Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways
acknowledge him,and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Food Pantry Duty

One of the blessings of being a home school family is that you find yourselves with various opportunities to volunteer and/or give back to the community that public school kids wouldn't have.   How many kids do you know can skip school one Monday afternoon a month to help out the community?  Not many, right?

Our church is presented with this volunteer opportunity once a month at the Food Pantry in Sinton, Texas.  We log the applicants in as they arrive and distribute food to them based on the number of people in their family.   For various reasons, Caleb and I had not yet gone to participate.   Well, in May, I marked our calendar and was determined that we would go check out this ministry.  One of my goals as a home schooling mom is that Caleb learn that the world/life isn't always all about him.  I want him to have a servants heart.  What better way is there to do that than to find opportunities to serve.

I wanted to take pictures of Caleb, but as I've said before he gets frustrated with my paparazzi-ness and isn't always agreeable.  This one cracks me up because I asked him to smile and he really had to force that "maybe-grin" on his face.

Caleb was more than willing to seek out canned goods from the shelves and dig (and count as we go) apples out of their bins.  In this photo, he is stocking shelves by refilling the bins with pasta.  He also restocked the pinto beans that day as well.

One moment that definitely tickled my funny bone was watching him restock the apple juice on the shelves.  In Caleb's mind, all things have to come out even.  He insisted on opening cases of apple juice all with the goal in mind of having the bottles come out even on the shelf.  If there was an empty space, another box HAD to be opened.  We were finally able to distract him and get him off that task as it was not going to come out right.  Not to mention, his goal would be ruined the very next time we removed a bottle off the shelf.

I was so proud that day.  I didn't know if I was going to have a whiny five year old on my hands or a contributor to the cause.  I was pleasantly surprised to learn he wanted to dig in and help with every task.  He did not want to be left out.

I remember the people I met that afternoon and how each one of them thanked me for the box of food I handed to them.  I didn't do much other than spend a couple of hours in a small room and fill boxes.  While that didn't seem like much to me, those boxes were a blessing to someone else.  And at the same time, I was blessed by this act of service to someone in need. 

It reminds me of Paul in Philippians 4, where he gives thanks for the gifts he received.  He is grateful to those who gave to him in his time of need.  Why is this so significant?  Because when we give to those in need, not only does the recipient receive a blessing, the giver is blessed as well.  What joy we will have in our hearts when we serve those in need.  

One of my favorite verses is in Philippians 4.  It's Philippians 4:13 to be exact, "For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength."  This is what Paul says....he had learned how to be content with whatever he had, whether it was a little or a lot.  He knew he would get through anything with Christ, as He is the source of his strength.  Paul is pleased with their gifts to him because the Philippians gave joyfully....

What a good reminder this is to give (and serve) joyfully.  For this IS pleasing to God.

In His Name,

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