Thanks for stopping by. If this is your first time you're here, you'll notice that this blog is about a 40-day experiment that I did. The problem is, the posts start at Day 40, and this blog site won't let me reverse the order of the posts. So, if you're interested, go ahead and start at the beginning, in the July posts. It will make a lot more sense. I promise.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Days 29&30: Action

I can't believe how easy it has been to serve in my community lately.

Look at me! Am I just too great?!

No... trust me. I know all about humility. I struggle with it daily. I'm really telling you this to be an encouragement to you, because for so long I felt stagnant. I felt like I could barely keep my life, my house, and my family in order, and couldn't figure out how I could possibly drop everything to go serve dinner at the soup kitchen. I have kids, I have a job, I'm too busy, I don't have extra money to give. I had all the excuses.

But when I started Pick Five on August 1st, one of the goals was to teach my kids and become more aware myself about the need in the world, and the need in my own community. So, I felt I had better pony up the goods and start looking around for stuff to do.

Turns out, there's plenty. And every one has been more blessing than burden. Right off the bat, me and the kids swung by Capital Area Food Bank and picked up 3 large donation boxes. They each hold around 150 lbs of food. They have been sitting in the foyer of the gym where I work, since August 1st. I'll tell you the final poundage tomorrow when I weigh them, but after one month ALL THREE BOXES are full. Tomorrow I'll drive them back over to CAFB. How easy was that? A 1/2 hour one day, and a 1/2 hour 31 days later. And likely over 400 lbs of food for the hungry in my community.

And today, I participated in a Communities in Schools classroom makeover at a local high school. This classroom/office space is home to three or four vital counselors, from crisis intervention to pregnancy management and prevention to at-risk counseling. All of them are committed to lower high school drop out numbers. So our team of a dozen or so volunteers went in and turned a closet-like storage room space into six private office spaces and a group therapy room with the most peaceful and calm atmosphere. My kids came too. Now, I could watch HGTV all day, but to be able to do a room makeover that blesses an entire community of high schoolers and those dedicated to help them... sign me up any day of the week. I get why Ty Pennington loves his job.

Tuesday, some friends of mine are hosting a Great American Bake Sale. They're setting up a table at the south Austin Lifetime near the Life Cafe and selling homemade baked goods by the dozens. All proceeds benefit No Kid Hungry, a program that supports meal programs for kids who wouldn't otherwise have anything to eat, and makes sure that local donations help local kids. So, I threw some cookies in the oven, and I'll drop them by when they set up. Stop by after work and pick up a cake or some cookies! (No need to be a member.)

One of the cool things about serving locally and encouraging others to walk along side of you, is that slowly you begin to build a community where you are all offering each other opportunities to serve, championing one another in your efforts, and making the weight of the world a little lighter by bearing the burden together. I just love the folks at ANC for giving me a jump start.

A young co-worker of mine stopped me the other day. His words are still tied up in a little locket with a red satin bow and tucked away in my heart. "You're, like, changing your little corner of the world. That's cool."
"Well," I said back, "God is changing me, you know?"

Isaiah 58 9-10

"If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves on behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday."

Mar 12:28-31

One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?"

"The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these."

Need some ideas for your own life? See the MOVE ME INTO ACTION section for some suggestions.

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