Daniel and Amanda’s Weblog

August 21, 2008

Community #1

Filed under: christianity — theburts @ 4:15 pm
Tags: , ,

Many of you know that I (Daniel) lived in a community for a year. By community, I mean multiple people or family units living in shared space…9 total people in two apartments. Each person or family unit had their own space still for privacy (except for me and Josh who were in the same room with a bunk bed that had a parrot roost for stuffed parrots), but we had common areas for cooking, eating, and just hanging out or playing games. We ate most every meal together (and often with guests) and spent most of our down time talking about life, God, world views, and what happens when the Christian faith and daily living meet. There were two children who brought much entertainment to the community, and different community members would take turns babysitting them to give the parents breaks. There was a nursing student, network technician, at-risk-youth counselor, accountant, barista, optometrist, and engineer assistant (or, a guy who worked at an engineering firm) living together sharing their resources and growing in the Way of Jesus Christ. We attended different Churches, but we found unity in our desire to radically follow Jesus. It was both the most I’ve ever been challenged and the most I’ve ever grown all in the same year.

There were several reasons, but a big one for me at the time was that I didn’t feel right living where I lived. Josh and I were living with other friends in a fairly wealthy area of the city in a big condominium I’d bought in ’03, and after my eyes were opened to the fact that Jesus spent most of his time with the poor, there was internal conflict in the fact that I never spent any time on “Jesus’ side of town.” So Josh and I decided to move…and at the same time, our future room mates Bryan and Dawn (and kids) and Mindy and Ariah had decided to live together, and we all came together with another random stranger, Chris, to form said happy community.  :)

In the beginning stages, some of our group actually looked for cheap broken down or burned out houses to buy, but we ended up just having to quickly find a place to rent out for a year. We lived in an abandoned area of Nashville (north Nashville to be exact) on a street that some of our family and friends would have declared unsafe for us. We all agreed that safety wasn’t our primary goal in following Jesus. We didn’t know all the ins and outs of what our little community experiment would look like when we moved in. Our “home” wasn’t very nice aesthetically, and we had a roach problem, but we found that we didn’t mind not having vaulted ceilings or perfect paint jobs or new carpet. We even managed to survive through the smell of icky smoke creeping in our apartment and the occasional slug.

We constantly talked about and grew together in areas such as understanding racial divisions and obstacles to equality, taking care of God’s earth from composting to recycling to redeeming trash, becoming equal in sharing resources and kicking around ideas of financial accountability, actively seeking peace while our country was at war, etc. Most of this was around the dinner table, and afterwards as we’d sit around and enjoy conversation with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Conversation just happened, scheduled or not. Nobody headed off to watch TV after dinner, and everyone chipped in cleaning up and washing dishes (though we all know Chris, Mindy and Dawn did more than their share, grin).

We painted this verse on our wall…

…and we carried it out through cleaning, babysitting, writing encouraging notes to each other on our message boards, and taking out the trash, which is kind of like washing feet.

So that was our year in community in review, a year later. I promise it wasn’t completely random…you’ll see why I brought it up on the next blog, which will hopefully be written soon. And that was the first blog post in a long time. My apologies. :)

On another note, Amanda and I celebrated our 1 year anniversary last week! What a wonderful first year it was…and I look forward to the rest of them with equal (or even greater!) excitement and anticipation.  ;)

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6 Comments »

  1. My family actually ate with you all once at the invitation of Ariah. I think that you were there, but I can’t remember for sure.

    Comment by Indie — August 21, 2008 @ 6:35 pm | Reply

  2. Welcome back. It was wonderful to see a post from you all this morning. I check your blog along with Ariah Fine’s every morning. Congratulations on the anniversary. My wife and I have been married for 12 years and been together for 18. The time goes by so fast. I wish you all the best in your many years to come.

    Comment by Chad — August 22, 2008 @ 6:51 am | Reply

  3. You would get along so well with my brother. He lives here:

    http://rosecreekvillage.com/

    Comment by Jennifer Cullimore — August 24, 2008 @ 10:37 am | Reply

  4. Thanks for the comments y’all!
    Peace,
    Daniel

    Comment by theburts — August 25, 2008 @ 8:42 pm | Reply

  5. CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR FIRST YEAR!!!

    Comment by Christina Stubblefield — August 25, 2008 @ 10:03 pm | Reply

  6. Happy Anniversary!!! I cannot believe it has been only one year. That seems unreal.
    Thanks for re-capping the year in community. There were times when I felt so out of it, getting the kids in bed. I wish we could do it again so I could be engaged in those conversations more often. Miss you guys!

    Comment by Dawn — September 5, 2008 @ 9:29 pm | Reply


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