Parents can sometimes feel like we’re just trying to get by. “If only we only had an extra babysitter, then…” is what I sometimes want to believe. There are days when my husband Chris and I wonder if there is anyone to help us on our journey.
One of the big themes of our community at the North County Campus is inclusion and belonging.
We feel so privileged to not only experience that inclusion, but see our son Luke experience it for himself. He, along with many other children–have the privilege being cared for by members of our Flood Group and extended church family. It is beautiful to witness this simple yet profound inclusion of Jesus’ command to “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another” (John 13:34).
Being a community of inclusion means that we have the responsibility to extend belonging to others.
Two Saturdays ago, more than twenty members of Flood North County –marrieds, singles, and in-betweens– gathered at the Encinitas Boys and Girls Club to weed, re-plant, and beautify their hillside entrance to the garden.
Even though we were assigned a project, Chris and I assumed that our main project would be maintaining Luke’s craziness. But it never was. Friends, old and new, single and married, not only took a genuine interest in the Boys and Girls Club teens we were working beside, but they all kept a watchful eye and playful presence to our littles at the bottom of the hill. These friends, who were now our family, soothed Luke when he started to look concerned over losing track of mom or dad and chased down a banana for him when he needed a snack, all while engaging in conversation about school, sports, and life at home with the teens from the Boys and Girls Club.
As we continued to move from the excavation stage to crafting a butterfly landscape from stones and flowers. Luke was not only receiving; he was watching.
Our community showed Christ’s compassion while showing Christ’s model of service.
Parenting happens beyond the confines of the home. It also happens beyond the confines of the parents. At our day with the Boys and Girls Club, Luke received the gift of family from our community. He also watched us extend that gift to the teens who as they worked alongside us.
Opportunities like this allow us to glorify God through selfless love and sincere care. More than that, even the smallest service project can help to shape my family as we impact our community.
Our community is such a vital part of standing beside us to parent and raise our next generation. I can’t say that enough. Our married friends, with and without their own children, along with those who are not married have so much to give and to teach children in our community.
Whether you have your own biological kids or not, we need more parents. Luke needs you. I need you.
And if you want to babysit, I will gladly receive that too.
About the Author:
Lauren is originally from Costa Mesa and landed in San Diego for college where she met her husband, Chris and raises their son, Luke. She is a self-proclaimed food enthusiast and enjoys adventuring with her family.