I cooked this dinner. Why is it that I have to clean it up, too? I grumbled to myself as I rinsed chicken bits and peas down the disposal. I turned to grab the pan from the stove and rammed my shin into the dishwasher.
“OUCH!” I yelled, but there was no one to hear me. My husband and children were playing tag in the backyard in the early evening sun. Every so often I’d hear the squeals of my daughter over the running water at the sink.
I sighed and tried to keep my attitude in check. You told them to go on out, I told myself. But part of me wanted them to decline the offer and insist on helping with the dishes.
“What if this were a homeless shelter and you were washing the dishes there after you’d already cooked the dinner? Would you complain then?”
I knew immediately the Holy Spirit’s voice inside my head and stood still at the sink, the garbage disposal gargling in front of me. Would I? I wondered. No. I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t complain if I were doing the dishes at a shelter. Not only would I not complain; I’d be doing them with a happy heart. I love ministry.
“Guess what, Carol? This family is your ministry – the ministry I have specifically given to you.”
It was a light bulb moment. Aha! Eureka! My family was my ministry. I needed to serve them with the same joy I served the men at the prison or at the food pantry. But, I’d been treating them like a cumbersome part of my life that I needed to tolerate in order to get to real ministry.
I wanted to rush outside to join in the game of tag, to kick up my heels and say, “I love you! I will serve you!” Instead, I walked over to the table and put the butter and ketchup away. But as I neared the window, I looked at those precious people the Lord entrusted to me and with a happy heart, I whispered, “I love you. I will serve you.”
I’m currently writing a book called Sheep to the Right, Becoming an Everyday Missionary. It’s about how we balance taking care of our family with serving others the way Christ asks us to do in Matthew 25:35-36.
So, I’m going to be sharing some things on my blog about how to become an Everyday Missionary. One of these things will be to provide you with a free downloadable calendar at the first of each month. This calendar will have service ideas for you to do – some you may do alone, but many will include your family. Some of the ideas will include reaching out to others and some will focus on your immediate family (your first ministry). Becoming an Everyday Missionary is a combination of both.
I hope you’ll help me spread the word by sharing these posts on Facebook and Twitter or just emailing them to people you know. If you don’t get my posts by email subscription, sign up now so you won’t miss anything! You’ll only get an email from me when I post. (If you sign up, just be sure you look for the confirmation email and click on the link to get your subscription started.) I’ll also be featuring some service organizations and doing some give-aways. But don’t worry; I’ll still be doing my regular devotions, too.
If you have some ideas for service projects, leave me a comment or drop me an email and tell me about them. I’d also love to hear about your favorite organizations. Who knows? Your ideas may be included in one of the calendars.
Don’t you think it’s time we as Christians took back our world? Let’s work to become Everyday Missionaries and change the world around us.
Download the Service Calendar for February HERE.