See that cute little Queenslander there? That’s our new place. We just got approved. Last week if you read my newsletter you would have seen me lamenting about how Dave and I had rocked up to our ‘dream’ home only to have about 22 other couples applying to rent it. It was madness. I had my first big panic attack in years. There were people swarming all over the place. One couple even had a glamour photo of themselves attached to their rental application.
What the freakin’ weirdness?
I didn’t feel settled. My spirit felt heightened. I even asked Dave if we could go back later that night and pray just outside the home to try and ease my anxiety. (We followed that up with ice cream up at Mount Cootha lookout ).
We didn’t get the house.
I got mad at God. I was like the toddler chucking that tantrum. I was like seriously? You know I’ve spent two weeks looking at houses after the storm collapsed our ceiling and wrote off our car.
I got myself together and started the process again. I surrendered. I was like there must be a reason you didn’t want us there.
And then it lead us to this cute house.
I noticed it had gates on the back fence and both the side fences. I asked the real estate lady about it. She said “Oh everyone is really friendly around here. They like to visit one another so they made easy entrance points to each other’s yards.”
And I love that.
Community. Doing life. Meeting your neighbours. And I have missed that. Where we currently live we know the lady on the left hand side of us by name and occupation but not much more. I grew up in a street full of kids where we all knew each other.
I feel like we’ve lost a bit of that community spirit in a lot of ways.
Don’t get me wrong. I think Christmas brings that spirit out in people. When I went shopping the other day strangers would say hello to me as I would get in the lift, enquire about my pregnancy and so on. You look at the Martin Place incident in Sydney and the outpouring of love and community spirit. It’s definitely there. People had even been commenting about how in Sydney there was this different vibe. They weren’t rushing around on their phones. People were taking things in.
So I implore you this holiday season to extend that community spirit into the new year and beyond. I don’t want to be going on my walks around the lake saying “Hi” to people and have people look at me with suspicion like I have just spoken a foreign language . (This happens!). I love going to our dvd store for the reason that we get to interact with a person behind the counter. We walk around choosing our movies, grabbing ice cream (see a common theme here), and then chatting to the owner about his latest movie reviews. I don’t want to download movies. I want to interact. I want community.
I want to use the normal aisle at the grocery store instead of the self serve so I can speak to a person.
I give gifts to the people who have looked after me throughout the year. Think hairdresser and life coach.
Let’s be mindful as we go into Christmas on Thursday that it isn’t about the gifts we’re getting but about community, redemption (God’s gift to us), and about being mindful.
Consumerism and materialism bug me. Makes me want to tear out my eyes.
So let’s surrender our hearts, lean into whatever this season brings us and look out for others. Let’s build community around us and in our hearts.
I’m going to be going through a whole new season: moving house, getting a new car, having a baby and transitioning from full time work to being at home. It’s exciting BUT incredibly daunting at the same time.
So sink in ladies! Have a wonderful Christmas and I can’t wait to hear about how you are creating community.
How do you build community? Do you think we’ve lost the touch when it comes to community building? I’d love to hear from you. Please write a comment below and share if you liked the post. I’d love to hear from you.