But let me just tell you that our new normal is anything but normal.
While the rest of America is floating it up at the pool or hot dogging it out in the backyard, we’re over here surviving the last four days of school and trying to figure out how to ease into fun when the people who make up our days are trying to simply make it to the end of the month with two nickels left over. I will never get used to living in this tension. Holidays and summer breaks and vacation days from school promise a healthy dose of the kind of reality I wish I knew nothing of.
Most of you know we had a woman from our church move in last month. I have written about it here and shared bits over here. She’s been in our home for eighteen days and for the last eighteen days, we’ve navigated job interviews and court dates and child visitation. We’ve also navigated the awkwardness that comes from having a single, 34 year old female living here. I feel like a sister wife who shares everything but her husband. <—- And I ain’t about to ever do that. Our house has been one big revolving door of people coming and going and my sole purpose in life has been reduced to making space for the Holy Spirit to show up and do His thing while providing the food and drink that nourishes nine lives. I’ve loved these eighteen days, but I have lost myself in them. And the part of me I miss most of all is the writer part.
The kids are morphing into big people and these big people are beginning to make big decisions on their own. Friendships are changing, hobbies are becoming passions and our kids are becoming quite confident in their own skin. They’re saying no to things they once said yes to. They’re choosing not to associate with kids who cuss like sailors and dress in nothing and sleep around <—Which is a whole lot of kids. They’re making the kind of decisions every parent wants their kids to make. They’re keeping their noses clean and sticking to their values. Except that we live among the marginalized and WITH the marginalized and we’re planting a church right here on the edge of society where everything is sketchy. Where neighboring once was popsicle easy and friendships with neighbors encouraged, things are now hard as heck. We are now standing in the thick of being parents first and church planters second, knowing that our role in the neighborhood does not trump being parents to our kids. Intentional neighboring has taken on a whole different flavor and we can’t figure out what the flavor is.
Thad’s been whittling down his honey-do list in preparation for a mission’s team coming the first week of July. The neighborhood basketball court is complete except for the addition of one goal, netting and a couple of benches that the team will build when they get here. Everything we get done around here takes a village and we are so grateful for every donation given and every hand lent.
Fellowship is trucking right along and Jesus is adding families at a steady pace. When needs emerge, our body rallies to meet the needs. When souls are broken, our body employs the slow way of Jesus and moves to be with. When captives are not free, our body joins them in captivity until freedom rings. We are not hip or sexy or cool. We are the free in Christ who live our lives to set others free.
And y’all, I may be entering a season of living that lends itself to a story that is not mine to tell.
Only Jesus knows.
Until then, you may just find me happy as a clam and cooped up in the kitchen making yet another meal for my ever growing table of people.
Which is sorta awesome.