Wednesday, October 8, 2008

It Takes a Village

This afternoon I got to see some very special people from my past. Kerwin and Vicki were like second best friend's parents, Sunday School teachers, and hosts of youth group central. Their family is bravely battling cancer, and they made a trip to Owasso to see some old friends. I was so glad to get to see them, even for just a few minutes. On my way home, I started thinking of how blessed Vince and I have both been in the area of investment...people investing in us.

We both have amazing parents that we love, and we are so thankful for all that they've taught us (and still teach us!), but we are also incredibly thankful for "the village" that came alongside our parents and poured their lives into ours. We have often talked about the special people that invested in us along the way, and I think those people are a huge part of our passion now to invest in teens.

One fun thing I always remember about Vicki is that anytime we did anything--watched a movie, went to camp, took a trip--she always wanted to know "What was your favorite part?" And my favorite part about Kerwin and Vicki is that people always mattered more than possessions. Their home was ALWAYS open to kids, which meant it wasn't perfect. We parked on their grass, we tracked mud on the carpet, we ate their food, we spilled their food on their furntiure and floor, we made messes in the bathroom and just about anywhere else....but we never felt even a hint of impatience, annoyance, or anger. Opening your home to half the teenagers in Owasso is messy, but we knew they loved us and that has eternal significance. A perfect house, not so much.

I love the Dees. Theirs was the house I went to when I first heard my mom's cancer was terminal, and I'm so glad that on that and many other occasions, their own agenda wasn't more important than their hospitality. Vince and I have already decided that ours will be that house in 10, 12, 16 years, and as long as we have kids at home. I'm thankful for the model I had in my own parents, in the Dees, and in many others, that people are more important than stuff. I pray that will be a lesson that Ziva learns not just from me and Vince, but from her grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, teachers, friends...everyone that has been and will be a part of her village.


Vicki Dees said...

Thank you for the kind words. We were the ones getting the blessings and energy from the kids. It does take alot of help for all of us. There were always people helping us with youth stuff by bringing their spiritual gifts. Also our own kids were lifted up many times by other parents, SS teachers, youth workers, teachers, etc.

Your encouragement today to us and others is a great lesson in reaching out to others. We are thankful for your heart to serve. We think of you often because you have been through storms and you know the love of the lord.

May God bless your family.
Kerwin and Vicki.

P.S It was great to see you Wed. Thanks for coming.

amandromeda said...

Rita, thanks for posting this. I could not agree with you more. I'll probably never even realize how much I learned from them through the years.