Monday, April 27, 2009

Living Life as Ministry

I spent Friday at a friend's house as we participated in our neighborhood's garage sale. My week was utter chaos as I sorted boxes of baby and toddler clothes...desperate to get them ready for the sale. I'm ready to declutter that part of my life.

It took a ton of effort. And my room is almost put back together. There's a box filled with clothes for my niece Leilani. Another box filled with baby boy clothes for my nephews Quinn and Brodey. So that's all great. Thursday morning we spent a couple hours trying to sort everything and set up. I finally gave up as evidenced by my oldest's statement that the garage sale had turned into a rummage sale. Pretty astute observation for an 8 y.o.

Back to Friday morning. I zipped the kids out to Chick-Fil-A for breakfast and their largest sweet tea, and by 8 we were setting up in the driveway. In no time, my friend had people looking at and buying electronics. I was feeling pretty low. Unless you needed 0-24 month girl or boy clothes, you weren't going to want what I had to sell.

As I sat down I asked God for ministry opportunities. With one of those, I would know the effort was worth it. After all, the clothes were now sorted and could go to the crisis pregnancy center -- a very worthwhile destination for them.

How God answered that prayer. One woman had just learned her 18 y.o. was pregnant. I was able to love on her and direct her to the crisis pregnancy center for help. At that moment, all the time was worth it. Then an acquaintance came by. Learned she'd miscarried and was able to hug on her, encourage her, give her my number and generally love on her. Then a family came by where the mom was pregnant with her third but this one a girl -- who just "happened" to be due around my oldest's birthday. Loaded her up with a box of wonderful clothes at a low price.

There were other moments, but those three sealed the day for me. Even though it was stressful, and my week felt incredibly insane, any one of those would have made it worth it, but God gave me three.

It's left me wondering how many opportunities to minister I miss because I haven't asked. Open my eyes to see those opportunities, Lord, and my life to serve.


Nicole said...

"Well done, good and faithful servant!" Amen, Cara. Well done.

And good word. Thank you.

Cathy Shouse said...

Your story reminds me of those in the book The Prayer of Jabez, which we are studying in Sunday school class.

You're always good about taking opportunities when they arise, in every respect. Thanks for sharing.

Marybeth said...

I linked to this post and it will run this Thursday... it was so, so good and a great reminder! Thanks for writing it!

heidi said...

I jumped the link from Marybeth... :o)

What an awesome opportunity and don't you love those answers to prayer...what an awesome God we serve. Thank you for sharing this. I recently experienced this with a non-believing neighbor where she told me she experienced exactly what I prayed for although I did not share what I prayed for...the Lord just answered straight thru was a blessing for us both.

Julie Coleman said...

Hi Cara: I, too,linked over from Marybeth's site.

I loved your post. It reminded me of a quote from an old time preacher, Gregory Mantle: "It is far harder to live for Christ moment by moment than it is to die once for Him; and if we wait for great occasions in which to display our fidelity, we shall find that our life has slipped away, and with it the opportunities that each hour has brought of proving our love to the Lord, by being faithful in that which is least."

Excellent application of this principle: whatever you do, do it as unto the Lord. Thanks for your encouraging words!!


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