It takes a village

December 6, 2009

Last night, we had our first annual gumbo and wine tasting party in Georgia.  Back in Louisiana, Chris and I would always have a gumbo party for all of our friends just before Christmas because so many people were in town visiting their families.  This was our chance to catch up with people who lived in the same city as us, but it was also a chance for us to see friends who lived all over the country.

We did not have our gumbo party last year because we had just moved, and we were a little sad that we were going to miss all of our friends coming home to Louisiana.  Plus, we felt we did not know many people here.  This year, however, we decided it was time to bring the party back!  Last night, we had over thirty people at our house for chicken and sausage gumbo and a wine-tasting party.

As we looked around the room, we noticed that all of our guests were people we had met through many different avenues:  some from our church, some from Chris’ Ph.D. program and classes, some who lived in our neighborhood, some from a bible study at a Presbyterian church in town, and some from my work with Charis Ministries.  As Chris and I reflected on this mix of people this morning, we realized how very different our “village” is now than it was at this time last year.

I am sure many of you have heard the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.”  For 28 years our village mainly consisted of people that were 15 minutes away.  Today, however, our village of people that forms the community that we love to share our lives with and who we lean on consists of people from all over the country.  Most of our family is 600 miles away in Louisiana. Our best friends are in Memphis, Labadieville, and Washington D.C.  We have found a whole new community here in Athens that consists of people of all ages who have opened their lives to all four of us.  These are the people we share our lives with on a daily basis, whether it be in person here in Georgia or by the phone, email, or website with the rest of our “village” across the country.

Since moving here, we have prayed for a community to belong to, and last night, Chris and I both realized in a very tangible way, that our prayers have been answered.  Our “village” just looks very different than it did 18 months ago, and it looks very different from what we thought it would like it. God answered our prayers in a way that we could not have pictured.  We have a community to belong to- it is a cross- country community, and we are very thankful for all who make up our “village”! 

Who are the people that make up your “village”?  Who are the people you share your life with and lean on?
Who are those people that have had a profound impact on your life, yet you never imagined that their relationship would be in your life? 
Has God given an answer to your prayer that is very different (and even better) from the answer you were looking for?  Thank Him for that!

Becky is an Ignatian-trained spiritual director, retreat facilitator, and writer. She is the author of the Busy Lives and Restless Souls (March 2017, Loyola Press) and The Inner Chapel (April 2020, Loyola Press). She helps others create space to connect faith and everyday life through facilitating retreats and days of reflection, through writing, and through spiritual direction. With nearly twenty years of ministry experience within the Catholic Church, Becky seeks to help others discover God at work in the every day moments of people’s lives by utilizing St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises and the many gifts that our Catholic faith and Ignatian Spirituality provide.

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  1. Ann-Katherine

    Hey Becky!

    The party was fabulous and thank you so much for the invite! The gumbo was incredible and I may have to ask for the recipe. I’m sorry Anne and I missed saying bye to you when we were upstairs! Anne needed to get back to study for finals so we didn’t get to stay for the wine tasting reveal but I had fun tasting them all. Especially #4. But thanks again for inviting me and I hope you have an incredible Christmas if I don’t get to talk to you before we get back!

  2. Vogel

    Yes, Becky & Chris – thank you so much for having us all over. I’m glad that, regardless of the village, there always has to be an idiot. 🙂

  3. Michael

    Labadieville gets a shout out in the blog! That has to be an internet first.

  4. Becky Eldredge

    AK- So glad you came! I always love seeing you, and I hope we get to catch up more soon.

    Ryan- are you saying you are the idiot?

    Michael-I thought you would like that!


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