- Volunteer at a local food pantry or soup kitchen
- Carry “blessing bags” with you so when you see someone in need, you are ready to give them something to eat and drink
- Volunteer at your church
- Grow extra veggies and give them away
- Pass your children’s outgrown clothing on to another family who would find that a blessing
- Bake a meal for someone who has just suffered a loss or a medical incident or just because
- Practice random acts of kindness
Friday, 1 August 2014
Image courtesy of Arvind Balaraman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Many times as young moms we feel like we are doing all we can just to keep our own children fed and well cared for. I remember the days when I would fall in to bed and couldn’t remember a single thing I had accomplished that day. However, my children were well cared for, happy, and apparently had run me ragged – something three young boys are very good at!
One thing I wish I had learned to do better when I was a younger mom was to do all things as if doing them for the Lord.
Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the
Lord rather than for people.
~Colossians 3:23 (NLT)
Oftentimes I would be so tired and so caught up in the day-to-day aspects of raising three little ones that I would forget to go to the one source of strength I needed on a daily, if not a minute, basis - Jesus. I understand how it feels to be so focused on simply raising our children that we forget to go to God for help.
I just finished reading the book Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis. If you’ve not heard of the book, it chronicles the journey of Katie who heads to Uganda on a three week mission trip while still a senior in high school. The country captures her heart. After graduation she goes back for what was supposed to be a year-long adventure teaching kindergarten in the village. Her class ended up with over 100 students! During that year the Lord shared what it was He had in store for her. Katie is now 26 years old and lives full-time in Uganda. She has adopted 13 orphaned girls. If that wasn’t enough, she also started an international organization called Amazima that helps women in the village earn money to help feed their families as well as helps the children by providing school supplies and funding to attend school. Those are just some of the things this amazing young women does on a daily basis.
So why am I sharing about this book? What does this all have to do with “doing everything until the Lord?” I was struck by one very important lesson that I felt applied not only to my own life, but to the lives of everyone…
Be Jesus. Even if it’s to just one person. Build on that. That can mean so many things. I’m certainly not telling everyone reading this post that they must leave all they know and move to a Third World Country! However, Jesus calls us to help the least of these in His name.
“But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit upon his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered in his presence, and he will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep at his right hand and the goats at his left.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’
“Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
“And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’
“Then the King will turn to those on the left and say, ‘Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons.
~Matthew 25:31-41 (NLT)
How would helping the “least of these” look in your life? As I mentioned, I’m not suggesting you move to Uganda, but there are ways to help in your own community. Here are some suggestions and examples of things I’ve done with my children in tow.
Many of these things cost little to no extra money. For about a year, until policy changes prohibited us from helping, my boys and I drove to a food bank about an hour away and helped sort and fill the shelves. Their favorite part though was helping to fill the orders of the folks who came. Even my oldest son who was 16 at the time enjoyed this!
I typically have a “snack box” in my car for road trips. It’s saved me quite a few times! Once while in the big city (we live in the backwoods of Maine), I saw a gentleman standing with a cardboard sign while we were stopped at a red light. I admit to being pretty cynical about panhandlers and oftentimes will turn my head. However, he was slowly walking up past the line of cars and his sign caught my attention. It said, “Homeless but not hopeless!” I quickly grabbed some granola bars and a few packages of peanut butter crackers from the snack box, rolled down the window and asked him if he would like some food. He was gracious and kind and parted by saying, “God bless you!”
It doesn’t take a lot of time, but we need to model to our children how to be like Jesus. Discuss with them why you did what you did. Use it to help them see that helping the least of these is really helping Jesus.
It’s simple. Be Jesus. Show your kids how to be Jesus. Live by example.
Disclaimer: I purchased Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis with my own money. I am sharing about it because I loved the book. No other reason.
Lisa is a wife to Bob. They just began their 21st year of marriage. She is also a mom to three boys (ironic, no?). Her oldest will soon be 18 but still has one more year at home. Her middle son is 13 and her youngest is 10. She also stays busy by homeschooling her children and watching a two-year old (a boy of course) full-time as well as other assorted children as the need arises for family and friends. She is very active in her local and state homeschooling community. She is also a very avid reader, enjoys writing, loves dancing at Zumba class, and checking Facebook a little too often. Lisa strives daily to become more Christ-like. She is reminded often of the Lord's mercy and grace and is thankful that He is so gracious to extend to her on a much needed basis. She lives in Maine on her own piece of "no-where land" with her family.