Thursday, June 5, 2014

Learning to Serve

 A few years back my husband began working with a great outreach program called I_HELP.  It was the emergency housing and lodging program for the city we live in. Volunteering with the boys allowed him and the kids the chance to serve the homeless dinner one night month.  They would join other families at a local church which housed the gentlemen for the night.  Details aside, it was awesome for a few years but the night came in conflict with soccer practice so we looked for other ways for the kids to serve.

At the time I was active in ministry and was trying to find ways to say NO rather than put more on my plate.  My husband was looking for something easy and scheduled to do with the boys even if he had to leave work a little early to do so.

Anthony had served as a lector for the past few years but it was very hit or miss.  He liked doing it initially and more recently his growing self awareness had made him a little self-conscious.  He found himself becoming nervous and it just wasn't as fun anymore.

Anthony reached the golden age of service this year and became eligible to step up as an altar server and I highly encouraged him.  I almost required it but didn't need to. Maybe he saw through my enthusiasm as realized that if he didn't say "oh I would love to do that" I was going to pull rank.  Either way he joyfully woke up the morning of training and stepped up to learn the basics of Altar Serving.

 I attended the training with him and although admittedly distracted with phone calls, it was really cool to see what he was being taught.   As a convert, I don't know all the terms or even the levels of Altar Server.  I was never a server so it is all new and exciting to me. I really can't wait to see him step into this new role.

This newest milestone it has made me more and more aware that as I am intentional about teaching the oldest to serve, and his service will set an expectation for the other kids, I have not been as intentional about finding them ways to serve.

And that must change.  Gracie will be great in the choir as soon as she can show us that she will actually sing in church and not just stand there - She wants to, but I just don't want to drive her back and forth on Thursday nights just to have her stand around. She has a recent history of doing just that.  Her grade put on a brilliant play and she was offered a speaking role.  She learned her very short line.  I bought her costume.  And then she cried when she had to go on stage.  I am a big believer in not pushing kids with that type of thing so it wasn't a big deal.  But I am waiting just a little longer before we go through choir rehearsals.    JR wants to lector but needs some coaching and I haven't wanted to take the time.  Now with summer here we can really work on it.

Somehow with the first child everything it is so new and exciting.  It is fun to see them grow so much.  I want to have that same excitement about the younger ones as they find their niches.  I think that when they take their own paths it is so much more exciting than when they just do what the big brother did.   I really don't want them to feel like they have to do it all the same way Anthony did it.  I want them to find their own calling, to learn to listen to God's whispers, his calls, his direction.  I want them to find the best fit for their service.  Oh, but that takes more time, effort, and attention from mama doesn't it.

Only with God's grace can we do this mothering job and I am still learning to serve Him by serving them!

Thanks for stopping by!

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