Ruined for the ordinary.
I ruin lives for a living. Ok…not really, I can’t take this kind of credit. However, I contribute to ruining lives for the ordinary.
Ruined for the ordinary.
This was phrase I heard the other night. I wish I could claim it as my own because I think it is brilliant, but it’s a phrase a former pastor of mine (Don Sappington) used.
This last week was amazing. I spent the week meeting with my team at Compassion. I love my job and I love my team. Yes, it’s a busy job, and I certainly could tell you some awesome stories and challenges of planning short-term missions trips for US churches engaged with Compassion, but I love my job and I can’t believe I am paid to do it.
I took my first trip with Compassion 16 years ago and I went to Haiti. You see, against everything I wanted to do, against all my fears and emotions, I decided to go to Haiti with Stephen, leaving my one-year-old daughter, Julia, behind for 10 days. It ruined my ordinary life.
I have a fairly ordinary life if you were to look at it from the outside in. I live in the suburbs, I drive a mini-van, my kids are in band, drama, and we eat chicken frequently. Besides the travel that I do, really…my life is fairly ordinary. However, my heart is no longer ordinary. When I start wanting ordinary things like bigger houses, more stuff, clothes and shoes, I am reminded of the people I have met that don’t have such things. I’ve been challenged to live differently, do things differently and raise my kids differently, so that we can make life better for people around the world. I haven’t stopped enjoying luxuries like chocolate and restaurants, but God has slowly pruned me and helped me learn what it means to be content in a culture that tempts me to be discontent.
We have ruined our kids for the ordinary and now we have to live with the results. Isabel was a normal five year old…and then we took her to Indonesia. On that trip, we did the ordinary vacation stuff with our girls, like go to the beach (besides the fact the most people don’t choose Indonesia for a family vacation), but then she met her sponsored child and we spent time holding babies in an orphanage and my girls learned about squatty pottys. A few years later, we took our children to Africa. Again, my children met one of our other sponsored children. After that trip Isabel started a 501c3 non-profit to collect shoes for kids in need. My kids still like ordinary stuff, they enjoy shopping, they waste money sometimes, but their passion to live out their faith, their dreams for the future, their ideas for ministry, are not ordinary. They see the possibilities and opportunities.
Not everyone has the opportunity to travel and go see and meet sponsored child. We use our frequent flyer miles to fly our kids around the world and we realize we are fortunate to have this opportunity. But possibly you could pray that God would give you the opportunity to step out of your comfort zone to serve Him. Possibly you have a passion and a desire to do something impacting and purposeful but you just haven’t seen the opportunity. Maybe you have seen the opportunity, but you are afraid to walk through that door.
Trust. Don’t settle on the ordinary. Even for the young moms out there who are in the midst of the ordinary life of changing diapers, potty training, and feeding your family every night, what if you begin to pray that God puts a passion in you and your children to serve Him in a mighty way? Do some extra ordinary things together.
Here are just a few opportunities that can ruin your life for the ordinary.
Visit your Compassion child
Serve at a soup kitchen
Visit the elderly in an assisted living home
Help a family have access to clean water
Do a shoe drive to help kids without shoes
Raise money for mosquito nets to help kids who are exposed to malaria
Give to help victims of trafficking
Become a foster parent
Give to alleviate poverty
Take a chance and do something extra ordinary, and let God ruin you for the good. Let me know if you need help.
Specializing in Marriage and Family Therapy
Life, Family, Faith and Travel...the life of a Jones
Dominican Republic Missions trip
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