Attending to the Needs of Others in Everyday Life
In thinking how to close out this series (for now) I decided to give you a peek into the lives of the members of the Boyer family over, say the past month or so to see how this is played out in everyday life. We now have 9 kids still at home. Only 3 are still school aged. The kids are very involved in the lives of others. Our neighbor recently lost his wife and is now in a local nursing home. Four of my girls go to visit him on a regular basis, sometimes overlapping their visits. One of my daughters decorated his room for him for Christmas. They read the Bible to him, witness about their Lord and how He can become his Lord too and just make him happy and comfortable in any way they can. His wife taught all my children how to play the piano and now they have the chance to make his last days a little more joyful. He sometimes has as many as 8 visits per week among them!
There was one day this last month during which 5 supper meals were cooked in my kitchen. The girls were bringing meals to 4 different families in one day and one was for us! Meals have been brought to friends who lost family members, who had surgery, who had a new baby, who had just moved, who were sick, etc. I don’t even think I could count the meals made this last month for others in need. Sometimes I’m tempted to think, Wow! Look at all these dishes! But then the truth hits me that my girls are investing in the lives of others. I recall that verse about where there are no oxen, the stable is clean, but much strength comes from the oxen. I am so thankful that my girls especially at this time in their lives, not being married and having families of their own yet, can clearly see that it’s more blessed to learn to serve than to expect others to serve them.
Kasey was in the Dollar Tree this past week and found a little turtle knick knack. She immediately asked if she could buy it for her friend, who is an older lady with a turtle collection. This is one of the ladies that Kasey makes a point of giving a hug and a smile to every Sunday.
The picture in this posting was taken a little over a month ago when our younger kids, Rick and I, and another family had a birthday party for one of our favorite World War II vets. He was so surprised and touched. He invited us back to celebrate with him next year. Just this morning in church, I noticed him scanning the crowd looking for his little Kasey! Even your young children can have a ministry of hugs! In fact, I am constantly reminding myself of that. Instead of just going to church, I try to think, who can I say hello to who might need a little extra encouragement? We do go to church to learn how to serve God better, but we also need to go to church to try to be a blessing to someone else.
Matt, a week or so ago got home pretty late after helping a family move after he got off work for the day. One of girls, I believe fixed them a meal. Carrie cleaned the house for a soon to be mom and Chris helped her organize the kids and baby clothes. The girls have babysat for a mom having an ultrasound, for a mom who had to take some of her children to the doctor, etc. Chris has a special lady friend who had surgery this month and has visited with her and her husband. Carrie helped plan a big birthday dinner party for a special friend!
Kate planned and had a tea just before Christmas with the purpose of inviting some widows along with some other ladies to do something special for the widows who might not get as many invitations as couples do. It was very nice, lots of sandwiches, sweets, tea, hot chocolate and a time of fellowship. As a teen when she wanted to go on a missions trip, Rick arranged for her to go with the senior saints from our church, rather than with the teens. She had a blast and has built some close relationships with many of the older people who were on that trip. It was actually of one of those ladies who was recently widowed that inspired her to plan this tea.
Laura, wanting to be involved with some of the younger girls in our church, had some over to make Christmas cookies for the local sheriff’s departments, police officers and fire and rescue folks. She invited the girls over, made cookies, took them to lunch, and then delivered the cookies along with a gospel tract to the various emergency service departments. Just yesterday she had a pre-teen girl over for supper and an evening of fun making snowman cupcakes, playing games etc. just to be a blessing to her. They had a fun evening! Tuck has spent a lot of hours volunteering at a friend’s farm with the many chores that need to be done there. (He loves every minute of that!)
This is not to mention all the times the girls have taken their nieces and nephews out to Chick Fil- A or to Amazement Square-our local museum- or just out shopping to the Dollar Store or Sams with them. My head swims when I try to keep everyone’s schedules straight anymore, but suffice it to say, I am amazed at the hours the kids spend in lending a helping hand to make life a little easier for another. Even Kelley and Kasey invest time in their nieces and nephews. They are always looking for fun things to do or projects to do with them or fun ways to help teach them character lessons they were taught.
I’m sharing this to give you a glimpse into what life looks like when you invest your time to train your kids to notice and attend to the needs of others. It doesn’t come naturally. It’s something you need to foster just as early as possible. Ask God for opportunities for your family to minister. It doesn’t need to be something official to be a ministry. I think God plans for the family to be the primary training ground for future service. If you’re the one feeling overwhelmed with a house full of little ones, that’s where you begin. Ministering to the needs of brothers, sisters, mommy and daddy is a great place to begin! It’s when you pour your life out for others, that God will fill you up!! God bless you all as you raise up a mighty army of ground soldiers for Jesus!