Friday, January 26, 2007

What have you done for me lately?

Funny, we started this week talking about “keeping score,” and ended it talking about women’s ministry!

I can look back on the loneliest times in my life, and they were (without exception) when I was keeping score, unwittingly, with friends, my church, or my family.

Why don’t they call me? Don’t they know I’m having a rough time?

Ask me to serve? I can’t even get my toddler to take a nap on a good day!

To be honest, when my all my kids were small, I did very little “organized” ministry. I served when I was asked, but I felt I needed to be home with my little ones. I’m glad I protected that time and I don’t have any regrets. But I was awfully lonely. I wish I had stepped out a little more and been more involved. I wish I would have picked up the phone and called someone who was probably lonelier than I was.

Truth is, I feel most connected - to my family, to my friends, and to my church family - when I’m thinking of others. When I set my agenda aside for a while and do something inconvenient for me but a blessing for someone else.

When I’m not worrying if I’m going to get something in return.

“Ministry” is not only for those with a title or a paid staff position. It's not only for those who have the Bible memorized or who can say a deep-sounding prayer. It's for those who have a heart for serving.

When I take a few minutes to make a phone call, give a hug, offer an invitation to sit together - and of course, anytime there’s food involved - these all have a way of bringing me out of myself. Whether I ever get anything back is not my concern.

It’s His.
I tell you the truth, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to Christ will certainly not lose his reward.
Mark 9:41, NIV


Elise @A Path Made Straight said...

I think it's so fitting that we started the week that way and ended it this way - what better way for us to "get outside of ourselves", i.e. stop keeping score, then to invest in ministry? :)
I hear you about very little organized ministry right now - although my husband is a minister, so between Bible studies in the home, starting with dinner, movie nights in our home, potlucks to provide for, funerals to cook for, and visiting shut-in women to pray with them, I guess I'm doing enough right now.
Thank the Lord for my blogging friends - I don't WANT to leave the home to visit with a friend (nor can I), so this is such a blessing to me!
You are, too, Katherine. I've been really loving your posts lately (I always did, but you know what I'm saying!) and although I haven't commented much, I just want you to know I'm here, being blessed by you!

Barbie @ Mamaology said...

Thanks for these timely words of wisdom for me! It is so confusing at times to know how to balance it all. But it isn't all about ME and my needs is it! I need to heed your advice and reach out more, even in the midst of my craziness:)

Anonymous said...

Great post! We have a Ladies' Bible class each Wednesday morning. It is always difficult to get there with the kids, but I am always glad I made the effort. Being able to study and fellowship with the other women is so uplifting to me. Also, several of the older women have commmented on how much they appreciate the young moms who make the effort to come. This is especially encouraging because these women remember how difficult it can be, and they let us young moms know that they are encouraged by us being there. Thanks for your thoughtful post!

Leslie said...

Thanks for posting this! It was an incredible reminder that we don't have to do something "out of this world" to have an impact.

Andrea said...

This is so very timely to me.
On our Tuesday morning bible study this week, a woman spoke almost exactly on this topic.
And it's something I've been thinking about, praying about. Community is about giving, not what it can do for me.
Thank you for the encouragement, as always, Katherine.

Stacey said...

I totally agree with you. I feel most connected when I'm reaching out, too. It's hard to wait for others. I'm trying to live without keeping score also! Thanks for the reminder!

Code Yellow Mom said...

Great post. There's always a balance to strike, isn't there? Service and reaching out are the only things besides our family relationships that really help polish off the rough edges of our character, I think. And it's so interesting that the more we give (or lose ourselves), the more we find - in friendships, in peace of mind, and in joy.

Deidre said...

Thank you so much for this post. I'm praying about an area of ministry to either begin, or to be involved in at all. My husband is slowly leaving the youth ministry that we've been involved in for 6 years. It's so time-consuming and difficult to attend camps, mission trips and lock-ins with a 5 year old and 18 month old.

But, I must serve in some area. So, I'm really praying about where that is and still be at home with my little ones. Our church's women's ministry is almost non-existent, so the ideas you had people post the other day were great.

Jen said...

That was perfect. I sometimes think I'm too involved in church...I know I'm blessed but sometimes it gets overwhelming. I love my church dont get me wrong....thank God for my dear friends...they all goto church with me...that is God's blessing to me for serving so much...that is how I look at it.

Gwen Sirmans (Ivey's Mom) said...

I know you ended your week on this, but starting my week reading this. It makes for a GREAT start. It is so easy to keep score, especially as a mom. It so often feels like you do, do, do for others, but, do you really? I find myself falling down in the rut. Thanks for the tap on the shoulder.
You always have the greatest posts, very uplifting and INSPIRING. Love them. Hope you have a very wonderful week - doing, not keeping score :)

Anonymous said...

Oy. This post has been circling around my head/heart since reading it. I think I keep score wa-hay more than I'd like to own up to. When I first read your post, I thought, "oh, I don't do that." And then, your post came to mind each time after that when I would mark a little tick mark on my side of the board in my head, showing just how much I do, how much I give or sacrifice, etc. *sigh* Thank you for the truth of your words and the wisdom in them!! It isn't always fun or pretty to have someone put a mirror in front of you, but in hindsight, it is nice to know you're not walking around with your skirt tucked into your pantyhose anymore.