Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Art of Community: The Village

I read a blog the other day. It talked about longing for the "village" of older days. The days when people lived fairly close to one another on larger properties and the kids played outside in the field together and women took care of each others children and baked bread together etc.

Life looks different these days. There is no changing that, and in all honesty, it wouldn't be wise to try and do so. Things that were safe back in "the day" just aren't anymore, and that includes in other countries, not just in the U.S.

So, while yes so much of the concept of a "village" has changed, that doesn't mean it can't or doesn't exist. It just looks different. We just need to be more intentional about how it works and make it happen. We also can't wait for the village to come to us. We have to make it happen if we want it.

My village looks like bringing a friend her favorite coffee on a day that I know has been tough. It looks like watching her kids so that she and her husband can go on a date without paying a babysitter. It looks like her watching our kids and dog so we can do the same. It looks like texting, calling or emailing just to check in and for no other reason. It looks like prayer requests sent via the internet knowing they will pray right then and there. It looks like my Mom watching the twins twice a week so I can take Jack to swimming lessons. It looks like meals brought over for two months after recovering from a c-section and it looks like baskets of vegetables brought over just because she knows we like them.
It looks like "can I pick anything up from Costco for you?" and it looks like "can I take your daughter out for coffee and a bagel just for fun?"

It looks like dropping everything to come over and watch my kids so I can take one to the ER. It looks like crazy long days with all of our kids together just so we aren't alone.

It looks like no-makeup in runs and long talks outside after un-planned dinners and it looks like dreaming and praying.

It looks like friends that become family and watch your kids for a weekend so you can go and run 13+ miles and knowing you will watch their kids in return.

It looks like people asking to have my kids over because they love them and it looks like people taking the poopy diapers from porch and dropping them in the trash before they leave.

This isn't 1950- it's 2014 and we can still have a village...it's just not going to look like baking bread side by side all of the time. Sometimes it will, but instead of longing for what's no longer the norm...let's make the village better than it ever was.