Thursday, December 13, 2012

Getting outside myself

It all started almost a year ago. I was faced with a decision. I felt God pulling me to start helping with the children's ministry at church. I wouldn't have a vital role and any huge responsibilities but I would have to commit to serving every Wednesday night along with some other women.

I thought of a million reasons why I shouldn't volunteer. Last year at that time, Jaycee was just coming out of some bad health issues and I didn't want to sign up and then miss all the time. Jaycee wears a bi-pap for her sleep apnea so every Wednesday I'd be battling that nightly issue later than normal. I sometimes get stressed taking the two kids out by myself (my hubby works long hours) because I never know when Jaycee might run off. I work on Wednesdays. I already feel tired and a little worn out every week as it is, do I have anything else left to give?

Despite all good sense and reasoning, I decided to go ahead and sign up. My husband was supportive. I had previously done a few years of youth ministry. That was before kids when I had lots of energy...that version of myself seems long gone, much like that pant size I was back then. I knew I needed to volunteer at the church because I needed to get outside of myself.

Volunteering is a great opportunity to look beyond yourself and meet someone else's needs. Most of the preschool kids there didn't have any significant needs. I can handle buttoning pants and building a tower with blocks. Watching the kids allowed the parents to worship in church without distraction.

The other adults serving along side of me was what I really needed. I go to kind of a big church. In a year, I only knew a couple of people. After volunteering, I got to come in contact with lots of people. Talking to these people allowed me to not carry so much. I was hearing about issues that were in their lives. I was thinking about their situations and praying for them. I remembered that I'm not the only person with problems and stress and a million reasons why I should stay home. It's good to be reminded of that.

The other workers asked about my life. A couple of them really genuinely wanted to know what my life was like with Jaycee. I could be honest with them. I could tell them when I was having a hard time. I nearly had a break down in that room when one of them asked about Jaycee starting kindergarten. I had a few people now on my support team. If Jaycee had an emergency, I had a few people I could count on to pray for her and send me a positive message. 

Some weeks are hard. When Jaycee is refusing to move from the hallway at church or when she's running away from me, I ask myself, "Why do I bother?" Then I remind myself. I have to think about someone else other than me. That is all the teachings of Jesus in a nutshell. It's good for me to spend a few hours serving someone who doesn't have my last name.  All in all, it's been a good year in that class! Now, get out there and serve!

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