Tuesday, May 17, 2011

service

Last month we had a fundraiser for the youth in our church.

It was a BIG deal. They Mayor of our town even came to be the MC.

The committee putting it on put in so much work and really encouraged everyone to donate something great to the cause.

Max put together a car wash kit with some other boys and made a coupon for lawn-mowing, but my girls and I were stumped. We wanted to do something together. We finally determined we'd donate bread. Fresh, home-made bread brought to the winner of the bid every Tuesday for a month.

At the time I must admit that although I was fully wanting to give service, I was wishing I could come up with something more meaningful than some measly bread. I was a little down on myself that I couldn't get it together enough to offer something bigger...more fancy.

But I was already drowning in "to-dos" and even this little thing felt a little heavy...

Until the excitement of my girls hit me.

"Can I grind the wheat?" asked Claire sweetly.

"I want to measure the honey!" claimed Grace

And we hunkered down to make our first batch. A beautiful loaf was put out to display at the fundraiser with a coupon for more to come.

Well, our dear neighbors down the street bought our donation.

And I'm SO grateful to them because they put on a show to be head-over-heels excited about it. Which made my girls antsy with anticipation to bring our prized loaf over each week.

They couldn't wait to measure the flour. To knead the dough. To watch the yeast rise.
(Especially if it meant putting off the hair-drying and -doing in the mornings....Grace is multitasking talking to her friend on the phone who meets them to ride bikes.)

And just like that, that little extra "to do" that had seemed heavy yet small and insignificant became something so much bigger than itself.

It made the people we delivered it to happy. (I must admit, a slice of this bread with a smidgen of butter and honey is divine.)

It made my girls shine with the joy that only serving others gives.

And it transformed their "at-first-grudging" mother into a mother full of gratitude that she got to share an act of service with her girls.

Even if it was just a little one.

Sometimes I have the mistaken notion that acts of service have to be so big and grandiose when really I need to remember that even the little things make a difference.

Inspired by a neighbor who had a "summer of service" with her kids last summer and a couple comments on this post I hope that I can figure out more ways we can serve together as a family this summer. Please send along any good ideas!
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