Monday, August 20, 2012

Different but one thing's the same

I was speaking with a friend on Sunday morning about parenting.  She mentioned the parenting approach in our church as though it was unified, like it was one, consistent thing.  I thought, but we’re all so different. 

Six years ago when five of my friends in the church were pregnant at the same time, I couldn’t contain myself - I was bursting with awe.  We were not a big group and the new baby life was refreshing. 

Today, the baby boom continues… just as refreshing, but it’s hard to keep track of who’s pregnant;  I have to concentrate to figure out who’s the newest arrival and where it’s safe to step in the busy Sunday morning nursery.   

We’re all different - every family - every baby, for that matter.  Each of us makes decisions around what we believe is the best approach and what works for our little family unit.  From nursing to bottles to soothers to sleep to baby carrying to stroller systems...too many choices.  Each of us carries different grace, vision, gifting… and this is transferred into our parenting approaches.

Despite all these differences, in thinking about it a little, I quickly realized what my friend meant… or why she could identify one way in the midst of this diversity. 

One very clear choice we all make is to round up our kidlets in our respective homes each Sunday morning and tell them it’s time for the “church meeting”.  We may mess up their napping for the day, we may miss that morning’s speaker because of nursing with the other moms, it may take our toddler a long, long time to stay in the nursery without crying for us, kids may be hungry by the time they get home (or to Nana and Papa’s place)… but together, I think we’ve decided this is one of the best times of our week… one of our biggest priorities.

And of course it’s not about Sunday mornings… of course this is a reflection of something bigger: we live in community – a community that’s built on the foundation of Jesus.   What we see on Sunday mornings – little heads bobbing up and down in and out of chairs and toddlers weighing down parents’ arms – is just a peak at what goes on in the week: the praying and supporting, the miracle breakthroughs, the encouragement to look outward, the gathering around new parents, the careful advice, the crying together, the reassuring, the baked goods and hot meals…

...the baby showers.

That’s where this realization was confirmed.... at Sara’s baby shower yesterday afternoon.  Sara, who had a reaction related to her contact lens solution that affected her eyesight.  Sara, who we’re in faith with for full eyesight recovery ASAP… like, now.  Of course even though she couldn’t read her cards or see everyone in the room, she still wanted her baby shower to go on.  Did she even consider delaying it?  Likely not.  Of course we joked with her and saw things for her and maybe this is where she wanted to be most of all… in that room full of faith while her tummy held her little baby boy. 

And this is how we have the same approach.  We’re raising our kids in this family of God; we’ve chosen community even when sometimes it’s a hard choice… when all eyes are on us or when we think we want to sleep-in after a sleepless night.

And it’s a beautiful thing so this Monday I’m feeling gratitude for:

  • Family of God laughter and silliness;
  • Worshipping together;
  • Friends who can talk about toddler sneezes and faith walking… in one sentence;
  • Quick phone calls for parenting reassurance;  
  • Warm meals on doorsteps;
  • Isaac's Sunday mornings high fives and props (because everyone knows that's how he says hi there).
I’m thankful to raise Isaac in this blessed place. 
Linking up to:


Mary Beth said...

It's beautiful that even amidst your differences you can still appreciate the one thing you all have in common!

Christina said...

The body of believers united together, so much support, encouragement and love. We all need community, don't we? Blessings to you and yours!

Christypintucks said...

Yep!! Exactly. I shall make us all bumper stickers. (Or tshirts? Baby onesies?):