Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Happy Birthday, Sis!

Happy birthday to my big sister!
We love you!!!
By the way, if you're ever in New Orleans, be sure to check out her super-cool kids' playground and party place!

Do Good

"and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many." Mark 10:44-45

About a week and a half ago (on my bday, as a matter of fact!), close to 300 people from our church took part in DO GOOD day. All wearing fabulous kelly green shirts (great color choice, Do Good team! So good for the red-heads), we went to various sites around our community to do pre-arranged service projects. It was truly amazing to see that many people ready to love their neighbors with service, at 8 AM on a Saturday! WOW!

Check it out here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmk3f6dbLxw

Service seems to be something God is speaking to me about lately. Not just service through pre-planned projects, though, but living with a servant's heart daily. Looking for every opportunity to serve those around me -- family, friends, acquaintances, strangers.

In our Life Group this week, we discussed the verse above and what it means for us. We shared stories about when someone has served us. Interesting that most of the stories were about small things -- friends happily volunteering to watch our children when we needed it most, a stranger handing over a coupon when financial times were tight or paying for our soda at the gas station when we've found ourselves with no cash. It is in these acts of service that we see the hand of God in our everyday lives.

So, I've been thinking about why I don't do more of this. For me, it simply comes down to being so caught up in the business of everyday that I often don't even see the needs of those around me. Sure, I think about what's going on with my friends and family, and I try to reach out to them when they're in need. But the people around me in the store, at restaurants, on the road, and at work are those that may need some small act of service the most. Now, even with our busy 2 working parents schedule, I FIND time for things that are important to ME and my needs -- shopping, pedicures, hair, waxing (although THAT, I believe, truly is a service to others, because trust me, no one wants to see the out of control eyebrows!), sometimes even reading, and occasionally an entire episode of American Idol. None of these things are bad, of course, but my prayer now is that as I go through my life, I will simply look around and see opportunities to serve -- that I will learn to truly live with a servant's heart.

Now let me be absolutely clear that I in no way believe that having a servant's heart is about "keeping score," somehow striving to make sure that I do "x" # of good deeds each week or whatever. But Jesus tells us to "love your neighbor as yourself." OK, so really think about that. I spend a lot of time thinking about my own needs -- my need for rest, for help with the kid or the house, the need to look and feel good... oh, I could go on all day! We are all naturally "slaves" to our own needs. So if I love my neighbor as myself, then I should think about their needs as well, and be a "slave of all". There are needs right in front of me everyday that I could help meet without even much sacrifice or effort -- a crying child alone in a store, a cashier telling me how she's going through a divorce and struggling to make ends meet, a stressed-out mom with a screaming child behind me in line at the grocery store, a student reaching out for a attention... I could go on all day!

One thing that I loved about Perry's school from day 1 was the emphasis on service. The students do service projects - several each year - from preK through 12th grade. They also emphasize DAILY service to one another, though, and model what that looks like. I LOVE that this is a constant part of his life so early on.

(Side note -- For those who haven't heard, I'll be teaching at Perry's school next year! HOORAY! It's a wonderful private Christian school, and I am so excited to be a part of it!)

Perry's teachers have taught them "the last shall be first" concept. Here's what he's learned from that so far, by the way --
It came up a couple of months ago on the way home from school. The conversations went something like this.

Perry: "Mommy, can I play the Wii when we get home?"

Me:"First, you need to finish writing your cards, then you need to get ready for baseball practice. If there's still time, you can play before we leave."

Perry: (PAUSE...) "Mommy, the Bible says the last will be first."

Wow. Manipulating scripture to meet his needs at such an early age. We're so proud! Um, yeah, we're working on that...

If you pray, please pray for me, that God will open my eyes and give me the courage and the resources to love and serve my neighbors! I'll pray the same for you.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Our Weekend

This picture pretty much sums up our weekend (at least our Saturday). We had ambitions for getting some work done in the yard and such, but we spent much of the day at the ball park instead. Perry's team played the only undefeated team left in his league, and guess what? They're not undefeated anymore! It was a great game, and the kids had a lot of fun, despite a rain delay, which was the 1st reason we were there longer than we'd planned...
After his game, the coach of another team asked if he could stay and play for them since they were short. And since Perry would love to play baseball at least 20 hours out of the day, he jumped at the chance. Strangely enough, even after almost 4 hours on the field, he was begging us to play with him before dinner!
Well, we did buy a weed whacker yesterday. One of these days we'll find the time to use it!
Today was an awesome day at church. I have some deep thoughts about some of the things we've been learning at church and discussing in our life group. That will have to wait for another day, though. I'm coming down with some sort of sinus infection or some such nastiness, so I'm headed for the elliptical and then to bed!


So...I've done it! I've created a blog. Now hopefully I can find the time to post regularly. I thought this would be a great way to keep in the loop with all of our widespread friends and family. I've always wanted to become a journaler, but that whole pencil and paper thing tires me out just thinking about it. Since Perry was born, I've wanted to do this even more, because my kid says and does some pretty funny stuff, y'all! I plan to use this to relate events in our family's lives and to express my thoughts.

I'll update as often as I can and let you know what's going on with us. Right now I'm off to host our Life Group.