We have just finished one of the best weeks/weekends we have had in a LONG time. This week was especially amazing because the majority of our time was spent serving in ministry as volunteers. As someone who was committed to full-time ministry for 15 years and expected to be serving in ministry full-time until the day I died, I was not prepared for the abundance of free time I experienced when I was let go from full-time ministry. While I firmly believe that being let go was the GREATEST gift God has ever given to me (next to John) and the time I have been able to spend focusing on my marriage and family has been a blessing I would not have traded for the world, there has still been a hunger in my soul to serve in ministry.
Now that I have had the chance to get my priorities in order (church does not equal God and will never come before my first ministry, which is to my family) and now that we are back in South Florida where the ministry connections never cease to amaze me, it seems that God has opened the floodgates and provided me with so many opportunities to serve in ministry. This week was spent serving at Sheridan House, hosting an accountability/prayer/encouragement group for high school girls, attending a celebration banquet for all that God is doing at Sheridan House, serving at a Parenting Seminar hosted by my church, visiting a ministry that serves foster parents and foster children, and serving on the media team this weekend at my church. Now, I am not telling you all of this so that you will think I am great - FAR from it! I'm sharing this with you because I am so excited to be reminded that God is STILL using me even though I am not on a church staff, and that even though I am a big screw up and have so many dysfunctions and hang ups and hurts, God still allows me to serve Him and sends me opportunities that excite me, thrill me, and renew my passion for Him.
I have to tell you that the majority of the weekend was spent focusing on children and families and a couple of local ministries that do a fantastic job of bringing Christ's love and hope to these families. Sheridan House is an amazing family ministry that has hundreds of resources for all types of families. They minister primarily to kids & teenagers and single moms. They also provide family and marriage counseling and do a phenomenal job of showering every person that comes through their doors with love and grace. Take a minute and check out their website - there are several ways you can be involved in what they are doing and every one of us can benefit from their resources.
Barnyard Blessings is another amazing ministry that provides resources to foster parents and foster children. Based in Cooper City, it was founded by the most amazing couple I have ever met in my life and their love for foster children is absolutely contagious. They are always in need of kid's and young adult clothing, furniture, and toy donations and will even come pick up your furniture donations. Please check out their website, too - you can even schedule a time to visit the Barn and hear their amazing stories of how God has taken their dream and turned it into an amazing reality.
One last thing...this has been the busiest week/weekend we have had in a LONG time, but I am more energized and excited than I have been in a LONG time. Especially as the holidays approach, I hope that you'll consider taking some time to serve someone - even if it's just holding the door for someone or giving someone a little bit of grace - you'll be amazed at the difference it makes in YOU :)