Sunday, March 27, 2011

Love Starts at Home

When we first started Eleos Thursday Meals, we intended to deliver the meals and then come home for lunch afterward to celebrate. However, as each week slips by... that never seems to happen. For all sorts of reasons, I'm sure. But mainly because, as the list grows each week, there just isn't enough food left over, it is always gone and by the time we return home, the kids are really hungry and I have to put together another meal for us.

So, I decided this week... just like giving God the first fruits of our labor; I'm going to start giving my family the first fruits of my Thursday labor. Which, of course, took more planning, and more organization on my part. I had to be SURE there was enough food for 17 people plus our four little ones and my man at work ; ) 

Delivering from 11:30-1:00 and home around 1:30-2:00 they were just too hungry by the end. This week was so wonderful, it's like they felt special after their bellies were full and they were ready to make others feel special. (Honestly, I think they just think it's super cool to eat out of take out containers. They probably think the cute little old people love it just as much as them. ; )

kiddo's lunch portion =)

It really worked just perfect because I was able to set them at the table at 10:45 and load the van while they ate lunch. Then we were out the door right on time with peace still in tact. That is something Daniel and I have always been very sensitive to... loving at home. What good is it if you're headed out to love on the community but you're yelling and screaming your way out the door?

Love starts at home, when our little ones see the peace and joy serving others can bring, we can only pray the seeds we are planting will grow big and strong because we aren't undoing our work by being ugly at home but loving towards everyone else. 

But when those days don't happen, thank God for his wonderful Grace that protects their little seeds, because beleive me, there.are.those.days.

This week we served beef noodles, mash potatoes, green beans and fresh bread.  (Think Oklahoma here, folks) Then for dessert we had fresh fruit or fudge brownies. Next week we're having a choice between two deli sandwiches; chicken salad or ham and cheese. So, Alli compiled a list of all the names and then she or Jordan would ask everyone what they would prefer next week. They're such a help.

My girls take turns being my "co-pilot" on Thursday afternoons. Don't forget, we live in a very small town with no fast traffic. Not to mention my passenger seat airbag automatically goes off when something  under a certain weight limit sits there, which both of my girls fall into that category. Do you have a child who sits in the front seat? Let me tell you, I LOVE  IT. It is so fun having someone to chat with in the front seat!

In other news, I cannot even begin to tell you how blessed we have been as of late with all we are doing. God has been opening lots of great doors for us to love on the precious people of our community! I just can't wait to tell you some of the great ways he has provided! 

One thing that has been constant, since day one, is the local newspaper. They have been so very generous to talk about our upcoming community helps each week and they never charge us. This is a copy of this weeks advertisement for the free breakfast on April 16th. 

Then, of course, there is the local Civic center who is donating their building for the April 16th breakfast and again May 7th for the Free Community Share; that was so generous of them.

Speaking of the Free Community Breakfast, the local Harps Grocery Store is going to donate the paper products for that event. The manager there was very kind to me when I asked if he'd like to donate those items. 

We had a local family donate a HUGE cured ham! I already have the menu's out for the next several weeks but can't wait until the next menu. That ham is going to feel so many precious people.  

Yes, the list goes on and on... God is so BIG....

Then, as you can imagine, as the list grows each week you can start to think..." hmmmm,  what are you doing here, God?" This week, it's already at 22 people then we have the community breakfast coming up... So I started praying, "OK, Father... how are you going to feed all of these people... "

Well, don't you know, that very day, someone called and offered me a job of cleaning their church building once a week. It's like a little job! That provides $200 per month towards helping. Well, to be honest, I'd really like to get the children enrolled in gymnastics again so 1/2 of that will probably go towards that, if we can. But either way... I couldn't beleive it!

Yep, that's not all. Then someone from the community called and told us they were going to lower a bill of ours by $70 EACH MONTH so we can put it towards what we are doing. CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT!? That is a guaranteed $70 each month to help with costs. Which is such a great help as the list grows!

Do you know what though? The very best thing in the world is getting to know each and every person more and more each week. It is so cute when they call, I just love it.

It's so strange, friends. You know, my heart misses a house full of teenagers. I would have never ever thought God would have me delivering meals to elderly people but you know what, it is so beautiful. 

All of it is. 

It can be a new little baby, straight from the Fathers hands searching for a home to love them, it can be a scared toddler or cranky teen. It can be a stubborn lady in her 40's, it can be a little old person sitting in her wheel chair. They are all so very precious to the Father. 

Just think, someone like Mrs. Wilma just sits in her home, alone, hoping for the phone to ring or someone to knock on the door; day in, day out. Nothing but memories to fill her mind. 

To be a part of something that brings just a glimpse of Jesus to someones day, what and honor. 

Then Mrs. Wilma says, "I just thank God he sent you to me." and I think... am I.


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