Faith is our daughter, and she is a little adventurer.
We are also a couple who have a faith, which also feels like a little adventure.
In terms of theology and doctrine-man alive we have a lot of questions and I love a good debate (Mike, not so much)but I am not going to go into that here.
What I will say is we strongly believe in the fact that God is love, hope, peace and freedom.
I appreciate that to some people, including family members, that may sound very vague, ambiguous, and frankly easy and lacking depth. Unsurprisingly, we don’t think we have taken the easy road; to wrestle with what it means to seek out love, peace and freedom, to model it and to choose it when you just want to walk/run away-that does not feel light and breezy to us. It feels hard and at times pretty impossible, those words are not lighthearted throwaway phrases to us, and although we strive for those things we are aware that we will never truly fulfil but our appetite for it does not lessen.
Anyway back to our daughter, and how we are raising her. Right now it feels like survival, and that is not to say it isn’t fun. It is exhaustion, laughter, tears, rocking her to sleep, coffee, walks, desperate prayers, under the breath (and not under the breath) swear words, snot, apple mush, potato waffles, baths, hugs, feeding, dancing, facetime blur. And I love it. But even though she is still only a little one, I am so aware of how we are raising her, what things we are going to instil in her.
One thing we are hoping to do is a bit of a life village, based on that saying ‘it takes a village to raise a child’. I so firmly believe that as truth-not just for children either-we all need each other. My relationships survive. and hopefully thrive, because of the input of so many people around me. I truly believe that I am a better wife because of my community, and that includes people I don’t know that well (thank you all).
So the life village idea-it is where you ask those around to you to commit to investing something into your child-for example a friend may share their love of travelling and languages and cultures, another may commit to developing a character trait, and another might teach them how to change a tyre (I am obviously making these examples up-although I really wish I knew how to change a tyre).
When I tried talking to Mike about this, he was keen, but when I asked him (a few days later) if he had thought of any traits or skills he would like Faith to know, he suggested asking Alan (our friend and owner of a wine shop) to teach Faith about wine?!!!
So this is an ongoing discussion in our house…
But the main point from it all is that Faith learns that we need one another, and the strength of community. That she grows up wanting to share and give, but also knows it is equally important to receive from other people-that it isn’t weakness or needy, it is how we are made to be-and makes us so much richer for it (disclaimer I did not mean financially richer, my life is a clear indication of the opposite).