Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Made for Community

This morning, a friend brought her children over.  They played without intervention for 90 minutes.  These aren't teenagers, people.  They are ages 18 mos, almost 3, 2 - 4 year olds, and an 8 year old.

 There is no reason it should've gone so well except that, I believe, they are made for community.

They played their little hearts out... sidewalk chalk, legos, the sandbox, some lunch, running, laughing and having a good ol' time.  They served us coffee and came and went from the potty as needed. 

Then our friends went home and the peace of nap time fell.  I cleaned the kitchen.  My husband is able to work from home.  And I'm doing one of my favorite things... blogging.  Tonight, we'll pack up the kids to go spend time with more friends, and our four blessings will come home tired and go to bed with no complaint. 

It's a good day at our house... 

because they are getting what they need...

children need community. 

Living in community gives my children an example of good behavior.  Sure, my 3 year old throws fits, but since the 8 year old didn't, she didn't. 

Living in community doesn't allow for boredom.  There's always someone to play with so no one was clingy or whiny. 

Living in community makes them tired.  They all went down for naps without complaint. 

And sometimes, my children give me insight... 

Like the time I said, "Please stop crying. When have I ever not fed you?" 

It was like He said to me, "I take care of your needs too."

I am like them. 

I need community.   

Living in community gives me an example of good behavior. Sure, I get angry and raise my voice at my children sometimes, but since my friend didn't, I didn't either.

Living in community doesn't allow for boredom. There's always someone to encourage and be encouraged by.  It is when I am idle that my little hands find mischief.

Living in community makes me tired but in a good way.  I feel refreshed too.  When I lay my head down tonight I won't be thinking about Reality TV characters.  I'll be thinking about my real friends and neighbors... praying for situations in their life, celebrating their children's birthdays, and laughing about life. 

I think it was different when the world was bigger,
when cars were slower,
and plane tickets were expensive. 

I think people lived near family and ate on the front porch. 

I think it was different when we weren't so entertained,
when there were only 3 channels,
and when the Internet was science fiction. 

I think there was a time when coffee tables were for afternoon coffee and TV trays had no place. 

(yes, I see the irony that I'm blogging about this)


  1. Clara,
    I am so thankful for you and the time we had to chat today! It's funny that you write this, I've had the same thoughts after I left your house today. It makes me think of the "spur" that Seth came home with from VBS today. You have spured me on today to love my family, love my role as a mother and to be thankful for my faith. Your home is so welcoming and your family so precious. I can't help but stand in awe to my heavenly father who knows me so well that he knows which friends I need to run into and meet to spur me on spiritually. I am so thankful for you. :) You have such a kind heart towards your children and a passion to see them learn and grow. I saw the start of a tear in your eye today watching Seth pretend he was talking on the phone (in sentences) and wearing his backpack. I know how much you enjoy your children.
    And how cute you and Kyle are! I got a kick out of Kyle's comment of "That's my wife..." when I had come over with the intention of helping you and you were waiting on me and making me a gourmet tuna sandwich. You two will be the 80 year old couple holding hands someday. What a testimony to others! :)


  2. Clara- you have NO idea how much I needed this!!!! You are amazing. Heath and I have been through an extremely rough summer of trying to get a teaching job for him near our family and being let down twice. The first time was ok, the second time was like a slap in the face. I want NOTHING more than to live close to my family and have people that I can spend time with daily and have the cousins for my kids to play with. The importance of "community" is HUGE! We are in Tri-Cities right now and London played her heart out with her cousins the same way you described your kids playing with their friends. But through this rough time I am learning that I need to rely more on friends when family is not close by. I look up to both you and Jane in the way you raise your kids and interact with them. So through all of this I am saying that since we are staying in the area for another year I would like nothing more than to spend more time getting to know you guys and letting London make some fun playmates!
    Thanks for the encouragement!
    -Jackie Anyan