Saturday, July 08, 2006

Connecting The Dots

Bringing in offerings during our VBS week
I'm doing a Bible Study this summer titled "Are You a Desperate Housewife?" Yes, it's making reference to the show Desperate Housewives, and we are discussing how many of us are similar to the characters in terms of what we are longing for; love, perfection, beauty, "stuff", etc. This week we talked about the drive for perfection, and how we have become a society that defines success as someone who has the biggest home, the nicest car, the fanciest clothes, the biggest birthday parties for their kids, etc. As many strive to "keep up with the Jonses'" they are missing out on the things that truly matter, one of them being the opportunity to "connect the dots" for their kids.

We were challenged to pray with our children and then follow through. I know that hubby and I pray with our kids, but we do not always rejoice, cry, laugh, etc. with them when our prayers are answered. "Thank you God" and we go on our way. I am hoping we can remember to share with our kids, and in return, this will help develop their faith.

This week at VBS, the children were challenged to bring in 500 sticks of deodorant for the Rescue Mission. My boys are clueless when it comes to the concept of homelessness, but I'm striving to connect those dots and develop a passion to care and serve others. The kids were also challenged to bring in a dollar each morning, and what was collected would be taken to an orphanage in Chile. During the week, the kids were shown photos of the orphanage and the children, and you could see some starting to connect the dots. "Here are the kids that I am helping! I am making a difference!" How often we miss such great opportunities with our kids!

I think one of the best ways to connect the dots is to go on a mission trip. Whether you are religious or not, serving in a third world country will change your life. It brings you into the reality of the rest of the world - poverty, hunger, sickness, etc. There are no Sams Club, Walmart, Starbucks, Toys R Us, Country Club, air conditioning, warm showers, etc. I visited Honduras a few years ago on a medical mission, and I was almost embarrassed to talk about my life back home. Up until that point, I really had not put it all together. I can honestly say this trip changed my life. I now realize that I am called to serve and care for others, and it's my job, as a parent, to make certain my children feel this calling as well.

So how am I doing so far? Ummm . . . pretty poorly. Life is busy and I slow down for little. But this is something that I have to make a priority. I have to help my kids put it together! This time is one of building faith and character, and I can't let it pass by. This is what counts and how quickly I forget in the race for perfection.

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