A thing I wholeheartedly believe: there are many mission fields in our lives. And some of us will be called to do big and great things. Whether or not that is our calling, we all are privileged with opportunities to effect change right where we are. I've come to realize, as a mother, I'm in the mission field every day. I'm pouring into the lives of my daughters and my husband, and that is my greatest purpose for living.
On the days when I'm feeling like that is not a big enough job (which, even though it's a huge job, all mothers experience days when they feel quite small), I like to remember that there are people everywhere--people to know, people who need to be touched. We live in communities, in the broad sense, that, with just a pinch of effort, really, can become our own personal communities.
Trev and the girls and I are so fortunate to have wonderful neighbors. We've gotten to know them through the years and some have even become great friends. One of our favorite holiday traditions is to visit some neighbors on our block each Christmas, just to share treats and a wish of a happy holiday. In fact, this is the way we have met some of our neighbors! A knock on the door, one bearing gifts especially, is all it takes to start to dig into your community to make a community.
When I sat down with Jenny and Hannah and Aneta and we talked about our individual projects for #ServeDenver with Denver Rescue Mission, for a second I shied away thinking it might be difficult for me to participate with little kiddos. But I quickly remembered that service is service, and whether it's feeding a thousand hungry and homeless or just delivering some cheer to an elderly neighbor, it all makes a difference to someone.
Emily Dickinson once said, "If I can stop one heart from breaking…if I can ease one life the aching or cool one pain…I shall not live in vain." I want to make it a point to take that to heart. They are words I'll need on the days I feel small, sure. But more than that, I don't ever want the size of the deed to deter me from doing the good. Changes can be big and small, and what seems an insignificance to us could be a life changing moment for another. We might never even know the difference we make, but the life changed will always remember.
I'm not saying that a reindeer basket full of cookies saved any lives this Christmas; but I do know that my girls are learning to think outside of themselves, to know and be a part of the lives around them, and to see that the little things can be meaningful too. If they learn that, than I shall not live in vain.