Psalm 139:23

"Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way of the everlasting."

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Ordinary people doing ordinary things

"... Later along came Joseph & Moses & many other ordinary people that the movie also is not about. God is the one who picks them & directs them & works miracles through them."
- Crazy love

Recently I become aware of a common misconception regarding God's work within us. Growing up I was always amazed by the extraordinary things God did through ordinary people. Moses couldn't speak and yet he led God's people out of Egypt. David was just a shepherd boy and yet he killed a Giant. Simple fishermen become evangelists. We teach all about the ordinary people doing extraordinary things, but what about ordinary people that only do ordinary things? 

Throughout CBC (Contact Bible Club) I have continually been reminded of the importance of the ordinary things. Two weeks ago we went on a field trip to the Muskogee Water Park. One of my buddies is a boy from Parkview Apartments. He is a total fireball, full of energy and always finding trouble. However, I absolutely love him! He has a precious heart and on occasions he shares his heart with the Contact crew. That morning he informed me that he had two dollars to use at the concession stand. To fully understand the importance of this story, you have to remember that I work in inner city Tulsa. Two dollars may not be much to me, but it is a lot of money to a Contact kid. 

Anyway, when we went to set our things together at "Contact's table", Dre approached me with a Dr. Pepper in his hand. He said, "Miss Kayla, I bought you a Dr. Pepper. I love you!" I was overwhelmed by his small act of kindness. There is nothing special about a Dr. Pepper. It is just a soda. However, there is something significant about the heart of that little boy. He spent his own money that day to bless me. No one told him to do so. I was amazed!

I shared this story in Children's Worship this Sunday. We were discussing being salt & light to those around us. Now that my paradigm has been shifted I wanted to share that shift with the Contact kids. God isn't always about big, extravagant things. He is in every single act of service displayed in this world. This is where I am today... desiring to convey the importance of allowing God to work within the small things... holding doors, buying someone a pop, writing an encouragement note, asking how someone is and actually caring what the answer is, etc. 

Although I still believe that God uses drastic measures to meet His people, at this given time I am focused on the small, every day ways that I see my Lord working through the Contact kids. I was blessed to be a part of Contact Bible Camp this summer. The kids grew in magnificent ways. I could share countless stories of the selflessness I saw in the hearts of the Contact kids this summer. God is at work in the hearts & minds of His children & I look forward to continuing to watch Him do ordinary things through ordinary people for the purpose of His kingdom. 

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Saying Goodbye...

Today Donna & Brian are moving to Virginia :(. Yesterday I went by to give the kids some pictures they had been asking for & to say goodbye. It was probably the hardest goodbye I have ever said. Almost eight years ago we met the Alt family. They moved in across the street. At the time they only had two children; Logan and Lauren. Our dog had just had puppies & the kids were enthralled with them. Brian brought them over almost every day to pet the puppies. About a year later I started babysitting for them & from then on my heart belonged to this family.

In the past seven years we have shared so many memories... some good and some very sad. I will share a few of my favorite stories of the kids...

This year I took Logan out for his birthday. We went to target & he was able to pick out his birthday present. This conversation took place in the car...

Logan: Kayla, really, when are you gonna get married?
Me: Idk Logan! I have to find a boy that wants to marry me.
Logan: Kayla there are lots of boys who would want to marry you if you would stop dumping them.  
Since I went off to college Logan & Lauren's biggest concern has been that I find a man to "take care of me". He told Curtis not long ago, "Maybe she will marry you... if she doesn't dump you first."

Lauren is a tad-bit of a drama queen. There are several crazy stories that I could share about her, but one of my favorite memories of Lauren is when Donna told us that the twins were gonna be boys (Lexi & Linds... obviously the dr. was wrong). Lauren was upset because she didn't want to be the only girl in the family. I had always called her my princess & proceeded to tell her how special it was that she would be my only princess. Therefore, when the twins were born & they were girls the first thing Lauren said to me was, "They are not your princess Kayla! I'm your only princess!" So the twins became my baby girls & Lauren is still my princess. She told Lindsey this story yesterday. 

There are so many things that describe Landon... he is absolutely hilarious. Donna & Brian had planned on only having three kids. Because I thought Landon was the last baby I spoiled him rotten. He is still spoiled by me :). When the twins were born & Landon was put in a big bed he was notorious for never staying in his bed. Every time I was there he would come out to the living-room & say "Kayla hold you!" This would result in me laying in bed with him until he fell asleep. Even now he still asks me to lay with him until he falls asleep.

Now for the famous twins! The stories that happen when you are close to twins are countless. Lex & Linds loved to make messes together. My favorite story of them was the last time I kept the twins before Lexi got her transplant. I had come back from college during the week so that I could see Lexi before she had to go back to St. Louis. When I got to their house the babies were down for a nap. I could hear them talking in their bedroom. When I opened the door there was a huge mess all over the floor! All of their stuffed animals, diapers, and wipes were scattered all over the floor. I said, "Oh my goodness girls! Who made this mess?" Lexi said, "I not do nothing. Lindsey do it! I lay right here." I said, "Linds, you made this mess?!" She said, "Yes, but I pick it up." They were so funny together.

Leland... the baby of 6. Leland has the most adorable smile. I love that little boy so stinkin' much. Lauren's favorite memory of Leland & I was the first time I every babysat him. He was just a few weeks old. When I was changing his diaper for the first time I wasn't fast enough & he peed on me. Lauren thought that was just the funniest thing. However, my favorite memory of Leland is from the other night. Curtis & I were taking pictures with the kids before their big move. I jokingly said, "Donna, you can move but let me keep your kids." Leland replied, "I get my shoes Kayla. I go with you." He really did go grab his shoes. It was so stinking cute!

I am so thankful for the many years I got to be a part of the Alt's family. Donna & Brian have taught me so much about how to be a faithful Christian wife and mother. They will never know the way they impacted me simply by how they lived their lives. Their love for the Lord & their strength in the midst of terrible tragedy has changed my life forever. I will miss them more then I could ever describe, but I know that when you form relationships like we have they do not end when someone has to move. I look forward to continuing our relationships & to the visit to D.C. 

Thank you Lord for placing such special people in my life. Please be with them as they transition into their new home. Give them special friends who love you. Be with each of the kids & help them to enjoy their new home. Give them comfort as I know their hearts are hurting today. Please bless them abundantly as they continue to follow you!
In Jesus Name,