One thing Daniel and I try to always do is take the kids out on "dates."
Well, Judah and Daniel don't go on "dates" they like to reefer to their outings as, "hang time."
We don't really have rhyme or reason as to when we do things. I know some people do it monthly, or for special occasions. We just do it when the opportunity arises to be alone with one of the kids. Most of the time it just happens, and we're like... "Oh, look! We're on a date. Other times, it's all planned out and formal. To be honest, I don't get many planned out and formal dates, no wonder the kids don't. ; )
Well, today was one of the "Oh look, we're on a date, dates"
I have talked a little bit about the crazy snow here in Oklahoma but here are the specifics.
On the first day of the "2011 Blizzard" we received 20 inches of snow and snow drifts were over my head. It really was a blizzard, looking outside you couldn't see the house house next door because of all the snow blowing around. It was blowing in our front door, making a pile of snow. We had to prop a chair up against the door in addition to the towels we had at the base of the door. It was CRAZY!
This is a picture of Daniel trying to uncover our firewood the morning of the blizzard. When we went to bed at 1 o'clock in the morning there wasn't anything on the ground. When we woke up at 7am... this is what it looked like. We had put the fire wood right up by the back door, just in case the snow came but obviously, it wasn't close enough. We should have stacked it in the garage = )
That much snow in that little bit of time and it continued to snow all day long.
So, needless to say our little town was shut down. The Post Office didn't run for two days, there wasn't any trucks delivering mail to the Post Office. Poor little Post Office, you should have seen all the mail in there when the mail did come, they aren't use to that type of stuff. It's very laid back in there. I visit quite often, mailing packages to MO. THERE IS NEVER ANYONE IN THERE. I know the only lady at the counter by name. It's very small town quaint'ish (yes, that's a word, I just made it one ;-). Anyhow, the day after the Post Office opened, people were waiting in a line for it to open at 9am.
Wow, that was a cray Post Office rabbit trail... ha!
Anyhow, people were digging out, paying to have their driveways cleared with big tractors, neighbors were helping other neighbors as much as they could. And then it happened; a foot more one week later. The TEMPERATURE thirty minutes northwest of us was -31 Yes, negative 31 degrees. The temp. that night for Antarctica was -21.
One of the BIGGEST changes from being in full time ministry is the power you have in numbers. When snow storms came in MO, you would get a group of people together and head out shoveling, getting groceries for people; checking on them. You had a database of people you could call and check on. Here, we know about five people and don't have a group of any people. That is one of the hardest things for us now. Our church is 30 minutes away, all highway. It is in a big community, with big needs in that community. But we are here, in this community and we feel useless. Not knowing who needs help or what we can do to be of any help. Being in a place like this where we don't have an outlet is absolutely driving us crazy.
Finally, we decided... that's it! We're just going to find people to help.
So, little Jordi and I loaded up our shovels and headed out to find people to help. We shoveled out five peoples walkways and the snow that was piled up at the end of their driveways from the city snow plowing. The biggest one we did was 3 1/2 feet tall and 7 feet wide. It was a beast! We met "Mrs. Mildred" at that home. She said, "Oh, my goodness, you have restored my hope in the human race." I said, "Oh, Mildred, don't ever come see me on a bad day... it would ruin your hope in everything!" =)
The truth is, if we had a group of people, especially adults, we could have done 20 houses in that time.
That is a VERY hard transition from being in full time ministry. The goal is to reach the crowds. How many are you taking to camp? How many came to your event? How many did you serve? Well, what if it were just one? That is a huge transition for us. Trying to just take care of the one. Realizing that it all starts with one; we want to take on the whole town!
Yes, we say it all the time. But do we really mean it? Do we act on it?
Do we really feel like-- finding sitters for the little ones, getting on the winter gear, getting all wet and cold is really worth it for the one? If we did, I think the whole town would be shoveled. Nobody would be hungry; all would have seen and touched the love of Jesus, and we would all have a database of people to check on because we'd all be taking care of the one. Not just the one(s) from our church, all the ones.
Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.
Luke 15 1-7
So, Saturday it was the five. Not even five people to repent, just five people to love.
Midway through our afternoon of shoveling Jordan says, "Hey mom, it's like a date."
She'll make her hubby happy; he can just take her snow shoveling. =)
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