.
Community has also been built with family. My husband’s family lives in England while we reside in Ohio, but Skype has been amazing at keeping us close and updated on the happenings overseas. I’m so pleased that our daughter regularly talks about her English grandparents and carries memories of the few times she was able to see them. We venture that way every summer, but for my two year-old to vividly recall memories of them the way she does I know that means they have had such a pivotal role in her life and they mean so much to her already. This picture is from July 2014 when my husband’s family came for a visit.
My own family lives near us in Ohio. My family does a lot to help us out and we have made a point to do Sunday Dinners with my mom, dad, and sisters. This is so important because as we each grow and live our busy lives we are able to reconnect on those Sunday evenings and our kids are able to have that weekly time to bond and play together. This is a picture from my sister’s wedding in June 2014.
So my community is….
I felt the need to shout out to those that God has put in my life today. Thank you all for being there for me and my family. Although it is my responsibility to care for and raise my child I know that I can’t do it alone. All of you have taught me and my family so much through your guidance, love, and faithfulness. Thanks for being my COMMUNITY…or village 🙂