Thursday, November 13, 2014
Peace In The Process, Kristin shares about importance of COMMUNITY!
I heart this lady, not only is she a sweet friend to have, but she is so inspiring and shares lots of encouragement through her blog and now her first book. Thanks Kristin for stopping in here at my blog and sharing a little encouraging piece about how important community is!!
Since February 2007, we’ve gathered with our best friends Jaclyn and Bryan on a regular basis to eat dinner and play Settlers of Catan, our favorite board game. Before that, we got to together on Thursdays for dinner and TV. Kids made watching TV together difficult, but our kids haven’t stopped the Settlers tradition, which began when there was just one child between us.
Now there are five kids in five years in our crew. That fact alone makes my heart full.
Greg and I spent almost two years trying to conceive a child. God led us to adoption – twice in less than three years. We weren’t alone in that hard season. Jaclyn and Bryan had their own infertility struggles, including a miscarriage and surgery following an ectopic pregnancy while trying to have their first.
These five kids don’t know life without each other. They’re loud and crazy, especially when they’re together, but they’re the sweetest reminders that God has a plan that is grander than anything we can construct ourselves.
Our two families are part of a bigger community we cherish, too.
The same year our second child, Ben, was born our small group from church started a tradition. I'm not sure we knew it was going to be a tradition, but this group – equal parts kids and adults – gathered around a table for a Thanksgiving meal.
That was 2009. And, actually, Greg and I didn't get to go because Ben was born on that Monday afternoon. We brought him home that Tuesday afternoon, just hours before they had our first Thanksgiving. Not only did we not go, but my friend Sarah – who had a boy just shy of a month old – made the green bean casserole I was supposed to bring. And then our friends brought us plates overflowing with delicious food. We weren't at the actual table with them that first year, but we were with them and they were with us.
Community works that way.
Four years later, we still gathered around the table for a Thanksgiving meal – and that time I broke out my china plates for the first time. For 11 years and 3 months, that china has been sitting around, supposedly waiting for a "special occasion." Truth be told, I was persuaded to register for the china and really wouldn't regret had I not added it. But I have it. And I decided having it sit there was pointless.
Really, everyday community is a special occasion.
We're not technically in an official small group with these people because we scattered to build relationships with other generations in our church, but these people are our community. We've mourned and prayed and dreamed and hoped and planned and played and cheered and cried and laughed.
My girlfriends even washed by hand the china plates I probably would have put in the dishwasher. They're into the ordinary details like that. They're helpful like that. We're in this life together like that.
I snapped a picture of the nine kids – 7 years to 7 months – gathered on this Fifth Annual Thanksgiving Dinner. I noticed Ben being part of the group. He was a day old when this group gathered around a table, literally, to give thanks for how we gather around the table, figuratively, with each other in our daily lives. He's grown up knowing those other kids who surround him on the couch and their parents. He's grown up in community.
All of these kids have. God made Greg, Cate, Ben, and me a family through two adoption processes. But he’s expanded our family because we’re part of his family.
We jokingly talk about how Ben and Davey may both be chasing after Caroline and her heart. Who knows how their friendships will unfold, but I’m thankful they don’t know life apart from each other. I pray they all inspire each other to chase after God.
Truth be told, this community amazes me. God surprised us with community in a town I wasn't sure would be able to offer us new friends. And that community continues to happen right here around my table.
November is National Adoption Awareness Month. Kristin Hill Taylor never expected adoption to be part of her story, but God used the experience for his good. In her ebook “Peace in the Process: How Adoption Built My Faith & My Family,” she shares about God’s faithfulness through our hard season of infertility, two adoption processes, and the days since. It’s available on Amazon. Kristin lives in Murray, Kentucky, with her college sweetheart husband and their two kids. She believes in taking road trips, living in community, and seeking God as the author of every story – many of which she shares at www.kristinhilltaylor.com.