Monday, April 4, 2011

My Weekend Away

Last Friday as school was ending another teacher asked what my plans were for the weekend. I told her that when I got home from school I was packing to go down to Philly with a group from church. She said that sounded like fun. I confessed that I wasn't really looking forward to it. We would be working at a church - cleaning up trash, running a kids play day and cooking for over 200 people. Honestly, after working all week I would rather be sleeping in my bed with my husband, not on an air mattress alone!

Don't get me wrong, I do love these trips, but if my husband wasn't running them, I might find some really good excuses not to go. And I would miss out on the most wonderful experiences!! Here are just a few things that I learned while picking up trash for 4 hours:

Slim Jim wrappers look just like syringe wrappers.

Cock roaches are clean, but bed bugs are dirty.

Hair weaves look just like rats, but rats move faster.

Drug dealers like to play basketball while you are cleaning up their street.

Picking up trash works your thigh muscles but kills your back.

A filthy street can be cleaned up in 10 minutes and littered again in 30.

If a lady comes out of her house and tells you not to touch that pile of wet trash because it came out of that mans toilet - listen to her!

Working with friends is really fun.

Yes, I said fun! That is what happens when I put my own desires aside, listen to what God wants me to do and then obey! Amazing things happen. A friend of mine was planning to go on her first missions trip with her family, she called me in tears - "Why is everything going wrong before I go to serve God?"

I told her if it wasn't going wrong, Satan must not care that she was going!

People assume that I LOVE to go away - actually I'm a big "homebody" and if I wasn't married to a guy who loves adventure I might not ever leave my house. But God is so good to me, every time I step out of my comfort zone, God is right there! And I can honestly say some of my best personal memories and family memories have been made while serving God. Somehow, this has become our "thing" to do as a family. Every summer we plan what our missions trip will be and who will be able to go. Last summer we were all able to go to Peru, the year before Ryan and Cam went to Africa. Some summers it is big trips, others it is local trips, but always it is somewhere. When the kids were little it was just me and Cam that went but as they got older, they were able to join us.

This weekend my friend Tiffany came with us - leaving to little boys and her husband at home. She was so excited to be serving others and to sleep past 6:30 and I was so happy to see this young mom not wait till her kids were grown to start serving!

Another person on the trip told me how he had always told God  he would go on these trips when his girls were older and then when they were older and out of the house, he had run out of excuses. So with fear and trembling he signed up to go down with us - and he loved every minute of it! He told me how great it was to see our 2 teenage boys and their 2 friends serving at such a young age - he wished he had done that with his daughters, too.

So my encouragement to you today is to not let fear, comfort or excuses stand in the way of you serving God. It may be making a meal for a neighbor, teaching at VBS, or signing up for a missions trip. If we only do what is comfortable, we have no reason to rely on God. If we only do what is easy, we have no reason to call out in prayer and if we only do what we want, we have no idea what God wants to do through us - get out of the way and let God show you how big He really is!! This just makes sense!


  1. Praise God for people like you Mary!!

  2. Glad you had such a great experience, and that Tiffany was able to go as well. I am definitely not one who is wired to go sleep on an air mattress either, but would consider going to help next time if I could come home to sleep at night, lol.

  3. This post was a total blessing. Love the way you serve Mary!!


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