We always hope our children will grow up to be kind, and loving adults. As a mom of three children, I can tell you that every child is different and has their own personality traits. I have learned regardless of each individual personality, serving others can be taught.
As parents we need to set the example. I am the first to admit, I am not perfect. In fact I'm extremely imperfect. I make mistakes, say the wrong things and can sometimes be selfish. But I love hard, forgive easily and do my best to love people. Kids model our actions and as we know, actions always speak louder than words. I pray that my kids and someday my grandchildren choose to model my better moments. . It is our job to show our kids that the world is much larger than the people we see daily. We can be love in action.
My mom modeled serving to my brothers and I in so many different ways. We set an extra plate at the table on a regular basis. Mom always said that no one should ever spend a holiday alone. We have had some very interesting people from all walks of life share holidays with us. I remember the young woman from Thailand who spoke almost no English and yet we loved her and loved spending time with her. To this day, I remember riding with her aunt who was our neighbor to take her to the airport so she could go home. I remember crying and wondering if I would ever see her again. I was probably 10 years old at the time. She taught me that friendship and serving required no words. The Jewish waiter from our friends Chinese restauant who shared Christmas with us was one of my favorites. We learned so much about each others traditions. The local news anchor and his wife, showed us that a smile and a tv camera can hide a world of hurt, but their hearts were healed and joy returned when they learned to serve God. Mom took us to Detroit to serve in the soup kitchen. For many years mom helped the residents play bingo at the nursing home my grandma lived in. Over the past 20 years my parents have ministered to incarcerated youth in Detroit. This is the lifestyle that was modeled for us.
When Miller and I got married we often had single soldiers over for holidays. We learned early on that we both have servant hearts but our missions are different for each of us. My heart is broken for people in need. His heart is to mentor kids through coaching. We often work together serving each other by helping behind the scenes.
Making serving a part of daily life provides teaching moments without ever having to speak. Actions as simple as holding a door for someone, helping a mom who is trying to get her kids to school, shoveling snow for your neighbor, helping with home or car repairs, making meals for someone who is ill or overwhelmed. It's important to remember that kids can serve in so many places like a food pantry, helping younger children with crafts at Sunday school, reading to seniors in nursing homes or shut ins. Get creative and step outside of your comfort box.
My kids have had front row seats to the local mission field. Having a mom who works in community outreach obviously has provided many different opportunities to serve. We have never required them to serve but gave them the choice to serve or not. Most times our kids served. By allowing them to choose what was close to their heart they were able to serve in an area that they could use their strengths and talents.
As I shared earlier, all three of my kids are very different. They each have a heart to serve but each in very different ways. My middle child Samantha just "gets it". Samantha has served locally in the community and abroad as far away as West Africa. My momma's heart is very proud of her and her boldness to serve. However, its when I see her serve out of simple thoughtfulness that I am most blessed.
This is the time of year that I am working my behind off gathering auction donations for our Summerfest outreach. It's not uncommon for me to work day and night for weeks on end putting all the details together. I haven't asked her for anything because I know she is swamped with her last semester of college, working and a boyfriend. Last night she texted me asking how many gift cards I had and how many I needed. She was on campus with her sorority sisters and they were gathering gift cards for the auction. Just simple exchanges of serving by being thoughtful show me that she is living life with a servants heart.
You may wonder why I chose Sweets from the Homefront for my website. Obviously, it's the name I use for my baked items I share. But I have found that baking and making special treats for the people I love and care for or sometimes for a total stranger, becomes a blessing to both the receiver and the giver. I often bake as a favor to friends and family. This is another opportunity to serve. When we serve other people, it brings a sweet blessing to them from our home, and that is why I went with Sweets from the homefront.
So as my Sami girl turns 24 today, she asked if I would please make an ice cream pie for her. She doesn't like cake. So it was my pleasure to serve my daughter by granting her wish. So this weeks recipe will be posted below for you to try if you would like.
Our world needs more people with hearts to serve. Choose a lifestyle that teaches serving without words. Visual and hands on learning becomes imbedded in our memories and then into our hearts forever. My prayer for you the reader, is that you are moved to step out and serve. #loveinaction
Hebrews 13:16 ESV
Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
Katie's Ice Cream Pie
I use a Tupperware pie taker to make this recipe in because it fits everything perfectly.
Crush 3/4 package of Oreo cookies in a food processer and pour into the pie taker
Melt 1 stick of butter (use real butter...life is too short to not use real butter).
Pour butter over the crushed cookies and press in into a crust. Let it sit for about 10 minutes.
Spoon in soft but not liquid ice cream. We like Mint Chocolate Chip, but you can use any flavor. Smooth it out and let freeze for about 2 hours.
Pour a thin layer of hot fudge topping over the ice cream for your next layer. Freeze this layer for about 1 hour.
Add a layer of Cool Whipped topping and smooth out.
Topping options are really limiteless but I like to put corsley chopped oreos around the edge. Chocolated shavings in the center and chocolate syrup drizzled and swirled make it look pretty.
Freeze again. Use a plastic serving tool to cut into the pie. A sharp knife will cut the Tupperware.