Redefining and Expanding the Village

“It takes a village to raise a child,” they say. And they are right. But where is it? And are villages only for parents and children?

This day in age, most people live far from each other. Sometimes it’s cost of living, sometimes it’s for work reasons. We also have social media to keep us isolated from each other by keeping us glued to our screens. And then there is the barrier of our different life circumstances. Whatever the reason, it creates a unique challenge of finding a village. We all need a village and therefore we must redefine it.

My Village

My village is amazing. The people in it are both dead and alive. Some friends in my village are there any time of day or night and will spend hours with me at the drop of a hat. They are my role models.

There’s Jesus, this amazing man that I forget to talk to, but whenever I do it changes my life. Thanks for being there.

There’s Joan; you always have my back. Thank you for praying for me to be courageous.

There’s Jen; you make me cry, because you understand and ease my burdens. Thank you for everything you write.

There’s Kendra; thanks for helping form who I am as a mother and for all your wisdom and advice. You may not know it, but I return to what you say time and time again.

There’s Joyce; thanks for your videos and making me laugh out loud.

There’s Leo; You always inspire me to love more and better.

There’s Netflix. You help watch my kids when I have reached my limits, which is all too often. What would I do without you?

You may or may not have put together that I am talking about Jesus Christ, St. Joan of Arc, Jennifer Fulwiler, Kendra Tierney, Joyce Meyer, and Leo Buscaglia, Since we live in an isolated age, it’s a blessing to have friends who you can find simply by uttering a prayer, opening a book, or typing a phrase.

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Others I can call and speak to, others I can visit with, and some even watch my kids and bring me food. These are my real life friends and family. Thank you for always believing in me, making time for me, and for understanding me. You are such a blessing.

Some people in my village I don’t know. You may have read my blog anonymously. I love you and I appreciate your time. Knowing you read what I write is an encouragement.

Villages Look Different For Everyone

We have to redefine what a village is, so we can be reassured that we do have one and that we belong. Otherwise, we may slip into despair and think thoughts like “if I only had more help then” or “so and so is only capable of that, because they have a lot of help,” or “I guess I don’t belong.”

Some people may live in a multi-generational household. Some may live next door to their relatives. Some may have a great group of friends nearby, but relatives live miles away. And others, like myself, live 40 or more minutes away from close friends and family.

It’s okay that you may not have close friends nearby yet. It takes time. It’s okay that your main source of support day to day with real life people is in a text or phone call. It’s okay that some of your greatest solace is found in a book. It’s okay that you feel a kinship like no other to a blogger who lives miles away. All of this still counts as your village.

My Definition of a Village

A village is a group of people who have the same goal – to love and support one another on each other’s path to holiness. There are many ways to interact with your village – you can visit in person, read a book, or have a phone call. You may be giving help, receiving help or just having fellowship. There are many paths a person may be on and they all need a village:

  • Husband and wife raising a family
  • Single parent raising a family
  • Single person
  • Religious person
  • Retired person
  • Empty nest couple
  • Elderly couple
  • Elderly single person/widow
  • College student
  • Disabled person
  • Chronically ill person

We are called to love each other no matter our life circumstance A sufficient call to holiness requires us to support each other no matter what our state in life. If you are married, that doesn’t mean you can’t be friends with a single person, in fact it may mean you both can bring things to the relationship that the other person may not have. If you are young, it doesn’t mean you can’t spend time with the elderly. We all need each other, and we all have something to give whether that is time, talent, or treasure.

Other Interesting Ideas About the Village

Who comprises your village? Do you even think you have one? Why or why not? Could you reach out to someone on the margins? Maybe they will become part of your village. I think you will both be blessed by it.

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