Can I Come Along

Are you a list maker? Do you, like me, love the feeling of crossing off the jobs you’ve completed? Often we compartmentalize the things that need to be handled in a day. Do the wash. Go to the bank. Play with the children. Does your list include partnering in ministry with your children? Stay with me for a moment while I explain.

It seems normal to think that once our children are no longer small, the busy, task-oriented life is behind us, and we can relax more and maybe even have time for ourselves. The funny thing is though, at least in my life, the Lord hasn’t seemed to agree. When my teenagers were still at home, I was offered a position to develop a large summer children’s program to serve young families who were vacationing and studying God’s Word. I really wanted to help young families learn more about Scripture, but I would need to hire and lead 30 teens and college students to help me. First order of business – how does my husband feel about this challenge? As usual, he was supportive. Then, how do our children feel about this? I realized that if I made it sound like fun, they would ask, “Can I come, too?” I hoped that allowing them to partner with me in service would help them understand and embrace serving others. I hired our two youngest children and we had a fun-filled, exhausting summer. (As always, God already had this plan in mind, and all four of our children are in service related jobs today).

Now I’m a Grandmother and life hasn’t slowed down as I expected. The Lord continues to fill my hours, and playtime with my grandchildren is often at the top of my list. The list of tasks and projects does not deter me from intentionally planning how to include them so I will hear, “Grammie, can I come too”?

Such intentional inclusion does take a little time. This goal requires creativity and thought. Will it work to include the grandchildren? Can we accomplish the task if I involve them? Will it benefit others and will these children understand what we are doing? Will they see the mercy, the service? Will they understand this is important because Jesus commands us to love others as He has loved us and to serve others?

Yesterday we made cookies together for a neighbor who is battling cancer. A few weeks ago, I bought child-size rakes and we raked the leaves so that PopPop, after a long day at work, would only have to mow the lawn and not have the additional chore of cleaning out the flower beds. Often joining with your church (which has more resources than we do) will provide opportunities for mercy ministry and to serve. Recently my granddaughter and I attended an auction, where young children were auctioning off their beautifully framed art work. The money raised was to be used to buy art supplies for children in shelters.

In my busy world, it is delightful to me to be able to serve others, and still savor the precious moments with my young grandchildren. I don’t think they realize that time with Grammie is also teaching them about mercy ministry. But it’s frosting on the cake to see them love to minister and serve and to hear them ask, “Can I come, too?”

Written by: Sherry Bitler