What’s your excuse?

She’s 3.5 years old. She stands 41” tall. She weighs exactly 36 lbs and has a bicep measuring a whopping 6” around. She cries if you forget apple juice at snack, but here’s what she did for Jesus today:

She helped make and move boxes

Helped sort all the shoes

She laid out the shoes by size

And rubber band the shoes in pairs

Messiah had a shoe drive to benefit Soles for Jesus and our local Cypress Assistance Ministry. The church donated 340 pair of shoes, which needed to be divided, paired, boxed and shipped.

Command those who are rich in this world’s goods not to be haughty or to set their hope on riches, which are uncertain, but on God who richly provides us with all things for our enjoyment – 1 Timothy 6:17


Wendy, at 3.5 was so excited to help kids around the world with their soles (and souls), that she threw herself into her volunteer duties, and then cried when it was time to leave.

What you don’t see pictured is that she and I went to the store to buy more boxes, and she helped carry the packing tape. What you don’t see is that she lovingly packed boxes full of kids’ shoes to send overseas. What you don’t see is how she jumped on piles of cardboard before we added them to the giant, green recycling bin. What you don’t hear in the pictures is her utterly cheerful commentary as she moved among the shoes. What you don’t know is that Wendy has a heart for helping.

Let’s review the stats, 3.5 years old, 41” tall, 36 lbs and tiny little muscles. And she worked. She was a good steward of her time and energy, even though she has no idea what stewardship means.

What’s your excuse? What outreach programs are you a part of?


36 responses to “What’s your excuse?

  1. What an awesome little girl! Most kids would probably rather play in the shoes, boxes, etc. or want to take home shoes that they like. She puts me to shame. I need to do more outreach. My main “outreach” is to knit items (hats, scarves, mittens, socks) for my church’s mitten tree at Christmas. The things on, and around, the tree are donated to people who need them.

    • well, she did rescue a pair of her own from the donate bag on our way, but they ended up fitting, so, I was probably too hasty in giving away sandals she can use now. Other than that, she did a great job!

  2. It’s awesome to see your girls so excited about serving others!

    • it’s like a sugar high for Wen; Mia would have loved to help too, but she’s in school. Mia likes to serve by buying things for others, so she loves to shop for silent auctions or gifts or donated items.

  3. Wow…she beat me! I haven’t done much in a while for “outreach” Ministries… But by God I need to start! I can’t a little girl teach me the true meaning of being a christian!!!!!! lol….nice one kristin.

    • she makes me look like a shlub. I kept trying to drag her out of the church to come home for a nap, and it wasn’t until I offered Big Helper Snacks (read: apples) that she would consent to leave.

  4. Don’t you mean stewardess? I’ve been wanting to get more involved with things in my community. I just need to get out there and DO it.

  5. I have no excuse but I must say my daughters would of loved to been part of that effort!!

    • My sister jokingly said this was the perfect project for Wendy – she was surrounded by shoes! We should figure out a blogger-web-wide service projects our kids can all do to help others. hm… thinking about that

  6. Excuses? Plenty. Are they accepted? Nope! Nothing should get in the way of ministering to people. You are setting a good example for your daughter.

    We usually do this once a year with toys, clothes. We encourage our children to part away with some toys. My daughter (7) does so with no problem. My 4 yr old son.. he fights for his toys. It takes a little more convincing for him.

    • I wish I could say that we do this all the time, but we don’t. She has helped with a couple big service projects, and we’re ready to do some more. She loves the one where we hand out water on the college campus to students on the first day. LOVES that one.

  7. Ouch! Really convicting here. We are in the process of starting some for our new church. Hopefully we can clothe some people.

  8. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about “ministry” and “outreach”. I think the problem with labeling something my “ministry” or my “outreach” is that I compartmentalize it-I think I only have to minister when I’m at ministry event(s). Trying to wrap my head around 24/7 ministry and outreach. I think that defines a life of worship. Do I do it? Heck, no! That’s why I’m thinking about it. Maybe, I can start with baby steps like your little Wendy. πŸ™‚ Thanks for the reminder, Kristin!

    • having the ministry mindset is something I aspire to, not something I already possess, fore sure. I think just getting out there and doing as often as possible, is the best step forward.

  9. Ouch. I know what I need and want to do, I just need to do it. Thank you for the conviction! Wendy is a pocket-sized inspiration with a heart as big as the Empire State Building.

  10. Awesome and inspiriting. Our church has an outreach center that gives food, clothing, toiletries, etc to people in need in our community. Praying/hoping to do more.

    • that’s a great ministry, though. we’re hoping to do more, too. if we sit back and say “I think we’ve done enough,” we’re deceiving ourselves. There’s more.

  11. She has a good example to follow and teach her.
    I help with Hot Dog Lunch every tuesday. Hey, today is Hot Dog Lunch Day! I’ll be heading straight these after class.

    Our church is situated across the street from a public high school. Every week we provide a free hot lunch to the students. We serve 200-250 students each week. They get a hot dog, soup or chili, a cookie and iced tea.

    In a beautiful twist of fate, the high school we serve happens to be the same one where I had my ‘year from hell’ in Grade 8. I love to serve these kids, keeping mindful that God held me in his hand the whole time I struggled, and he loves each and every one of these kids, and he knows the intimate details of their lives.

  12. This is great, Kristin! What a beautiful spirit she has.

    We have two programs that we participate in as a family. One is a homeless outreach program where we serve the homeless in our community – this is great for the boys because they serve, and witness that life can look very different from what they see on a daily basis. The second is a child development program for youth who are raised in very low-income areas. We’re grateful to have the opportunity to serve in this way – and have our boys learn to serve and give.

    • I like the sound of both of those. Too many times, there are age restrictions on outreach programs, which seems fairly ludicrous to me. I know safety is a concern, but I want my children to get a taste of serving now, so that the build good habits for later.

  13. Does money count?

    I gave $25 to buy an Easter dinner for a family who couldn’t afford one. πŸ™‚

    I love this post.


  14. Way to go, Wendy!
    I was asked to help a family from our church move this past weekend. Two of my sons came to help too. It’s so encouraging to see that spirit of service alive and well in our children.

  15. Awesome! You’re raising that kid right πŸ™‚

  16. Your daughter is amazing. Great job in letting her serve with you!!

    We want to start serving as a family… possibly at the food pantry our church helps out with. Thanks for the challenge!

  17. Pingback: You just got served… by a little girl « Messy Paradise

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