We’ve been buzzing away these last few days, but I wanted to highlight some things I…

Heard on the Street
Weekend, Dec 11&12
I’ve been trolling for serving stories. The neat thing about people that serve is they either don’t talk about it … or do it without even knowing they’re doing it. Just today, I was chatting with a couple friends. We were talking about Ron Hall’s post last week. How can we effectively serve the homeless on a day to day basis. My friend, after saying she really doesn’t do anything, said, 
“I tell the kids that no matter what we think, we just can’t drive by someone without helping. So, I’ve kept envelopes in the car with directions to Union Gospel mission, a McDonald’s gift card and a $5. We give one to anyone asking for help at a street corner.” Clearly, she’s serving to the point where it’s second nature. Keeping a stash on hand is just the tip of the iceberg for this incredibly generous, humble server.
Then comes the truth behind sharing on serving. It’s hard to do (the sharing part)… because #1, who wants to tout it?! … and #2, the more you serve, the more you realize it’s not serving at all. It’s so much more an honor than a sacrifice. It is humbling and it’s what we were made to do. 
I had pressed our other friend standing with us earlier in the week. “Are you doing anything with your family to serve this season.” “No. I’ve just been too swamped to put anything together.” “Really? … You guys always seem to have something up your sleeve.” “I know. I’ve got to get on it.” … we keep chatting. blah-de-blah-blah…yadda, yadda, yadda.. ” and then I need drop by Starbucks for Sophie.” she said. “What’s at Starbucks?” “She put together a box for people to donate stuffed animals that can be sent to kids in Haiti.” “Uhhh… I’d say that’s serving.” “Oh… You’re right. She’s been working on it for so long, I really didn’t think about it.” (see… it is so second nature, she wasn’t even thinking)

Sophie and her box.

Sophie’s dad is an orthopedic surgeon, one of the first on the scene after the Haiti’s catastrophic earthquake. He told his kids where he was going and how the team planned on helping. Their work centered on setting up a a medical center (of sorts) and caring for those who had lost limbs, or had been crushed or … the list went on and on. Sweet Sophie’s heart went out to the kids she knew were hurting. So she went to her room and pulled together a bag of stuffed animals for her dad to carry with him… just so the kids could find some sort of comfort.

Which they did,

and did… and 

(tissue alert)


This picture says it all.

Although it has been months since her dad traveled to help, this twelve-year-old hasn’t forgotten the impact such a small contribution (for her… for us) can have on those in need. 

She went to our neighborhood Starbucks. Asked permission. Then put up a big box.

Here’s what we saw on Friday. Pretty neat.

Just on the other side of the register, a 17-year-old’s similar idea:

The message? … People want to give. Look at all those bears!

Thanks girls for giving us the chance.

Another humble servant? … My friend Cynthia.

I had asked her a few weeks ago if she would like to guest blog for us on things she and her family do to serve during the holidays. Her response? … “Sure.”

Then I get an email from her on Friday.

“I’m so sorry I haven’t sent you anything. I just don’t have anything to write. We’ve had a super hard week and I just don’t think I’m going to get around to serving.”

A week earlier, she had rounded up a brigade to buy and wrap gifts for Brother Bill’s, an organization that has served the poorest zip code in Dallas for the last 70 years. Each Christmas, the Food Pantry transforms into Santa’s Workshop so that kids who would be receiving nothing on Christmas will have a few gifts.

Cynthia, the one who “isn’t serving” organized a group of at least 20 to spend their Saturday morning wrapping. Serving is so engrained in this person, she had no idea all she had done or does. The coolest thing? She let us in on the gig. We were as blessed as those kids will be when they open gifts on Christmas Eve. The greatest part? It was all behind the scenes.

A few of my kiddos signing in … plus a friend, always bring a friend :)

Friendships made.

 And, don’t let a boy teenager tell you they can’t wrap. 

I saw it – up close and personal.

The humble Cynthia on the right.

I’m sorry you had a tough week, my friend… 

you sure made ours special!

The reason I’m sharing any of these service ideas is to spark our interest… to let you know, to remind myself, old and new ways to serve. I’m selfish… I’m making my gang serve because I want my kids to get their eyes off of themselves. I know they are much more pleasant when putting others first. 

Oh yeah… I am, too. The much more pleasant thing when serving. This recovering procrastinator is working on that :)

Thanks for walking the road with me.


Remember… Please share any of your ideas. Check out recent comments to see a terrific idea from Ruth.

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