A mentor-friend of mine posted this quote from the Justice Conference she attended this year.
"True poverty is not the absence of wealth. True poverty is the absence of community."
I shared it.
And I cant stop thinking about it.
I've been reciting it to myself in my sleep.
It aligns perfectly with our heart here at the Nest.
and I honestly think with the biggest problem in America.
I spent a few years overseas, and thankfully had the opportunity to spend time in a few third world countries that completely affirm my heart to this statement.
Ive seen some horrific things, and Ive seen some beautiful things that have forever changed my outlook on this world that we live in.
My most favorite country I ever have lived in / traveled to was South Africa.
My very first exposure to a world unlike the western world, was in South Africa. (although there are very westernized parts).
I always say that those people taught me WAY more than I taught them.
We went to be missionaries to them, and they were a mission to my heart so much more.
3 months, and a quick trip back two years later.. was not enough. My heart still CRAVES the reality and realness of that community, of those people, and the way their hearts sing to my core.
I saw true community.
WHAT IS COMMUNITY?
-It's taking care of each other
-It's sharing in each other's burdens
-It's having fun together
-It's living life alongside each other
In South Africa, at least in my experience, I saw that so beautifully displayed.
Specifically among this one community that we visited every week.
A local woman, every week would use all of her resources for that week to feed the kiddos in the community.
They would bring their own bowls, a spoon if they had it, line up in front of her house, and she would ladle out of her huge pot of stew she made that day for them.
No one told her to do this.
No missions organization was financially supporting this.
It was just her, and her love for her community.
Sometimes, this would cost her her entire weeks worth of groceries, fresh food, or money that she had.
And a lot of times, that was that child's only meal for that day, or for a few.
What an honor. To learn from, and see such a Godly woman in action, who barely had anything, give EVERYTHING she had, to bless and serve her community.
She'll never win a nobel peace prize, but if I could hand one out, I would give it to her.
She used everything she had....
To take care of the needs of those around her.
To sacrifice of herself for others.
To share in their burdens.
To create a safe place for these kids to have fun together.
And to live life alongside her neighbors.
They were grateful for her, and she for them.
She has done this for years, and I'm sure continue to do so as long as she is able.
This story, is one in a thousand I probably have of how I saw true community displayed among South Africans, and the other countries I've lived in.
Its one of a hundred ways that my eyes were opened to the true meaning of poverty.
And the reality that our country, the USA, is suffering from TRUE poverty more than we could ever fathom.
To be honest, I saw children who were abused, homeless, on drugs and predicted to die within a year, children who literally had NOTHING but their families, their culture, heritage, and their joy.
They had so much JOY.
"True poverty is not the absence of wealth, but true poverty is the absence of community".
Can I ask you something?
Looking at us, in America, Do you think we are the first, or the latter?
Lacking in Wealth? Or lacking in community?
Look at us.
Afraid to open up as to what people will think.
Separated by our labels of "natural", "babywearing", "vaccinating", MOM.
Some of us, our only friends online... as we dont have time to be invested REALLY in lives, and the implications that would have on our family.
We're Terrified of giving up our time with our family, or time to ourself, or time with our hobbies.
Scared of not saving enough.
Or scared of not doing the "right" thing for our child.
Here is where you cringe a bit.
And where I challenge you, my sweet fellow reader.
Jump in to the idea that the BEST thing that you can do for your child is SHOW them a life surrounded in community. POSITIVE, uplifting, God intended, community.
Community that cares for one another.
Community that carries each other's burdens.
Community that lives radically for Jesus with one another.
Community that is real.
Community that is trustworthy.
And community that holds your head up, when you cant hold it up yourself.
This is what I am about.
This is my heart and vision for The Mothers Nest.
We are LACKING.
WE ARE are in poverty.
WE ARE SICK in our twisted ways of thinking that things, and materials, and activities, and even our "natural" obsessions as moms.. are going to give us what we truly need.
By living out community.
by getting rid of labels, and being all inclusive....
By doing it RIGHT.
You are attracting others to what you HAVE.
We all deep down want to be cared for.
And we want to care for others.
We crave that community, but cant seem to step out of our box to do it.
Let me help you.
The box is already broken.
There is no mold we are "forming to" at The Mother's Nest.
I constantly say to our leaders.. "We're just making it up as we go!"
"we're along for the ride, and God is leading."
So my friend,
at the end of the day?
are you rich in community?
or in isolation poverty?
3“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."