by Jennifer Dyer
Today I saw a blog post about doing service projects as a family. My first thought was something grandiose–serving Thanksgiving dinner at a shelter or putting together a giant toy drive.
The edges of my heart crumbled. I want my children to understand how to give to others and to serve others, but with Rachel and the big A … sometimes we are the service project. Ugh.
As for doing a big-scale community project? Sounds as easy as walking blindfolded through a barnyard, you know?
Do you ever feel that way? You hear about the great things others do, but you feel as if one more grain of sand at the top of your pile could topple everything.
So … before I got my little chicken feathers in a knot, I stepped back.
First, I was comparing myself to others. Big no-no.
Second, I was thinking on the wrong scale. Why do I start with something huge and defeat myself before I start? Shouldn’t I start small and work my way up?
I thought (and thought) about our family. Have we ever done a service project, all four of us together?
And then I realized… Actually, yes. For the last two years we’ve managed to fill and pack two Operation Christmas Child boxes. Doesn’t sound impressive, but getting Rachel to the store, picking out the items on the list, and keeping her from opening every package and hiding the contents in her ball pit is a victory. At least in my not-so-normal world.
True, Rachel got concerned when we left the boxes at church and tried to grab them several times, but in the end we did it.
I thought about other things that were do-able. Picking up a neighbor’s (or stranger’s) trash can out of the street. Holding a door open for someone? Baking cookies or cupcakes for others. How about smiling at a person who is obviously different from you? Just because it’s not a huge, red-carpet affair doesn’t mean it’s not worthwhile.
Small things can make a big difference.
How about you? What little things have people done for you or have you done for others that warmed your heart?