This past week we helped my Aunt Barb throw a surprise party for my Uncle’s 60thbirthday, complete with a Swenson’s food truck—home of the galley boy cheeseburger. YUM. Anyways, I’m always amazed at how everyone, whether they were prepared to or not, came to help. They were quick to volunteer to run errands for my Aunt when there wasn’t enough basil for the salad she was making or bags of ice for the coolers. Friends walked in the door and immediately offered to tidy up or blow up balloons. It was really all hands on deck and everyone was happy to help participate, making it all the more better of a surprise. My Uncle Dana pulled into the driveway with everyone standing in the lawn holding balloons, jumping up and down and singing. My five-year-old son raced right to him after he got out of the car and gave him a giant hug too. The whole night was pretty awesome!
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10
Everyone was working together doing their part. I’m the baker in the family, so I set up the dessert table. The strong men were setting up the heavy tables and carried them outside to the patio. My mom who loves to serve by cleaning walked right in and started washing all of the bowls. The mentality, “I’ll go, I’ll do it, whatever you need me to do,” was pretty much what family and friends took on for this event. They weren’t serving themselves, they were serving my Aunt and Uncle. Really any event or holiday is all the more successful and enjoyable with this kind of attitude, especially for the host or hostess. It reduces the risk of someone getting overloaded, really stressed out, overwhelmed, etc. Even the smallest person can help, whether it’s through a task, a positive attitude, or an act of kindness, just like my little boy running to give a hug.
“So we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them . . .” Romans 12: 6
The body of Christ is a beautiful thing—best accomplished when we put ourselves behind us. Then we goand dowhatever needs to be done. What an amazing world this would be if we all used our gifts to their fullest potential! What a happy party that would be.
This mentality is one that we have taken on during this season of starting a new church. The opportunity sort of fell into our laps suddenly last year, and we knew it would be a season full of challenges and stress. But this was God calling us. His way for us. So trusting in him we said, “I’ll go, I’ll do it, whatever Heneeds us to do.” And with that, we uprooted our family into a new city and began our mission to fundraise a very large sum of money to finance a church. We’ve had all hands on deck through it—through people and church’s supporting us, through our friends and staff moving with us to Toledo. Even the smallest word of encouragement or act of kindness has propelled us forward. When things seem overwhelming, God has been affirming and providing for us. Even as far as providing us with a rent-free building, which is cause for celebration! So even when it’s been hard, we get up and go. We keep moving and use our gifts. We work together as a team. His body. And God is faithful through and through!
Father, thank you for the gifts you have given me. I will try to put myself aside so that I can go and do whatever you need me to do. Serving others, serving you, so that people can recognize your son and his grace. Amen!
Lots of Love, from Lauren