If you missed the first post on Raising Community Minded Children you can check it out here.
Now the title of this post might sound a bit redundant to you. But there was just no other way to say it. To raise your sweet babes to be "community minded" you have to actually BE in community. with people. which is hard.
I've written about this before, and I will freely admit that this is one of the most difficult things that I have had to wade through in my motherhood journey. My friendships are different now, they are harder, but because of this they are infinitely sweeter. I have to choose my friendships now, and I've found that I can't choose everyone. This isn't to say that I've booted friends from my life, but more so that friendships I would have pursued a deeper level in back in my single days, I have to be content to remain more casual. For a people pleasing girl who wants everyone to like her this isn't easy! I can't tell you how many times I've said 'but I just want to be friends with everyone' ... While this may have been possible in High School or even university, it's just not the case anymore.
I recently reqad a quote by Rick Warren that said "Casual friends are the result of circumstances, but close friends are the result of choices". He further encouraged that this is the way it should be. That this is truly healthy.
Adriel Booker writes in her post "Growing Friendships in the season of Mothering Littles" ;
"I still have many friendships that have remained from past chapters of my life – from my girlhood, my teenage years, and my wild, adventuring twenties. There is nothing like them and nothing that will replace them. They are some of my richest treasures. But the friends I have around me right here, right now – they are special too. They’ve been planted and watered through the season of late nights and early mornings and learning
how to be a grown-up with little people depending on me."
This is what I desire; friendships that are planted and watered through this season, friendships that are chosen. My husband and I have been so blessed to be in a community of friends (not all are parents, which is important too) who are for us. They pour into our lives and we pour into theirs. Hazel loves them and they feel comfortable to tell her 'no' or encourage her to share. I can't tell you what it means to be so comfortable with people that you feel home in their homes. You feel at ease in your best and worst moments.
Yes, it takes effort and time and vulnerability and intentionality. But the benefit not only for ourselves but for our children is immense!
Our children will grow together. They learn that we care for others, helping when they have needs, whether that be a meal shared, or dropped off after a new baby arrives, meeting together and praying for each other, or putting up drywall for one and fundraising for another's adoption. This is life and we are doing it together.
So let people in, build your community. Be intentional about a few friendships and trust them with your children, with your life, all of it.
What do you think? Is it important for our children to see us in community?