Thursday, November 15, 2012

What Happens when your Kids don't want to Serve

I’m an activist.  Not the 60s and 70s kind of burn your bra type (I mean, really—who was for that?  I can guarantee you it wasn’t any woman with a cup size bigger than A).  Another way to describe my kind of activism is to say I’m service-oriented.  I like a cause.  I like even better to be involved in a community with a heart for a specific cause. 

Not all causes grab me—granted, I’m a sucker for many, but not all.  Lovepacs grabs me.  I think it should grab everyone (SHAMELESS PLUG ALERT—check it out at  But, this post is not specifically about Lovepacs—so please don't tune me out if you're tired of all my fb posts about it!!!

Last week, we were getting ready to head to Lifegroup (a small group with some people in our community) and I guess I had failed to tell my girls that we were meeting at the Lovepacs headquarters to finish up some projects and make sure our shelves were full and ready for the Thanksgiving pack.  Hope was not happy.  Her exact comment was “Why do we always have to do things for Lovepacs?” But imagine it in a loud, yelling, 10 year old voice--complete with the angry, almost-teenager look.

I literally think my jaw dropped.  I looked at Brian and was speechless for a few moments (if you know me, you know that doesn’t happen often!).  When I recovered and was able to pick my jaw up off the ground,  I was indignant.  I mean, who doesn’t want to make sure kids have food?  Then I was worried.  Am I forcing my kids to do something they don’t want to do?  Is this my cause and not theirs?  Are my girls going to grow up resentful of the time and effort I spent on Lovepacs?  Would they see it as time stolen from them?  Then I was hurt.  I felt like it was a personal jab at me—a way for her to attack something I was passionate about to push my buttons (not that she EVER does that). 

Well, I calmly explained why we were doing it.  And I prayed.  For once, I can say, I took my worries to God.  I asked him to show me any blind spots.  I also asked for wisdom in how to navigate this moving forward. 

So we went.  And Hope had a blast.  Some of her time was spent serving—counting cans, shopping for veggies and pop-tarts, and sorting supplies.  Part of it was spent playing in the parking lot with the other kids.  But the thing that floored me the most was when we prayed over and dedicated our space.  We had a few specific things to pray (For our volunteers who didn’t know Jesus, for the business owner who was giving us the space for our headquarters—free of charge, for our 501c to come back approved soon, and of course, for the boxes and the kids who would receive them).  We asked for volunteers and Hope’s hand went up fast.  She specifically wanted to pray for the kids receiving the Lovepacs--and did so out loud in front of everyone.  To say I was shocked is stating it lightly.

On Monday, I gave the girls an option of staying home or coming with me to help with the 1st crew coming to pack.  They both were adamant that they wanted to go and help.  And they each packed 3 boxes on their own.  And were sad when Brian came to take them home.

So this story has a happy ending—for now.  But I’m not going to assume that will always be the case.  I’ll post more on some things that I feel like God is teaching me through it and through my own experience of growing up with parents who worked for a church.  Not that I think I have all the answers—far from it.  But I think we often hide these kinds of discussions with our kids because we’re embarrassed.  I mean, we are obviously a bad parent if our kids don’t feel passion toward something that gets our own hearts beating faster, right? 

Have you ever had a moment like the one I had with Hope?  One where you were shocked speechless?

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