Getting Out of My Comfort Zone

by Jessica S on February 18, 2016 in Faithfulness, Holidays, Home Culture, Legacy, Ministry

Something the Lord has really been impressing on my heart in the last few years has been this thought: If doing something kind or good for others comes to my mind…do it.

Or at the very least, offer to do the kind thing that the Lord has impressed on my heart.

But, most of the time, as long as the circumstances allow it, just. do . it.

This has also been something that I very much want to teach my children. I want to raise children who delight in serving others, who are able to grasp that it’s more blessed to give than to receive, and ultimately not to be afraid of telling others about Jesus.

And, honestly, one of the main ways that they are going to learn these things, is by seeing my husband and I living out these things{gulp.}

A few months ago, I had mentioned in passing that I thought it would be nice to pass out plates of cookies around our neighborhood at Christmas time. This has been something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, but was always able to come up with dozens of excuses as to why I couldn’t give out cookies that year.

“It’s so cold outside,” I’d think.

“The kids are probably too young to enjoy this, and it’ll probably end up being more work for me.”

“Is anyone going to even want cookies that were at least partially made by children?”

The truth is, though, as silly as it sounds, I was afraid. Going around door to door passing around cookies to complete strangers, is most definitely not in my comfort zone.

However, this year I had said I wanted to do this in front of my children.  And, as children often are, they were great at holding me accountable for this.

“Mommy, when are we going to pass out cookies to the neighbors?”

“Can we make them cards?”

” Can we sing carols to them when they open their door?”

I kept thinking that they’d forget about it, or that by the time it came to actually deliver cookies they’d be too nervous to go through with it.

But I was wrong.

The day before Christmas Eve, we spent the morning baking cookies and decorating gingerbread men. The kids wanted to be sure and pass out cards along with the plates of cookies, so we practiced writing “Merry Christmas” and decorated homemade cards. They excitedly drew the manger scene on the front along with the words.

Then there was nothing left to do… except go around the neighborhood and pass out cookies. They had(admittedly, to my relief) given up on the idea of singing Christmas carols to each neighbor, but they very excitedly handed out cookies and exclaimed “Merry Christmas!” to anyone who was home to open their door.

One of the first houses that we went to, an older lady answered the door. She seemed genuinely taken aback that five children were standing at her door trying to hand her a plate of cookies, and at first she almost didn’t accept them.

Once she saw how excited the kids were about giving her cookies, though, she took them, and started asking them what they wanted for Christmas this year.

As we were getting ready to leave and move on to the next house, she stopped me, and with tears filling her eyes told me that her son had died a few weeks ago, and that she hadn’t had any time or desire to do any Christmas baking. She told me that seeing children brightened her day and that she would very much like it if we would stop by from time to time even if it was just to say “hello.”

“Why was that lady crying, mama?” one of my children asked.

I tried to gently explain to them that she had been having a rough year, but that seeing them had made her feel a little happier.

“It made me feel happy to give away our cookies too! Do you think we can do this every year?”

Indeed, I do believe that we have started a new Christmas tradition around here.

 

 

 

Jessica S

Jessica is saved by grace, the blessed wife to Erik, and mother to 5 children under the age 6 (two precious girls and three wonderful sons.) She is also a new homeschooling mama. When she's not chasing toddlers, sweeping up cheerios, and folding endless amounts of laundry, she can be found blogging at Ramblings of a Wife & Mommy, where she strives to find joy in the midst of the chaos going on around her. She hopes to use her blog to encourage other young mothers. She loves spending time with her family and friends, baking, reading, and coffee (lots and lots of coffee!). You can also find her on facebook.

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{ 2 comments }

Sandy Rees February 18, 2016

Thank you so much for sharing your story. I don’t get goose bumps easily but you got me. It makes me happy that you are raising your children to be so generous.

Diana February 18, 2016

Good for you. I agree, sometimes it truly can be so difficult stepping out of our comfort zones, even for little things like cookies!! I do the same thing here (handing out Christmas cookies), and though it is a precious time, it’s also intimidating. There are some people who never open their doors or mention the cookies we leave on their steps, and it can be intimidating. But stepping out in kindness is worth it, and I’m working on the same thing right now (that is, acting on impulses of kindness rather than suppressing them).

Cheers!
Diana

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