Monday, December 6, 2010

home team

A few months ago, I read Bittersweet, Shauna Niequist's newest book and I meant to blog about it then. A friend is reading it now so I've been thinking about it all over again. It's a good read - there are themes that run through out the book but each chapter can stand on its own too which is great for those of us (OK, all of us) who are a little short on time most days.

One of her chapters is called "the home team". She writes,

Lately, I've been working hard on my commitment to the home team. Everybody has a home team: it's the people you call when you get a flat tire or when something terrible happens. It's the people who, near or far, know everything that's wrong with you and love you anyway. The home team people are the ones you can text with five minutes' notice, saying, I'm on my way and I'm bringing tacos.

...these are the people you visit in the hospital no matter what. These are the people whose weddings you attend, no matter how far the destination is or what terrible thing they've chosen for you to wear. These are the ones who tell you their secrets, who get themselves a glass of water without asking when they're at your house. These are the people who cry when you cry. These are the people, your middle-of-the-night, no-matter-what people.

Matt and I are in a season of our lives where I am constantly reminded of how blessed we are by our families, our friendships, our communities. I can hardly talk about our home team without wanting to run out, get t-shirts printed up, and start handing them out.

There are moments that literally take my breath away.

There was the time after we had Mady and we were still at the hospital and people kept calling and showing up and bringing kids and presents and balloons and pretty soon our room was filled to the brim and it was the happiest sort of thing. I remember someone saw a picture of it later and said, "Woah! That is a lot of people," and the way they said it made it sound like it was a bad thing; I remember being puzzled by that.

Or a few weeks ago, I told some friends I was in a bit of a funk - nothing serious, just kind of sad about the mundaneness of life, tired of my husband working long hours - and a day or two later a friend knocks on my door and hands me dinner.

The way people remember our kids' birthdays and celebrate them with us.

The way our community gives and gives and then says, please, please don't return the favor.

The laugh-out-loud emails, texts and Facebook posts.

The last minute, please-come-over-for-dinner-don't-bring-everything-we've-got-it-covered invitations.

The moment when we looked around the funeral home and realized just how many people made an effort to come, to make sure we were doing OK, to give us a hug.

The relief of being real and no one even batting an eye. Realizing you've actually forgotten how to be fake, how to pretend.

The ridiculousness of taking up multiple rows in church with people we've gathered through the years - small group friends, childhood friends, family members, new friends [if you ever find yourself at Mars Hill at 9am, you can find us in the section near the sound booth.] The feeling of attending a large church and realizing that years have passed since it's actually felt large.

The feeling that yes, this is it. That sigh of relief - this is how God created us to live - living, loving, laughing with our home team.

The blessing of seeing Him through others and the privilege of being Him to others.

If you need a home team, it's never too late to start recruiting. If you already have a home team, make sure those people know what they mean to you.

To our home team: you know who you are. Thank you. We love you dearly.

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