Piles of laundry greet me in the morning as I maneuver over “booby traps” left out by the kids to ambush any distracted parent. Have you ever stepped on legos with bare feet?
Don’t. Trust me.
The nest of hair sits on my head as my cardigan is accessorized with pretty much whatever my child had to eat that day. Speaking of eating- it’s 3 pm and all I’ve eaten today are a few bites of cereal mush left from breakfast and PB&J bread crust.
I’m clearly in the trenches. Three boys: 7, 3, and 18-months make life wild, sticky, and incredibly beautiful all at the same time.
Our days are crammed with soccer, swimming, karate, church activities, meal preparation, laundry, diapers, doctor appointments… you know- the usual. Every nook and cranny of the day are filled.
I have a heart yearning to serve others and at one time felt that there is a time and a season for that… and this certainly wasn’t mine.
Last fall, I was trying to make the decision whether to join Proof + Help International in their annual Do Good project. Uganda was the destination and I was excited about the opportunity to experience Africa and help… yet feeling conflicted about leaving my littles for ten days.
Lost and confused, I spent time on my knees asking for guidance and waiting for an answer. Then, one afternoon, as I was walking to my car contemplating the decision when I heard the whisperings of the spirit say, “They are all God’s children.”
Peace filled my heart and I was reminded that our Heavenly Father loves each one of us and undoubtedly has concerns for ALL his children. And It was those words I repeated to myself over and over as I gained the courage to step onto the plane that morning in November. And off we went to Uganda.
And I am so glad I did…
It has forever changed me.
Upon my arrival, that long list of daily activities that I described as “the usual” all of a sudden seemed pale in comparison to what was really important. The images of the children and families I met who were just trying to find clean water and medical attention stayed in my heart forever.
And although I can’t physically be out there in person, I have now made it a point to seek out opportunities in my local community. It turns out- that I do have a few nook and crannies left in my life.
Seizing the opportunities
A few months later, on a frigid record-breaking day (-3 degrees!) in January, I was heading home in my car when I saw a woman on the side of the street waiting for the bus. She was wearing a thin dress and nothing but a blanket over her shoulders.
Swerving onto the next available street, I leaped out of the car and made my way through the mound of snow to where she was standing. Fear filled her eyes as my enthusiastic hand signals convinced her to hop in the car.
That was the beginning of several friendships with refugee families that just so happened to come from the camps in Kampala, Uganda where we visited just a few months prior. (The photos above are taken there!)
It was clear to me that there was no such thing as “a perfect season” when it comes to loving someone. It can be shared without having to travel across the globe and it’s free.
Love is continual through all seasons and through eternity. It’s as simple as flashing a smile at a stranger. Or inviting people over to your home and sharing a meal together. Or asking the cashier how her day was going. We all need to feel love and belonging.
Loving the stranger
This month we are focusing on loving those we don’t know. It could be a stranger in the store struggling to get their bags in the car or neighbor you have been meaning to meet.
Schedule it in
If you are like me- writing things down is imperative or it just doesn’t happen. So to help out with this, we are so excited to share this calendar with you so you can schedule and write up what you are going to do for the month. Sign up for our Newsletter –>here<– and you’ll receive this beautiful hand painted calendar sent to your inbox as a thank you gift from us!
I know I know. You are busy. I get it- I am too. But I am willing to bet that other than time, another hurdle is not knowing how or where to get involved. I have an easy breezy solution!
- Go to www.justserve.org and enter your zip code- a list of nearby opportunities will come up!
- Find places in your schedule and put it on the calendar
- Share with friends and family by posting a photo and using #LivetoLoveProject
Love! It’s a beautiful thing that does beautiful things to our heart. What are small ways you are able to get involved in the community? We want to know!