The Mac and Cheese Bar and The Community

I had taken in to account seconds and possibly even a few thirds, but I did not take in to account  the popularity of the fifth and sixth helpings, and so only an hour in to her grad party, I ran out of mac and cheese for the mac and cheese bar!!!! 

I jumped in to action and hit the kitchen with another large batch of the homemade stuff. Luckily, I had a time period where whenever I would head to the grocery store I would think I was out of macaroni and add it to my cart, only to get home and find out I wasn't.  That mistake week after week was now a blessing since I had an overabundance of it in my pantry, and we are also never short of cheese in my house either, even though I am lactose intolerant.

In between noodles boiling and sauce thickening, I would wander outside to greet people and share the story of needing to rush back in quick to get another batch out. On my third round of extra mac and cheese, I looked out my kitchen window and my heart was full. 

In my last blog I wrote about how we should all want for others kids, what we want for our own. What we have always wanted for our kids is for them to work hard to achieve their dreams and for a community of people to come alongside them, in the adventure of life. 

As I looked out the window at every face in our very full back yard, I could see how every single person had come alongside our kids, and in particular to the days celebration, our daughter.  There weren't just people showing up to congratulate her on finishing high school. Even on this day, they were pouring in to her life. The one thing that touched me in particular was the multi-generational influence. There was a handful of young people, but there were also young families with kids and older couples who have "adopted" her as an honorary grandchild. I could see how each and every person out my window has impacted our daughter... and many of them I could also see how she has impacted them.

When we engage in multi-generational influence, young people KNOW they are part of a community. The community had shown up and our daughter had no doubt in her mind that she was a part of it! 

Standing in the kitchen that day challenged me even more to want to come alongside young people and families the way that this community has come around ours. To want for the kids playing in the yard, the same influence and care that our daughter, and our other two kids, have received. 

As I polished off my last bit of noodles and cheese, I may have whispered a bit of a fishes and loaves of the mac and cheese prayer, but I also said a prayer of gratitude for all of those who have come alongside our daughter and our family. A prayer of gratitude for the multi- generational influence that has changed our kids and family. A prayer that our kids would know that the community that surrounds them changes us in beautiful ways and that they would live their life in a way that beautifully changes others. A prayer that I could respond to young people in just as an impactful way as this community has impacted mine. 

Is there a young person who God has laid on you heart to come alongside with in this adventure of life? Is there a young person that you could reach out to as you hope for them what you would hope for your own? Is there a young person that you would be willing to open up your heart to so that not only you could change them, but they could change you as well? Is there a young person that you could come alongside so that they know that they are absolutely part of the community?  

Here's an idea to get started; take them out for some mac and cheese! :)