Today, I have a rockstar guest posting here on Abraham Chronicles. In fact, she is such the star that she will be contributing once a month! Mark your calendars ladies and ‘gents, Jen Valencia is bringing the heat on a monthly basis. She is a SAHM who loves reading, writing, and making a mean Arroz Con Pollo dish–not to mention that she is my stunningly beautiful better half! Show her some love in the comments!
In our house, the end of winter signals a steady hum of anticipation. Like worker bees, we begin making our preparations for the warmer months: the garden is planted, patio furniture cleaned, garage (or the “abyss” as we refer to it) is excavated, and we find ourselves content to look out on our small patch of backyard, and smile at the sidewalk chalk, bubble wands, and other trappings of a house full of children. Like a long sip of sweet tea, spring brings us a comfort and hope that goes beyond simple weather patterns.
As soon as the weather hits a steady 65 degrees, the park becomes our second home. I open the door in the mornings to find my three year old half-dressed in shorts and her pink Crocs, already talking about taking a ride on the swings. We enjoy meeting up with friends, but if I’m really honest, a lot of times I just enjoy taking them by myself, and getting lost in thought while the girls laugh at each other and run in circles. As we pull into the parking lot, Sophia always asks, “Mommy, the friends are here? We play with the friends?”. To her, everyone is a friend — she is all-inclusive to gender, age, and ethnic backgrounds. She will play with anyone, talk to anyone, and thinks of people enough to pray for those she has only met for a moment.
There are times when that pessimistic side gets the best of me, and I wonder when that innocent view of people will change– when will she begin to question other’s motives? Recoil at those who act differently from her? Make judgements without a first glance? Keep her heart at a distance?
Surely it does take a child to raise a village. You heard me right, a child raises a village. It takes the heart of a child to build true community amongst ourselves — relationships that are transparent and vulnerable at the core, a view of others that looks beyond the surface of circumstance, upbringing, and physical appearance, and sees the heart, a way of relating that values people because they were created in the image of our Father God, and for no other reason that that. If we lose sight of these things, than our villages are nothing more than groups of strangers living in close proximity, clusters of homes built on a foundation of sticks, easily knocked down by life’s trials and circumstances.
How easy it is for us to love the loveable, to accept those who are worthy in our own sight, to invest in those friendships that yield a profit, to help those who can return the favor. Yet, how often do we find ourselves willing to open up our lives, our homes, and our finances to others with no expectation of anything in return?