I’m a pretty resourceful person. Half the time, I can’t answer the question of “What’s for dinner?” because I don’t know what to call what I just threw together. I just call it “dinner”. (And most of the time it tastes pretty good, too.)
I haven’t blogged much lately because I am out.of.resources. Not so much the food resources, as my waste line would indicate, but most of the others. And yet God continues to squeeze and press more out of me.
You might say our family is in transition. That phase right before new birth, when you want to vomit and you are exhausted and really ready to be done and get your prize already. It’s a wonderful place to be, right there at the mercy of God. You are working hard, yet you have a feeling of excitement and expectation. Sometimes you don’t know what is about to come out of you, because you stubbornly chose not to find out the gender of your baby. Although, I would almost compare our current situation to one of those moms on “I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant”. One day you are just minding your own business, and BAM! labor pains. Is this a kidney stone? Is my appendix bursting?? Oooohhh…. I’m in labor.
So there we were just muddling through survival with a newborn, tired, half awake, majorly caffeinated. And it’s almost like God sort of crept up our blind side and BAM! Labor Pains. You could say this “child” was not planed.
Are you wondering what in the heck I am talking about?
Yeah. Me too.
Anyway, church today was about the feeding of the 5,000. That throng of people pressed in hard and demanded to be fed. The disciples had no resources. Jesus looked at them and said, “YOU feed them.” (Charis laughed out loud at this point in the story, which is pretty much my reaction when Jesus tells me to reach deep into my own emptiness to give.) And of course Jesus generously provided the resources to feed the crowd. And what was left over? 12 basket fulls. And how many disciples were there? 12.
Howa bout that. So, the general message was: Trust Jesus, Give all you’ve got, He will provide and even some grace left over for you too. And when our pastor asked if we had people in our lives that were hurting or had deep needs, I could honestly say, “YES!” And really, once we remove our heads from our rear ends, we should ALL be able to answer that question with a resounding “YES!”
I already wrote about how we tried to start a small group in our area from scratch. And well… it didn’t work out. We never found other families interested in a family-integrated small group. So we tossed around ideas…how do we find community? How do we find a place to serve?
Well. How about right where we are?
Brent came up with the idea to host a Dave Ramsey course in our home for our neighbors. (We are only acquainted with two of the households in our neighborhood. And if I’m being perfectly honest, there are a couple that I didn’t really wish to be acquainted with at all. Okay. Not a couple. A bunch. I suck.) Brent’s heart is so bent towards shepherding others. He does not look down on other people. Me? I mostly want to be comfortable and do my own thing. (God’s working on that, trust me.) But I knew enough to be supportive. So we baked cookies and Brent and the big kids took them door to door while I kept the little people at home. Each and every household got cookies and an invitation to come over for some good ol’ Dave Ramsey stuff (including a free book! He bought books for them all!). That Friday night we waited to see who would show up.
You know who showed up?
One. little. old. lady. And I don’t think she cared anything at all about finances.
But she sure was lonely.
The next week Brent and the big kids went around again and invited the whole neighborhood over.And while they were out, they made it a point to stop by that old lady’s house and give her some company.
You know who showed up?
One. single. mamma. And boy did she need some encouragement.
The next week I was out of town for a funeral, but Brent went around again and invited the whole neighborhood. This time making it a point to stop and chat with both the single mom who needed encouragement and the little old lonely lady.
And…Just one guy showed up. And that’s exactly how God planned it to be.
Last week no one showed up. But guess what?
When they were going door to door, Brent found out that just a few houses down there was a family with the wife on bed rest because she is pregnant with triplets.
If there is one thing we know how to do,it’s taking care of new mammas and new babies.
So, I was making dinner and my casserole just wouldn’t fit in my dish. I had just enough to put in another dish. The next afternoon Brent nudged my poor tired aching body down the street to that family with that casserole.
Y’all. It was just squash casserole. Poor man’s food, you know?Not EVER what I would intentionally take to share.
“They probably don’t even like squash.” I said.
“Maybe they already have dinner planned.” I excused.
“I really don’t have time. I need to get in there and cook dinner for my family. I’m already running behind.”
See what I mean about the head in the rear?
So I grabbed the baby sling and another kid and we trotted down the street.
It was awkward.
These people did not know me and here I was showing up with food unannounced. And my hair looked stupid because I had just taken a quick shower and not fixed it. And I probably said something weird like “well, we just love pregnant women!” (Seriously? That’s the best I could come up with?) The dude was totally taken aback. And to this day I still have no idea how the Lord chose to use my silly little casserole to bless them. I mean, hopefully it was a blessing.
But it’s not my resources that will minister to hungry souls. It’s Jesus’s. And I can only be the earthen vessel he uses to do it with.
Even though our attempts at the whole Dave Ramsey thing seem like a huge failure, Brent and I both knew in our hearts that something bigger was happening. By His grace, we are being changed. And the Lord brought along people with such big needs. And we never would have known.
It doesn’t have to be something huge and grand. It might be something as simple as getting out and meeting the neighbors. Finding out that there are people right around you that are broken and hurting and need Jesus’s love.
And this could be the beginning of something more. Dare I say… big?
I do tend to have big babies.