Yes, lovely ladies and awesome gents, I do not only provide a village for others and preach a village for the blog readers but I do in fact have one myself. I am so blessed.
Are you the type of person, like me, who sees needs and fills them when she is not really thinking of returns? Like, unless I'm feeling bitter or something, I rarely sing< "what have you done for me lately?" (see Janet Jackson from the eighties, you young'uns) I really do get joy and other positive emotions from just being around for people when I can. I have not given much thought to where my village is at, though I know I have one.
When I write this blog, though I know I am going to post it on social media, I really don't think of specific people. I feel much safer writing this to "internet mom." That way I don't judge my thoughts too harshly. See if I thought of that-really-awesome-put-together-mom from church or radical-barely-parenting-mom-of-boys from co-op, well I would spend far too much time thinking about how they will take what I am saying. Yup! that's me! I struggle with people pleasing.
Ok, rabbit trail has criss-crossed over itself and now back to the tribe I was talking about. I wrote the last post thinking of Internet Mom and not my "inner-net" moms. Yes, I made that up. But seriously, I was not thinking of people I know seeing my post to moms who are struggling to make ends meet and really not imagining them checking to see how I am doing. But my tribe did. I had offers for rides and grocery money and help with my daycare room set up and more and more. My tribe, though not living in my village, rose up to care for me. I was astonished at the gifts from people who I know have also struggled. I especially benefited from the stories of God's grace. This person was paying it forward from a time when she was living with her family in the in-laws house. Another, had rewards from Costco and how things transpired so that she could use it to bless me. The way things lined up for these other moms really showed me how God has not abandoned us but is keenly aware of every little thing we need.
I saw my tribe and where I also contribute to my tribe in encouraging words and stories. That is worth so much in growing my faith. I am learning through all these situations, how very much our Lord has grown me. It used to be that I would panic if we could not meet bills or eat what we were accustomed to but slowly I think, that is not truth but God will meet all my needs. For my own sake, though I hate to admit it, He usually waits til the very....last......minute! Don't ya just, argh!
Yes, I do not just say over and over, "get a tribe." I am living it out. And how did I get this tribe? I prayed and asked God and then I got to work, peeking out of my introvert shell and reaching out of it to help someone. I did not do this expecting any return. I didn't say to myself or anyone,"I helped you, now when the time comes, I'm going to need a favor." (No Godfather tactics here). I just did what I could do to be a friend, to listen to a hurting acquaintance, to agree with a new mom who could barely make it to church that this stuff is hard. Proverbs 18:24 says that a person must show himself friendly to make friends. I have seen the dividends and often not from those I have invested the most in. I have clearly seen my tribe, my people and my sisters. One fellow tribes-mom told me that she read that post and gave me the Katniss salute. That in itself showed me that being real is what God has in mind for this blog, if one mom hears me and can go on another hour? Mission accomplished. Thanks for being there tribe. Unmanicured, dirty fingernails, Katniss salute to you all. Back into the fray!
Paula is a single mother of 3. Follow along on her journeys of motherhood and her fulfilling work as a postpartum doula