living in community
We have a new member of our family for a season. Her name is Joy and she radiates it.
Plus she and I just laughed for a good five minutes about a discussion involving drinking your own pee. I said I would need to chill it first and she suggested adding a packet of Crystal Lite before enjoying (if you are drinking your own pee for survival and happen to have access to either to a fridge or fake sugar packets). Yep, she is my peoples.
Jason and I have been thinking a lot about living in community and how to do that when folks just don't roll up to your door and say Hodi everyday. We have been feeling more and more that we need to put ourselves in situations where we are forced to live what we believe. To live open handed with an open door and ask God to bring people our way for our and their benefit (ok, mostly our because we have a lot to learn). So, how to answer the question "so why does she live with you?" It is not because we have a perfect scenario worked out. It is not because she desperately needs a place to live (even though Evy asked Joy if she is an orphan the other day- yeah- she might be confused as we have talked as a family about foster care and adoption but we quickly remedied the misunderstanding). It is not because we 'get' something out of the deal (although she loves our girls and will be helping me as I pursue ventures long put on hold because of time). It is not because it is easy or makes complete sense.
In making this decision it was less about an arbitrary list of "positives and negatives" but about asking God if He was leading in this. We pray over and over that we would always offer back to Him whatever He blesses us with. We have been blessed with a house and we want to use it for Him. But I always struggle with my self reliance tricking me into thinking I somehow earn or deserve anything. The truth is much more radical and simple. It is by no works of our own that we are blessed and we have been blessed to bless others. The house we are currently living in feels like a home. A place we pray He fills with family, friends, and those who He is working in and through and that we get to see and experience it all.
But community is messy. It costs something and if it doesn't I actually doubt it is real community so we go into this knowing there will be challenges. The kind where you see each other's faults and failures more than you see the polished image that is out there for everyone. It is where we have a chance to be challenged in our own selfishness. It is where we care enough to be vulnerable and brave enough to want to grow.
Anni made these today. She told me she was making one for everyone in our family and they know Joy is part of our family for now. We are taking this journey together and I am excited and expectant as to where we will travel next.