When Aaron and I were dating we had two couples in our lives that mentored us and helped us in our journey with the Lord and with each other. They were probably a little bit younger than we are now, and each had young kids in their home. The husbands were monumental in Aaron's life and the wives were monumental in my life. I remember that I would go to their homes at night after their kids were in bed and we would chat while they folded clothes. Those nights were so wonderful to me and I didn't care that we were sitting around laundry while chatting. When the kids were awake, I didn't care that they were screaming. In fact I loved their kids and their girls were actually in our wedding. Carrie & Amy both hold special places in my heart as landmarks in my Christian faith.
I'll never forget one time what Amy's husband, Kyle, told us. He said that when people love your kids, you love them more. At the time I didn't truly get it. I knew that I loved their kids, and I knew that I loved them, but I didn't truly understand the impact on their family.
Now I get it.
Having four kids myself and having several people in my kids lives that love them, makes me so happy and so proud. My boys have countless men to look up to in their lives. Brett & Logan have both been mentored by Aaron over the past few years and they love my boys so well. For that I'm eternally grateful. Two men that love Jesus and pursue him in their lives are leaving a legacy for my boys. My boys look up to them and think they are the coolest people in the world. When they take the time to talk to them or wrestle with them they are joining us in our walk as parents.
My friend Meghan loves my Story-girl so well. It's nothing for her to text me to see if Story can sleep over or go with her to visit her grandparents. I mean, why would I say no to that!?!?? Of course I love the break, but for me it's way more than that. It's one more person pouring into her life that loves Jesus passionately. Meghan pursues God in her life, and that will overflow into her love for Story. Meghan knows Story well and sees the same potential in her that I see. She sees a leader and a girl that will do big things.
Recently Meghan took Story to her grandparents house and of course everyone loved on her. Her love bank was so full when she got home and as a momma I'm so grateful for them all for loving my girl.
What kid wouldn't benefit from an extra grandparent to love on them?!?
If you are single and you want to bless people like crazy, find a family and invest in them. Here's the deal. It's a blessing for everyone involved. You will be blessed by them, and they will be blessed by you. Pour your life into their children. I love all of these people because of who they are, but my love is bigger towards them because of the way that they love my kids. My heart is full to the brim each time I see these friends engage my kids and invest in them. Even if it's as simple as jumping on the trampoline with them before they head into the studio to work, or as big as taking them for a day to spend time with their grandparents.
As parents we need others investing in our kids, and here's why. When Cayden turns 16 and he all of a sudden thinks his parents are weird and don't know anything, you know who he's going to trust. Brett & Logan. When Story is in middle school and is over the top dramatic (dear Lord help me b/c I think our drama level is high already) Meghan will be a voice she will listen to and trust. They have invested in them and care for them. This makes me so happy because I know that those men and women will be telling them the same things we are. We're on the same team. The more people in my kids lives that they trust and are telling them the same truths we are the better.
It takes a village to raise kids and single friends you are monumental to my village. Thank you!
Jamie, you made me cry. Thanks for sharing this.
The only reason I didn’t cry while reading this was because I was on a conf call. But as I clicked this link I got a text from the person who’s home I would go sit in while she folded laundry, whom I helped with cooking and bathtimes while her husband was deployed, and who I miss madly while I live across the country from her and her kids now. And her oldest was in my wedding. I initially said “no kids” but then couldn’t imagine the day without her oldest dressed up like a princess standing beside me. Some of the best days of my single life (and even now my married life) are being part of someone else’s family in this capacity. Thanks for writing your story and encouraging others to adopt themselves out as well into the families of others.
Love this topic, and I couldn’t agree more with your thoughts on this!
Love your family!
I totally agree! It is so important to surround yourself with uplifting community. It is scary yet amazing to have accountability and support throughout life! I am blessed to have some but hope to build more as we travel around the world and I meet more bloggers! Thanks for stopping by my blog!
Great article – for years I have trained churches that it takes a church to raise a child to walk with God into eternity. http://www.kidtrek-sundayplus.org/child-discipleship-why-it-takes-a-church-to-raise-a-child/
My vision is that every adult in the church is involved in the discipleship of children at one level or another. I have seen what happens when a church becomes intentional in the discipleship of children.