You’ve heard it before.
“It takes a village to raise a child.”
The Church calls it being in “Community.”
My friend, Leah, calls it her “People”…
You know the ones; the people who show up for you. The ones you laugh with, hang out with, and share food with. The people you see every day, or every week, or maybe only every so often, but regardless, you know they are there if you need them, and you would drop everything for them as well.
It’s my friends bringing me sleeping bags and air mattresses at 10:00pm the night before we leave on a family trip because all of ours have magically disappeared. Of course.
It’s another friend not only recognizing that schooling two energetic boys at the same time can often be counter-productive, but then offering to take one of them to her house for the day.
It’s my precious friend offering me the leftover food from her own surprise birthday party just to save me a few hours in the kitchen.
Or my other sweet friend who picks up my boys for a few hours when my husband is out of town, just because she knows I desperately need a few minutes to myself. (Even if it’s only to shop at Wal-Mart without my parade tagging along behind me!)
That same friend drops her kids off at my house, only to end up with our oldest daughter jumping in her car. She not only offers to take her grocery shopping with her, but uses the time to listen to her share- about life and faith and boys- and then pours godly wisdom from her mama heart straight into the thirsting soul of my girl. (I love you, you know that right??)
It’s that encouraging text when you need it the most, that smile and hug when you walk in the room, the belly laugh over something silly, and the tearfully whispered prayer with hands clasped tightly when the walls are crumbling around you.
I could go on.
I am so thankful for my “People…”
Because I haven’t always had them.
I can remember several different seasons of life when I made an effort to BE that kind of person for others simply because it helped me not dwell on the fact that I had no one to be that person for me. At one point, I remember wondering what would happen if something happened to me or Jeff. Would anyone even show up? Who would bring dinners or pick up our kids?
I couldn’t name anyone for certain.
That was a hard season.
And yet, the Lord has ALWAYS been faithful to provide what we needed when we needed it. By giving us opportunities to reach out to others, He was also laying the groundwork for people who would, in turn, be there for us. And those lonely years planted seeds of gratitude that burst forth in thankfulness every time someone “shows up” for me. I do not take it for granted. I do not expect these acts of kindness, this unselfish thoughtfulness from my friends! I am astounded by it, melted by it, overcome each time it happens.
And I give thanks to the Lord, from whom all blessings flow, for my village.
“We love because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19