An Exhilarating Secret
Usually, our family eases into holidays with the grace of a pack of stampeding wild horses. We spend so much time anticipating it, that we just can’t seem to adjust our excessive expectations to the sometimes mundane reality of holidays with children. My ideal holiday is one filled with road trips, day trips or adventures. Dave is more like ‘Yay, I can fit in more PhD, book reading and working on the backyard’. You can see how our plans might clash at times…
This holidays, however, we have actually been pleasantly surprised! Maybe it has something to do with the fact that Dave is now working two part time jobs with flexible work times and so roles are more fluid throughout the term. It also helps that if we are struggling, he can move tasks around to work more at night and help out with the intensity through the day. Maybe we ‘fall’ less into holidays now, and stride into them instead? Or maybe we are realising how lucky we are to have such a helpful rhythm of school terms by which to break up our life.
This year at Tribe we have started a new rhythm of doing ‘Service Sundays’ during the school holidays, where a practical community service type activity is organised in place of our regular gathering. We’ve done Aged Care visits, a backyard blitz, a barbeque with our Persian refugee friends, and today- a freezer meal cook up for a family with three kids within Tribe who has recently experienced a run of bad luck meaning they are struggling to put food on their table.
Since the inception of Tribe we have struggled with the hypocrisy gap. We knew what we were ‘supposed’ to do and would talk on end about it, but we could never actually figure out how to live it out practically. We talked about how Jesus would live and what his love of others would look like, but we just couldn’t translate that into action.
Now, at the end of an amazing weekend- with a crazy hour pizza dinner with a couple of other families from Tribe, kids shrieking and chasing each other while we drank wine and talked philosophy; the cook up this morning where we were able to churn out 11 freezer meals in an hour, while chatting and laughing and the nine kids playing amazingly together; and tonight, with Dave and Dwain over at our Persian friend’s house, teaching English to a bunch of asylum seekers- somehow, it feels like we are finally getting there!
Not that we have made it or anything like that, if anything we still see how much more we could do in every avenue that opens up, but slowly, our spoken values have begun to translate into our reality! And it is so meaningful, rewarding and fun for us that it almost seems like cheating! We used to subconsciously believe that this stuff was supposed to be dreary and something you drag yourself along to just to tick off a box of being a ‘good Christian’… Now, it is what makes us feel alive, connected, together.
I’m so proud of our little, messy community. I have no idea what even next year will look like, but I’m pretty damn excited to see where this life will take us…
As for us and the rest of the holidays, we have already been to Scienceworks and Ikea, moved a huge pile of dirt, had a pirate party, been to another birthday party for Dave’s sister, and celebrated (from afar) the exciting birth of the baby of some of our closest friends and ex-housemates… Not sure if the second week can even begin to hold a candle to that!