Saturday, March 20, 2010

Really Proud of My Kids

The first part of this week we've taken a light week of school, so that we could volunteer at a local ministry.  It is Spring Break for the city schools, and this ministry, Mama Tina's, was doing a feeding program and play time with the kids in their neighborhood.  I had never been to Mama Tina's before and Jordan had learned about what they were planning for this week when she volunteered the week before with  FLOW (a volunteer program with our homeschool group). 

Jordan has been to Mama Tina's three times.  Each time she went, the founder would tell the teens about the programs they have for the people they serve there.  Jordan has been coming home and telling me about it each time.  This place tugged at her heart, and she felt God might be trying to tell her something.  She's just 15, but for at least a couple of years she has truly cried out to God (and cried at times) wanting to hear a word from Him.  She has heard from a couple of her friends that they feel called to be missionaries at some point, and even felt called to specific countries. Jordan has felt envious of their certainty about what God said to them.  Truly, and this isn't mama bragging, I don't know any young person who seeks the heart of God more sincerely than she does.  I have hurt for her at times, as she has so desperately wanted to know that God was speaking to HER.  After visiting Mama Tina's those 3 times (and she's been volunteering at other very different places as well) she wanted us as a family to volunteer and find a way to be involved at Mama Tina's.  She felt drawn to Mama Tina's in a different way than the other places.  She said she felt God  might be telling her something........Woohoo!

The ministry of Mama Tina's is very varied.  They have a soup kitchen, a clothes closet, they offer GED classes and childcare for those parents taking the classes, they partner with another ministry to help children who have an incarcerated parent. They have addiction recovery programs.  They were sure to point out that they wanted to help those willing to help themselves, that wanted something better for their life, not enabling addicted persons to keep doing what it is they do.

 Listening to the founder talk about the programs they offer, and the people they serve, it struck Jordan what a really good life she's had.  Things aren't perfect for her as they aren't for anyone, but she's had no major drama in her life.  She's never been hungry.  Her parents have never divorced.  We don't have any addiction problems (in our immediate household).  We've always taken her to church, and more importantly, at home, we've always taught her about the Lord.  Our home life isn't perfect. She's been yelled at (by me), unfortunately, she's heard her parent's argue. Even so, she's had a very stable, secure life. She knows with no doubts how very loved and truly cherished she is by both her parents. She knows, yelling at each other or not, we are committed to each other and our family for the long haul.  Don't misunderstand: She knows ABOUT a lot of painful or  negative life experiences, they just thankfully, haven't happened to her.  She knows about my upbringing which was nothing like hers.  She has recently been made aware how blessed she is to have had a good life, specifically a good family life.  Jordan and I talk all the time, about everything. I love that we have become friends as well as mother and daughter in her teenage years.   So, while I have been thinking about and praying for orphans....she has felt burdened for them as well.  Having started out thinking about children who have no family, she is now thinking about children who haven't had a family life like hers...stable, loving, knowing she can count on her parent's always being there for her.  No matter what. 

We showed up at Mama Tina's Monday, not too sure what to expect.  Monday and Tuesday, we helped prepare and serve food and played and talked with the children that came.  We had to take turns a bit keeping up with Jessie, but most of the time she was happy to just be around the other children there.  I was so proud of the way my children served and behaved. Although it was initially Jordan that caused us to be there, Evan served with the same love that Jordan did. Tuesday, when Evan offered to help with the grilling hamburgers he was quickly put in charge of that and cooked burgers for about three hours. Never once, did they say they were tired of being there, tired of working or wanted to go home.  I know that some people serve to make themselves look good, or serve because they've been taught that it's a good thing to do.  My children seem to really get that in order to serve Him, you have to serve others.  I think they really understand that before people will be interested in hearing about Jesus, sometimes you have to minister to physical and emotional needs, they need to see Jesus before they know they want and need Him. 

I am very proud of my kids.  Not a puffed up kind of proud.  But a humble, thankful, tearful, thankful, tearful, thankful proud that the years we've invested in teaching them about the Lord....they seem to have heard some of it. That isn't a typo, I realize I repeated myself.

I don't know in what ways we will be involved in Mama Tina's but I feel we will continue to be. There are a few people there that already have a piece of our hearts.  I don't know exactly what God is saying to Jordan.  But I am thankful that she has a relationship with Him, that she has sought Him, and that He IS showing himself to her.  He is faithful and true.

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