Several days ago we had a blood drive at our church. Darrell and I were going to be donating. Normally, my girls, being the social butterflies that they are, walk around and talk to all the donors while we are there. The Red Cross always manages to get a wee bit behind, and even though we make an appointment, we are usually there for three to four hours. I figured that I would be prepared this time around, and asked my mom and step dad if the girls could stay with them and go swimming while we donated. They agreed that would be a wonderful idea. The girls love hanging out with their Grandma and Grandpa, and you have to realize that to my girls there are few greater pleasures than swimming.
So I told them. And they looked like they were going to cry. My eight year old, Alea, said "but Mooooom, we wanted to go and encourage people there giving blood". (she really does talk like that!) Kasi, my six year old, in the semi-Valley girl teenish tone she has adopted said "yeah Moooom, we just wanna walk around and talk to everyone...please, mom, please". (puppy dog eyes)
So our girls, bags packed with useful tools, came with us. They had fans to fan people waiting in the hot gym of the American Children's Home (where we meet for church). They brought their magical stuffed animals, 'Spotted Puppy' and 'Purrs' to give to folks if they got scared. And they worked all afternoon to encourage people. They walked around, talking to people, and fanning them. They gave hugs. They directed them to refreshments, and even brought them snacks and drinks. When the waiting got a little long, one woman announced that we needed music or entertainment, so the girls performed a dance for them. Before we left, they walked around and hugged all those remaining and thanked them for coming and sharing their blood. It was an amazingly blessed day.
We have had many people come up to us and tell us what having the girls there meant to them. One man shared that his mother couldn't give because her iron was low, and Alea stayed and talked to her and thanked her for trying, and encouraged her to try again at the next blood drive. God worked through them to touch the lives up many.
It never ceases to amaze me how God can use each and every one of us, even a child to touch others with the love of Jesus Christ. We just have to make ourselves available. It amazed me and humbled me that the children that God blessed me with would choose to serve others rather than go swimming. They learned that from the Bible. Jesus set the example and we are to follow it. He is our King, yet He chose self-sacrifice as his way of leading. He expects us to be servants, not Lords over others.
We have explained to our children that it is easy to give up something that you no longer need or want, but that true sacrifice and serving occurs when you give up something that you love and still want, merely because someone else has a need for it. I think they learned the lessen.
Galatians 5:13 (CEV)
My friends, you were chosen to be free. So don't use your freedom as an excuse to do anything you want. Use it as an opportunity to serve each other with love.
Romans 12:10 (NLT)
Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.
Proverbs 22:6 (NLT)
Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.
Thank you, God, for using these children to teach me a valuable lesson. I love to serve my brothers and sisters, but thank you for showing me that when I give up something that I desire in order to serve, you truly step in and create a miracle.