Gratitude Friday: Community Builders…

Gratitude Friday

Well, my baby, Skillet, turned five yesterday. Officially, he turned five ten days ago but we played the parent card and opted to keep that a secret.

I don’t know if you’ve ever met a five-year-old little boy but when it’s his birthday, he expects some sort of celebration and presents.

Presents. There must be presents.

Well, the grandparents’ arrival, complete with said presents, and the planned celebration was not scheduled until yesterday. Thus, his birthday was yesterday. And not on his actual day of birth.

Summer seems to be taking a toll on Skillet too. I’m not the only feeling like my tired is tired. We stayed out late with friends two nights in a row last weekend and he’s yet to catch up on his sleep.

Over-tired five-year-old bares a striking resemblance to over-tired four-year-old.

So between my over-tired and Skillet’s over-tired, we have just had THE BEST week.

Sigh.

Thankfully, we did spend quality time with a few of our favorite people. A dear friend with kids just exactly the same age and our parents, whom I genuinely adore. We did my favorite thing…sit and talk. My daughter does not understand why adults like to simply sit and talk instead of playing. For some reason, explaining to her talking IS playing for us seems to be slightly outside of her grasp.

But we do love it.

Specifically, women love it.

(Insert every stereotype about women talking here.)

(Now insert every stereotype of SOUTHERN women talking here.)

Here’s what I keep thinking: women need women.

Even though I rolled up into my friend’s house barely hanging on to my sanity, I left feeling revived by the conversation, encouraged by the insight, and grateful for the time invested for almost ten years in that friendship. Having my mom and mother-in-law here equally fills me up. Considering my son was an absolute PEST all week, having additional mothers by my side to AGREE with my diagnosis of his “pestyness”¬†and help keep him occupied has offered me the ability to maintain some level of ABLE TO FUNCTION.

Plus, Mom sets her alarm to get up in the morning with the children so Dr. and I can sleep in. And listen, 7:37 am is almost like a vacation.

Women in community build nests together.

No one gets left behind. Some help with the mothering, some with the decoration, some cook, some clean, some catch the kids before they run out into the street, some pray over them fervently. These women are piano teachers, swim instructors, craft-makers, soundboards, truth-speakers, discipline-directors.

And if you think you don’t have anything to offer other women, YOU ARE WRONG.

You are enough just as you are and women need you. Sometimes, we might not believe that and our crazy busy lives contribute to that feeling. Not to mention social media tells us people are already filled up with people when really, that’s likely never true. Even if they have enough people, they might be missing the people they need to help them build their nests.

You might be the exact builder someone needs.

But finding your women to built alongside comes with a cost.

Building community, friendships, a tribe, that all comes with sacrifice. Time, energy, resources, and maybe more importantly to a recovering perfectionist, allowing others to see an unmade bed. (SPEAKING FOR A FRIEND)

Even as tired as I am, and even as PEST-Y as Skillet is, we still went and visited and played and chatted and texted and caught up and INVESTED. That means that I slept a little less, I ran not at all, and people saw my piles of laundry and dirty dishes all over the counters.

And it was completely worth it.

If you’ve got a friendship just beginning or one you feel you’d like to dive deeper into, can I encourage you to do so? Invest in them. Invite them. Initiate time with them.

And understand, you might have to choose them, that friendship, over something else.

Even sleep.

I wish I had done all of those things earlier in my life.

But over the years, God graciously gave me women who patiently allowed our friendship to grow slowly and completely in spite of me. He’s gifted me with some amazing women who have allowed me to dive right into their lives without a single barrier. And He blessed me with the greatest examples of nest builders in my mother and my mother-in-law, who remind me that the “pestyness” of children does one day pass and, hopefully, if you’ve invested and invited and initiated with them, you will have glorious nest builders next to you for the rest of your life.

Thank you, Father, for the gift of the nest builders in my life.

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