I had a close friend of mine visit from Pennsylvania this weekend. It was wonderful being together. We went to the same chiropractic school, studied similar specialties, are both married, self-employeed, and have three kids. Very few people are so similar.
While my friend and his family were visiting, I noticed a few things:
- I needed him here to have conversations with someone who ‘gets it’. He understands what it’s like to be facing some of the issues I deal with. Having time with him helped me feel understood and valued.
- He needed to be here so he could bounce ideas off me. I run a different practice than he does, and I do things differently with my time than he does. To hear how someone does it differently helps us question our reasons for doing things, and, thus, helps us grow.
- Our wives needed time with each other. They both deal with husbands who are unusually passionate about their work, they both work outside the home (one part time, one full time), they both have small kids to care for, and they both have similar interests.
- Our kids, a combined six of them, needed to spend time together. All their daddies are chiropractors, all their mommies are incredible servants. They needed time with kids whose parents share similar values, and they needed to play hard with kids who are happy, healthy, and ready to play at 200%.
Not having our needs met means we’re not available to serve others at our best. Think about it: when you’re on a jet, you are advised to place your own oxygen mask on before you assist a child. In the same way, when we have our needs met, we can serve others from a position of wholeness. Being around others who are safe also helps us to validate our ambitions. When we know we’re not alone, we feel safer and more empowered to keep moving forward.
This weekend, my wife, myself, and our kids had our need to connect met. We are going into a busy week full, rested, and ready to serve. Community is a vital part of who we are. Look for opportunities to live in community. Here are a few suggestions:
- Have a ‘date night’ where you will spend time with other couples. Your season in life will determine these guidelines. Kari (my wife) and I make it point to intentionally be with other couples at least twice per month.
- If you go to church, look for a small group setting that has other people in a similar life stage. The support will be unbelievable.
- Find service opportunities where you can give back using your gifts and talents. We know, “it’s better to give than receive.” We also know, “to whom much is given, much is required.” Give of your resources with a cheerful heart.
What needs do you need met, and what is your plan to meet them?