On Belonging

On Monday night, my son had his first Cub Scout pack meeting. He put on his official uniform and smiled at himself in the mirror, then asked if I would take a picture to send to his grandparents.

We walked into the room of Scouts and he excitedly chose the spot where he’d set up his “Genius Project,” a craft he made from the designated brown-bagged supply kit.

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Then he went and sat with his den of Tiger Scouts. (Oh-my-goodness, is there anything cuter than a crew of first-graders in uniforms? This kind of stuff wrecks my mother heart.)

During the brief ceremony, the scouts recited the Pledge of Allegiance and Scout Oath, then were called up individually to receive their first earned badge, the Bobcat badge. They did the official Scout handshake with the Pack Leader before returning to their seats.

Gray was so pleased with himself. He stared for a long minute at his new badge, then looked over at me and smiled.

After the meeting, he told me he LOVES being a Scout, and asked if I could put his patch in a safe place until we sewed it onto his shirt.

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That same night, after I tucked the kids into bed, Chad came home from the first meeting of a new men’s group he’s leading based on the Stepping Up series.

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On the deck beneath a sky of bright stars, he told me that thirty guys had showed up for the first session, and some really great conversations had taken place already.

Chad is passionate about encouraging men to act with courage and integrity, and to be leaders in their families and communities. This study is so well-aligned with his calling — I just know it’s going to be big for him and this group of willing men.

As we stood in the chilly November night, I thought about Gray’s enthusiasm for Scouts, and Chad’s for enthusiasm for Stepping Up, and about all the opportunities from childhood to adulthood to participate in groups that bring people together around a campfire or an altar or a table.

I thought about my own fires — the Mothers of Preschoolers Group, my accountability group, our homeschool cooperative. I’m so grateful for collaboration that turns passion into action and outreach — that allows regular folks to join forces with like-minded people and work toward meeting a need in the world.

Maybe that’s what we all desire deep down — to belong to something bigger than ourselves. Something that matters. Something that allows us to come alongside one another and do important work — work that makes a positive impact on our families and communities.

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I love seeing my boys energized about their new missions and new communities. The excitement in our house this week is pretty catchy. It fires me up, too — prompts me to make sure Gray practices reciting that Scout Oath and works on completing his projects and adventures. It inspires me to encourage my husband and children, and to pray that they would be men of integrity who recognize and pursue work that matters. It reminds me of how fortunate we are to live in a community where people lead and care for one another from childhood to adulthood.

I’m excited to see where it all goes for my guys — what comes to fruition in the months and years ahead. But for now, I’ve got a badge to sew.

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❤ Stacy


If you enjoyed this post, read more personal essay here.

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