I’m a thinker. I love to process life and I also love to write about life!
Our family just finished up a week of volunteering at our church, St. Louis Family Church’s JUMP Camp. I know all four of us would agree that it was one of the best weeks of our life!
I felt really fortunate that my husband Steve took a week of vacation so we could take on a group of 1st graders together. They were cute, cute, cute and oh so funny!
You could literally publish a book on the adorable things they say!
Our twin girls, Angel and Starr, were each assistant leaders for a kindergarten group and loved their first experience as JUMP Camp volunteers. There is no doubt we will look forward to this adventure every June.
All together, the 4 individuals in my family had a 4-day span of time to influence the lives of 49 individual kids.
This whole experience got me thinking about how many people waste countless hours of their lives as well as major amounts of energy working to become instantly famous or an overnight success. I know people strive like this as a result of not understanding that their identity is completely secure in Christ Jesus.
In contrast to this idea, I kept thinking about the “seemingly little” things that God gave us to be faithful over at JUMP Camp this week. Things like patting our first graders on the back, looking at them in the eyes when they talked to us, letting them know we were truly interested in hearing what they had to say, speaking encouraging words over them, and my personal favorite – taking the time and effort to set their eyes on Jesus!
One day as some of the kids and I were sitting in the church auditorium talking and waiting for the JUMP drama to begin, I started sharing with them that “Jesus never stops loving you.”
I explained to them that even when they make mistakes in life Jesus will never stop loving them. I said, “Jesus doesn’t just love you when you do everything right and stop loving you when you do something wrong. No, He loves you no matter what and He always will.” I told them if they will remember this it will cause them to love Jesus so much and help them to want to be obedient to Him!
Right after our conversation ended one of the girls named Ava grabbed a sharpie and wrote this (below) on the back of another kid’s JUMP shirt and then throughout the week she wrote it on other kids’ shirts as well as Steve’s shirt (which I took this pic of).
It kept coming up in conversation amongst the kids over the next couple of days in various ways that “Jesus never stops loving us.”
This got me choked up on several occasions because I know from personal experience that even if one of my kids – such as Ava – really gets that revelation and carries it throughout her life it will make all the difference for her.
I also rephrased this a little and talked to some of the kids on the final day of camp about how “Jesus will always love you.” At least one of my 1st graders, Sutton, grabbed ahold of this for herself. Here’s the proof. She wrote it on the sleeve of my shirt and probably on other kids’ shirts. We had a blast signing each others’ shirts all week so we wouldn’t forget each other!
In the midst of all this, I began to wonder how many people on this planet completely miss seeing the value in “seemingly small” acts of faithfulness? How many do not see the importance of taking the time to speak a word of affirmation over a child’s life or purposely looking them in the eyes and staying engaged with them when they are trying to share a piece of their heart?
Actually, there’s nothing small at all about acts of faithfulness or random acts of kindness, but I too missed seeing the value of these things for many, many years. I did not comprehend the significance of simply being faithful to follow the Holy Spirit’s lead day-in and day-out. Why? Because I was too busy trying to build a good reputation for myself and forever trying to figure out how I could get everyone to pay attention to me. (This stemmed from me not understanding my identity was secure in Christ.)
In this world of viral videos and attention seeking it’s so important for us to avoid getting caught up in sensationalism and instead simply find our joy in being faithful to God every moment of every single day.
This will be possible as we learn who we are in Jesus and understand more and more how the Father truly feels about us. This will happen as we stay connected to The Father, practice the presence of Jesus and allow the Holy Spirit to lead us into all truth.
Let’s let our goal be to see how famous we can make Jesus by being faithful to whatever He calls us to do!
Being the center of attention isn’t living the great adventure and it doesn’t bring lasting joy.
On the other hand, at JUMP Camp this week I noticed something interesting – the whole campus permeated with the aroma of joy.
When we spend our time helping others by pointing them to Jesus and making Him the center of attention, this is living the great adventure!
Special Note: I want to clarify that I have nothing at all against viral videos and have gotten some great laughs while watching them myself at times. Bottom line is…everything always goes back to our heart. This is why I love being on this grace journey. Living under God’s grace keeps our heart cleaned out and our motives right!
If you have not yet made Jesus your Savior and received the wonderful joy that His finished work on the cross has provided for you to live in, please visit my page here titled Jesus In The Driver’s Seat. On this page I explain the good news of the gospel and you will have the opportunity to pray a prayer of salvation, making Jesus your Savior! Jesus loves you and His arms are wide open!