If you were given a window into our lives, you would immediately call for a comfy chair, popcorn, and a polar pop. Why? Because, it's crazy in here, y'all! We're running and gunning with our careers, attempting to raise a couple of amazing human beings, all the while spinning dishes, standing on one foot, rubbing our bellies, while patting our heads. Throw in words like fitness, balance of life, and quality time, and you might hear some serious screaming at the rain. Sound familiar? Do you live in your own crazy village? I'm sure you do. I pray you do.
"It takes a village to raise a child." African Proverb
Jen Hatmaker refers to people who come along side you and pour into your kids as bonus moms and dads. When I heard that phrasing, I immediately nodded my head in full understanding and agreement.
Our tropical snow globe consists of a motley crew of folks from varying backgrounds whom God has woven together into an enchanted quilt called family. The stitching and design of each square is unique, colorful, and perfectly placed. Whether we're talking moms, dads, singles, marrieds without children, senior adults, people younger than us, older than us; it simply doesn't matter. Whether we're talking blood relatives or friends who are family; it is completely beside the point.
We are not threatened by those who can bring depth and light and wisdom to our kids in ways we cannot. Do these people sometimes reiterate what we've already shouted from the rooftop? Yep. Will we initially bang our heads against a wall because our babies wouldn't listen to us, yet did listen to someone else? Maybe. But, step away from the ledge. What else is new on the third rock from the sun? No thing. We did it to our parents, and our grandchildren will do it to their parents. Bless them. It is the way of the world and that is okay. More than okay. For the love of all that is good and holy, if someone can penetrate the teenage brain and speak truth, praise Jesus, right?
Will we always be their mom and dad? Oh yeah. After all, we were there for the oh-so-fun beginning (wink), the topsy-turvy pregnancies, the post-partum aftermath, and the Oh my word, I don't know if I can survive the infant thru pre-school years. We will forever claim our son and daughter as our own. Besides, our genetic mini-me look-a-likes make them impossible to deny.
No, Jeromy and I are ever so grateful for:
-The mom whose shoulder our sweet girl can cry on and receive unending grace and sympathy
-The other mom who will provide Godly counsel and wisdom no matter the time or place
-The former teacher who will speak truth into their lives
-The principal who texts encouraging words and bible verses
-The young professional who shoots straight
-The youth pastor and his wife who dive deep, but also text and ask for yogurt dates and spur of the moment flag football outings
-The small group leader who shows up to cheer them on during their games
-The forever friend who texts from another state just to talk football
-The twenty-one year old who holds my girl accountable
-The countless adopted aunts, uncles, grandmothers, grandfathers, moms and dads who LOVE our kids like their own
-And the countless other examples I simply do not have time to list...seriously, blessed is an understatement
Here's the beautiful thing! When you are part of this patchwork madness, you gain extra kiddos of your own. You get calls from the twenty-one-year-old-the one who you held on her actual birth day-asking for advice. You get a text from a seventeen-year-old junior in high school at 7:15am stating she loves you and is praying for you. You get to walk into your daughter's bedroom while she is Face Timing her BFF and smile as you hear, "Love you, Mama A!" You get hugs and laughter and trust and mentorship and oh my goodness, life-breathing energy knowing you are simultaneously pouring out and being poured into!
It's breathtaking and humbling and exhilarating!
So, to the members of our crazy village:
We love and adore you. Our gratefulness goes beyond words!
If you are reading this and don't have a village, can I encourage you for a moment? Go find one. Plug into a group of people who are life-breathers, not life-suckers and do these seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years together. God created us for community. Plug in and get going. You need them and you know what? They need you, too.
Moving with Scribbles,
Amanda Williams is a forty-year old wife and mother of two who can still swing her pony tail and display just a tad of sass. She is also a Jesus loving girl who realizes she is nothing without the One who saved her. Amanda has two degrees specializing in serving students with special needs and is currently working in the field of Leadership Development. She is a Christian author, speaker, blogger, and publisher who loves serving beside her husband at her local place of worship, First Baptist Church of Ocala.