Sunday, October 19, 2008

Please be patient, God isn't finished with us yet!

So many times in raising 5 children all born within 5-1/2 years of each other, things were more chaotic than I wanted them to be.  But I was smart enough to know that if I waited until I "had it together" I would NEVER be able to do anything.  I knew that I had to integrate things into my life as it was to be sure I was living the balance I wanted to live.  

That balance taught my children more than I ever could have if I had not achieved it.
That balance enabled me to keep my perspective and keep an outreach even when things were chaotic.
That balance kept our priorities in focus.
That balance enabled me to get beyond our family to be sure at each stage we were focusing on and blessing others.

A few ideas of things we did as a family, together with some frustrations that I overlooked to do it!

Visited people in the nursing home (while my children had to learn that the adjoining bathrooms were not great places to play tag, that they could not bounce on beds, and that they had to be quiet if we were praying with someone!)

Had regular prayer meetings at our home (while my dog was drinking up everyone's leftover coffee and tea, and while the upstairs sounded like it was going to fall through the roof sometimes).

Had missionaries and church people over for dinner (at times bouncing a few very unhappy babies/toddlers the entire time!)

Participated in home fellowship groups (while training our children how to get along with others at the same time!)

Sang and distributed cookies at a senior residents' home monthly (while teaching my children the "art" of conversation by giving them a topic to discuss with the residents each month).

Brought meals to people recovering from an illness or when someone died (while teaching my children what to say in each situation and how to help).  *I have to say that some of these times I had a hard time cooking my own dinner, and I truly stepped out to live "beyond my own means" intentionally.  Once I brought a tuna casserole as the dinner, and FORGOT to put the tuna in it!  Another time, we loaded up the car with the food, and had suitcases in the trunk to go up north right afterwards, and the back door was open and the suitcases went all over the street!

Taught Sunday School (forcing us to be on time AND often holding our children during it!)

Helped people with their children when they were in a bind (by watching them, which taught my children compassion!)

Volunteered at Gilda's Club (which taught my children about cancer, and about showing love to people who looked different because of serious illnesses).

Had many dinner parties for new people at church (which taught my children that it was important for them to stay in the background when adults were having "adult time").  Once, I was stuck somewhere with one child, and I had to call on my girls when they were about 9, 11 and 13, to make the chicken for the dinner, and they made the chicken for TWELVE COUPLES!

Challenge:  What things have you wanted to do yet don't feel "together enough" to do?  Step out beyond your own means intentionally and do something to be a part of your church and your community.  Do these things with your children, no matter how frustrating it can be!  It will not only enable you to be a blessing beyond your own doors at each part of your life, but it will teach your children VOLUMES.

And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you [with abundant increase of favors] and make your name famous and distinguished, and you will be a blessing [dispensing good to others].”  (Gen 12:2 AMP)

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