When I was in school, we always knew it was coming…the first writing assignment of the new school year. Without fail, the subject matter was “What I did on my summer vacation”.
Most years I didn’t have anything exciting to share. I was sure no one wanted to know that we emptied every room in the house and cleaned them from top to bottom. I took for granted our weekends spent at Rock Springs from early morning until the park ranger locked the gate behind our Plymouth well past dusk. I had no idea how wonderful that was.
Whether your family takes lots of trips, cramming as much as possible into the summer break or you choose to stay close to home and dial activity back a notch, summer is a great time to relax, unwind and take a break from the structure and demands of the school year.
That is good. I believe God designed seasons for our benefit and enjoyment. If ever one was designed for fun, it is summer! Unless you are a snowman, of course!
School resumed this week for most everyone and if not, it will in the next few days. I wonder if teachers still give that ancient writing prompt?
I was thinking about all this one morning last week when there was a soft knock at the door. My neighbor stood with her toddler in tow, a painted canvas in her hand.
It was early…she was reporting for pre-planning at her new job where she teaches kids with special needs and after she left, I thought about how she spent her summer break. I know for sure she completed some projects around the house, took some family vacation time and enjoyed the respite from the demands of her job as a teacher.
What if I told you this mom of three, transitioning to a new school in the Fall, also managed to raise awareness and gather a huge quantity of needed items for a local fostering agency?
That she also painted Bible verses on over forty canvases, raising more than $400 to combat world hunger?
With the help of social media, she shared each cause with intention and lots of friends and family joined with her to make a difference.
In the quiet after she left, I thought about my good intentions. The truth is, I have all the same excuses that you’ve heard or you’ve spoken. I came to grips with the truth. I have a choice. I can respond to the need or look the other way.
Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.
I can keep walking; I can step around or over or cross to the other side and pretend I don’t see, but he knows and I know that I’ve seen.
Are you with me? Have you already felt that reminder in your spirit? Or maybe you aren’t quite sure where to start.
- Think about the things that make your Mama Bear (or Daddy Bear) heart rumble. For my friend, it was foster children carrying their belongings in trash bags, or being removed without even a change of underwear or pajamas; it was the image of children starving when hers are well fed.
- Carve out some intentional time to stop and dwell in the heaviness, to hear God’s voice. He will move you to a response.
- Look at your calendar, explore the options for service and then set a goal. The best way to start a plan is with the end in mind.
- Protect your margin – down time ensures that your heart is tender and compassionate rather than overloaded and stressed.
- Press the start button as soon as possible.
Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
By grace alone,
About Foundation for Foster Children
In 2008, the Foundation for Foster Children (FFC), a 501-c-3, was formed to address these staggering statistics. In collaboration with Community Based Care, a federally funded program, FFC provides an integral tier of support that goes beyond the basic needs of wellness and safety. This coordinated effort provides a comprehensive approach to addressing the outcomes from abuse and neglect.
The hallmarks of our program, educational support, personal development, and life-skills guidance target the areas essential to changing a child’s direction from poverty, crime and government assistance so that they can better become independent, contributing members of our community.
About Global Emergency Response Coalition
Formed in April 2017, the Global Emergency Response Coalition is a lifesaving humanitarian alliance made up of eight of the world’s largest U.S.-based international aid organizations, whose unified goal is to work collectively to deliver relief to millions of children and families in need.
Scripture quoted from Luke 10, New International Version