When Your Calling Isn't Saving All the Things in All the World

And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?
Esther 4:14b

Maybe it's the onslaught of commercials vying for my attention, or the never-ending post after post on my newsfeed of the needy in this world. Maybe it's just this way during Christmas because people feel a little deeper; they see the need and just have to do something. Because it's Christmas, and that's what you're supposed to do.

And then a conversation my core group had the other week in Community Bible Study really got me thinking about serving, our own ministries, and looking at the big picture. Especially in this Advent season as we wait for the arrival of the Messiah.

"I just feel like we're not doing enough during this Christmas season."

"My kids are too young to serve the poor. What can I teach them about giving?"

"We just don't have the money to give right now. I feel like I'm failing this year."

I think sometimes we see the big things others are called to do in this life, and then it gets so overwhelming, and so awe-inspiring, that we forget the little things. Is going to a far off country and ministering to the poor important? YES. It's amazing. And I would love, at some point in my life, to be able to do that thing. But. As a wise women once said,

"Your ministry is right between your own two feet."
-Jill Briscoe

Ministry doesn't always mean the big thing. It doesn't always mean traveling to far off places and discovering what true poverty looks like. True poverty is often right in our own backyards. And here's the kicker: you don't need a lot of money. You don't need a lot of time. You just need yourself, and a giving heart.

So we came up with some ideas. Child friendly, inexpensive ideas, to give in this holiday season, even when you feel like your little thing isn't as much as the big thing... You're wrong. Your little thing may be just the thing a person needs today...

* Hand out smiles. Be deliberate. Be genuinely happy. Look people in the eyes. Don't think it will make someone's day? Think again.

* Offer a hand. In the grocery store. At Wal-Mart. Push a grocery cart. Help put bags in the trunk. The biggest lesson Miss E has learned this year? The blessing of helping. She's seen the look on the woman's face when we offered to help her with her groceries, to push the cart back to the store for her. Blessing others is often a bigger blessing to the one who serves.

*Surprise gifts. A small gift card on someone's windshield. Baby wipes in the Target restroom (because haven't you been the mom with the explosive diaper and wipes are in the car, and not in your purse where they're supposed to be?!). A candy bar for the check out person. A compliment. Pay it forward in the drive-thru.

The list goes on and on. I think sometimes we just get stuck in our own busy and distracted places; it's hard to just look up and see the need immediately in front of us. What I do know? We have been placed in our current situations, neighborhoods, families, communities for such a time as this. Take advantage of it. Live it fully. Use the ministry that's been placed before you, and the blessings received will abound.

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in very good work.
2 Corinthians 9:8

My biggest prayer for each of you, each and every day of this Advent season, is this: You're given the opportunity to serve, and to be served by others. That you see the smallest of needs set before you, and you don't remain silent. That you act upon these inklings of the Holy Spirt, and you abound in His blessings. His grace.

Peace and joy to you in this sweet Christmastime!

xoxo, k.

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