Find Your Village

A few weeks ago I had a dear friend ask me how in the world I handled it all? How do I go to work, do my job, then go home and deal with life? Ha! This friend has seen me show up to work with no makeup on and hair a mess because the baby didn’t sleep well; she’s seen me forget important paperwork; she’s seen me lose my cool on a student who maybe didn’t deserve it that time. I think I gave her a pretty lame answer of, you figure out what’s important. The petty, little stresses of the day, don’t matter. You have to see the big picture. But, let’s be real…If you know me, you know for sure I don’t have it all together.

Yesterday I figured out a better answer. We attended a memorial service for a friend of ours, a year younger than us, who we spent many days and nights growing up with. It’s been several weeks since we heard the awful news so I was completely unprepared when the waterworks showed up yesterday (pregnancy hormones, right?!). We walked in the room full of people from our youth group days, people who helped shape us into who we are. I listened to a man give a beautiful service about a kid who we all loved. The same man, our youth pastor, who taught us to pour our hearts out on Sunday nights with each other, the same man who performed Sam and I’s wedding ceremony. Afterwards we talked and laughed with people we haven’t seen in way too long.

That’s when it hit me. It’s not about the day-in and day-out of life. It’s not about making sure you wake up early, eat all your veggies, and clean your house. Yes, those things are wonderful, but life’s about the people. The moments. The memories. Your village. I get through life with my village. Seems pretty simple, right? Of course, we all know this is what life is about. But do we really believe it? Do we purposefully spend our days exactly how we want, not wasting time we’ve been given? I know I don’t always.

This week I let the stress win. This week I wasn’t able to see the bigger picture and remind myself that the little stresses don’t matter. The cool part? My village reminded me. These people I love and who love me are right there when I need them. Sometimes it’s a simple reminder, other times I need a slap in the face. I keep going from the help of these people. The people who let me vent and complain about the same thing over and over. The people who will do a dance with me when something goes right. The people who send messages to say hello and check on my family. The people who understand my small victories of learning to cook. The people who will laugh with me, instead of criticize, when I’ve had one of my ‘Andrea moments’, again. The people who know just how to help when I’m about to fall off the deep end. This is how I do it. This is how I get through life and remember what’s important. I can’t do this thing by myself. I can’t take the credit.

Find your people that will keep you moving forward and positive. Love them. Remind them that you love them and do it often. When we love ourselves and our people, it’s a little easier to forget about all the crazy in our world. And if you find you need some more people in your village…mine isn’t quite full. ❤

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