Some say, “It takes a village to raise a child...”
I say, “It takes a community like ours to raise a family!
Catholic moms have become a growing force in our communities and parishes; not only they instruct and shape the character of their own families, but they also strive to serve and minister one another in the midst of their busy lives. On times of need and hardship, they are the ones nurturing and building; they are the heart of understanding the needs of others, thanks to them the phrase “Parish Family” comes to life! That is why; I want to invite you to ponder with me the power of fellowship and sisterhood in our most beloved circles.
Motherhood, at times, makes you feel lonely and isolated, maybe because everyone is going about their lives to a very fast pace where there is no time to foster real fellowship or support. It is very rare to find people that care … that truly care. Sadly in our own catholic culture, we have grown cold and superficial about those around us. We have become comfortable and fearful to engage and take action. Our tendency to “just” pray for one another is becoming a trending cliché that maybe without realizing, separates us from real action towards fellowship. Do not take me wrong there is nothing more powerful than an interceding prayer, but is it enough? We are sisters in the Faith and in vocation, we need one another, we are without a doubt the perfect shoulder where to rely for counsel and wisdom.
From our particular journeys we have the perfect potential to serve! So, what is keeping us from connecting? Perhaps, fear to get involved? Or lack of time? Fear to be judged? Be at peace! I am guilty of all of them!
From my own experience I can tell you, I came to ponder these things after the overwhelming and humbling experience my family and I received from the women of this very group, not long ago, when we were about to welcome our fifth baby.
The pressure of becoming a large homeschool family was as raw as I could ever imagined, my emotions were all over the place, time was upon us and my only family support, for health reasons was unavailable to help me during the time of the delivery and recovery. I am not exactly the kind of person that asks for help nor I want to become a burden for anybody; so my plan was mainly to rely on my husband alone and pray that God will provide us with the strength we needed, like He did many times in the past… unnoticed! But His plans this time around were very different… He had a lesson in store for me: one of humility and charity…
The amazing moms from our homeschool group knew I was soon to deliver my baby, so they hosted for us a baby shower; they knew what it was to open space for another member of the family, so without judgment and filled with understanding they made sure we were covered with all the essentials. Not only had they done this, but also soon after the hurricane when I was sent to bed rest they contacted me often via text, just to check on me, they lined up meals to easy up our load and like if it was not enough; they helped us to take down all our hurricane shutters without delay! I mean... Talk about going all the way to assist a family in distress!
Once the baby arrived, moms came to our rescue once again! Like a protective force, they surrounded our family with their prayers, love and generosity. They offered to babysit our older children while we went to our first doctor appointments and also just to give us a break during the first weeks, they contacted moms outside the group from our parish to help us even more with meals!
Here, is where I got to meet many of you guys! Yes! I never met you before or maybe from far; nevertheless, you wholeheartedly ministered our family without hesitation. Some of you sent us gifts or prayed for us, some of you came to our home, brought us food and goodies, celebrated and welcomed our baby, visited us when we needed so much support! You did all this with such a sincere heart, such thoughtfulness that I can assure you, it left us truly moved and inspired!
It is not easy to raise a large family nowadays, I personally was not ready, I didn’t expect it; so I was frightened, anxious and uncertain… but the beautiful testimony of fellowship I experienced through you, has given me hope!
Hope to know is ok to be open to life and raise a family with joy!
Hope to know I am not alone.
Hope to know I have a family of sisters in Faith and vocation strong and generous worthy to imitate.
Hope in knowing God is alive and vigilant to our most intimate needs.
Hope in knowing my children are part of a beautiful Parrish family where service to one another is the way to live the Faith.
Hope in the power of sisterhood and fellowship, because is striking to think that these little initiatives of service have been arranged amid the already hectic lives moms go through!
Just one little ripple of kindness can motivate a whole community to hold a member in need; is a lesson of unity and self-donation we can all take part of, is an excellent way to connect and get involved. Because we all have been vulnerable and faced struggles, we know what is like to start or have a growing family, we can provide then, from our own journey a better experience for others, going the extra mile and becoming creative in kindness.
So, with that in mind, I think that in order to bloom; this beautiful and vibrant Catholic community of ours, we need to be simultaneously: Vulnerable and daring. Vulnerable, to learn there is grace in giving as well as in receiving, to be humble and marvel at the power of charity as a sign of God’s love for us. Daring, to go the extra mile to serve, to connect and build sincere friendships that we can rely on.
Personally, I have learned to be vulnerable and daring! This experience took me to new heights by the beautiful example of service from all of you, because it takes a community like ours… to feel like family!
May God continue to guide us all in becoming a more compromised and inspiring force of goodness and kindness to one another.
Thanks so much to Laura for allowing me to guest post on the blog, I am thrilled to contribute in a small way, to uplift the works of all the wonderful faithful women joining this community, they are a “hidden treasure” worthy to imitate.
About Luzaideth Schulte
Liz is a Catholic Mom Blogger at Load of Laundry, Piles of Books. She was born and raised in the beautiful country of Colombia and moved to Florida in 2001. She met her husband while working together at a supermarket and have been married now for 13 years They just welcomed their fifth baby Benjamin this fall. She blogs about their family's faith and homeschooling adventures. You can follow her online at www.Loadsoflaundrypilesofbooks.blogspot.com or on Facebook at https://m.facebook.com/LOLPOBBlog/.