This past Sunday Caleb McCurley preached from 1 Corinthians 13 on how the Holy Spirit wants to empower us to be a people of supernatural love. He commended our church for how we exhibit this and urged us to continue seeking the Spirit, so that our love might continue to grow. Kristen Catoe put up a post on Facebook that I think really showed what it looks like to be a community of love. Praise God and may we continue!
It's good to go away but it is a sweet, sweet wonderful to come home.
We literally can't do life without our people, our community. As we were away we did a lot of reflecting. We may have been blissfully alone for almost three weeks but the story plot behind our adventure was PACKED FULL of standing on the shoulders of our amazing village's army sized love that had sent us out. It's a long gratefulness list but it only scratches the surface of the people that breathe blood through our veins.
My sister Sarah and Joe's sister Becca drove over 22hrs and across several state lines between them to bring our kiddos every ounce of love and stability that they would need. SEVEN additional families from our church, our schools, and the neighborhood took our kids on epic summer playdates. The Slingerlands and McCurleys added in overnights, making memories that we already know will last the kid's lifetime. THREE other families took in our pup and spoiled him so much that he was almost sad that we had come home, haha.
And when we arrived back in the middle of a heat wave to a suddenly broken AC unit and our home with dangerous atmosphere levels... our church family let us ride our jet lag out as they not only took us in but gave us their very best. Jeff and Angie had us all, dog included, come spend the night with them... but not just us, they also brought in a second family suffering from heat problems too. Like dormitory roomies, we crashed their floor with mattress all around that the Nussbaum family walked down the block for us. Julie organized with Dottiewho immediately had us over for a pool-pizza party for a much needed cool off. Joe's job allowed him to bring our dog Trent to work so the poor thing wouldn't suffer a heat stroke. Jessie had us use her home for cool afternoon naps only to talk with Caleb and send us off with not only an AC unit to borrow... but their biggest and best one. Now able to at least use our main floor safely we still have more lunch offers coming in along with cool house nap offers, three other camping out for the night adventures, and our neighbor Martin-Muzz offering us another AC unit of his if we needed it...
As another neighbor mentioned to me last night simply reflecting on her observing our village at work, we have it "so blessed, so very blessed and we need to make sure we stop to savor it." She is so right. This active, welcoming, generous, genuine village of church and friends and neighbors is the answer to so many years of prayer for Joe and I. There was a time when it wasn't this full. But here we are. It's good to go away but it is a sweet, sweet wonderful to come home.
- Kristen Catoe