I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for two and half years. It’s not exactly a luxurious job. There are lonely days, secluded days, tear-laden days. But also, joyful, wonderful, hopeful days.
I’ve been reading a new blog recently that has challenged me a lot. The Tapestry is currently doing a series of 31 Days of Exploring Community, something that I didn’t think I even needed to think about, let alone read. But with each new post, I’m convicted.
Community. What does that really mean to me? Does it matter? Do I have one?
I love to stay at home with my boys. I am comfortable in it; I am re-energized often by being alone most days as an adult with two kids. It’s the introvert in me. But it can be, and has become, an escape from community. I love other moms, but I’m also not prone to dive into questions about motherhood with others. I don’t care for advice unless I ask for it, because honestly, I’m a bit stubborn. I don’t trust a lot of people with my real, raw struggles because that’s my pain. I don’t enjoy letting others share it with me. And sadly, I do not place priority on community because I have my people here in my home. That should be enough, right? But I know it isn’t. Every fiber of my being knows that truth hidden in me.
It isn’t necessarily about word vomiting all of our “stuff” all over anyone who will listen. It isn’t about creating community out of just family, although that does prove to strengthen us greatly. I think it’s about transparency with people who do care, people who struggle too, and people who are looking, just as we are, for others they can walk through life with. And that means the real, the raw, the ugly. It means taking joy in the great things and sitting with each other in the difficult things. It means being community, intentionally, even if it’s awkward, uncomfortable, or even inconvenient. I don’t think Jesus would be one to say, “Well this isn’t a great time for me, you know. I know you need me, but I have this other thing…”
We’re all human, all highly imperfect people. I suck at being intentional with others, especially with other women. But I want to shed that skin, that stubbornness in me that prevents me from being real about the real stuff. It will take a lot of mistakes, probably more excuses than I will want to admit, and some awkward, uncomfortable moments. But I am convinced that it must be worth it. And in my stumbling to get to that place of intentional community with others, I hope I’ll meet some of you along the way.