I don't want anyone to think that I don't cherish every little bit of time I spend my family or enjoy the volunteer work that I elect to take on. It's just that, every once in a while, I feel like I need a refill on my Pockets of Patience! This last week, the boys and I attended Vacation Bible School at a church that we have recently became involved with. My initial goal was to shadow Nathan as he moved between each activity, interacted with the other children and learned more about how God sent his Son to give us eternal life through salvation. It is difficult for Nathan to remember to initiate "self-control" when he becomes frustrated but, overall he seemed to be transitioning well into this new environment.
If you follow my blog posts, you may remember that a month ago we had quite a few tornadoes that destroyed a large amount of homes, businesses, hospitals and took lives of loved ones. Many of the people affected had been signed up as volunteers during VBS but, understandably, were not available because they were now taking care of personal business related to property loss, insurance claims, etc. It hadn't occurred to me until I just happened to overhear someone asking another individual if they could help in another area. I don't tend to wait for someone to ask me if I can help, I immediately jump in where I am needed! After I explained to Nathan what I wanted to do and asked if he would be alright, I went over to ask if I could help them by volunteering where they needed help. I am sure having a complete stranger, someone they did not know anything about, walk up to them and volunteer to work with children caught them off guard...it would make me apprehensive, to say the least!
Within a matter of a few minutes, I had been signed up as a volunteer, introduced to the other volunteer that was working with the group that I was assigned to and directed to the location of our current activity for that day. The first day went by faster than I anticipated! I was excited about being able to contribute towards my church's children ministry, even if it was such a small part. I haven't been in a church this size since I was a teenager, which was a very long time ago! I was physically exhausted because I am out of shape from not exercising regularly and literally overwhelmed with the number of people that I had come in contact with during those few hours. Like my youngest son, Nathan, I tend to get cranky when I get frustrated or irritated. I have to continuously ask God for more patience, and understanding, in order for me to accomplish my daily routines, deal with unforeseen things that pop up and sometimes even when forgiving myself.
Being able to contribute towards the VBS of the church that we have just become involved in was a totally amazing experience, while at the same time, it was definitely outside of my normal comfortable zone. I have recently been trying to be more accepting of change when it happens, doing new things with my own children when we have the opportunity and improving on my skills of being a better parent and full-time advocate for children with autism. This will not happen right away but, it will eventually become easier for me to venture outside what I consider to be my "normal" comfortable zone.
The most important thing is that each of us remembers, when something makes us uncomfortable, that there are others out there dealing with less than desirable circumstances. Learning to step outside our own comfortable zone, to help someone in their time of need, makes each of a Good Samaritan and shows others we are willing to follow in the footsteps of Christ. I only ask that each of us will take the time, not if but, when the opportunity presents itself to make a difference in someone's life. One of my ongoing goals in life is to #PayItForward and I hope you will choose to do so, as well!