Nov 15, 2012

Thursday SHINE.....

Today's Reading: John 2

Happy Serve Day Thursday, SHINE girls! Today, focus on serving others in some way.

The kids and I have been memorizing this scripture all week:

We have been intentionally focusing on serving each other and anyone in our path each day this week. This verse is a CONSTANT reminder that we are serving the Lord when we serve others. How cool is that?

Speaking of serving, I am OVERWHELMED (that is the only word i can find remotely appropriate in my limited vocabulary) by your donations of laundry detergent and clothes and food. I mean seriously, you girls are GIVERS. Yesterday was a very tearful and emotional day as I was flooded with you sweet girls wanting to help! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

**Don't forget to get in on the SHINE girl give-away! Drawing will be tomorrow!**

Continuing on with our SHINE girls serving stories, I want to introduce my friend Melissa.

Melissa and I are kind of new-ish friends, but it sure seems like she has ALWAYS been in my life! She has been a huge part of my daily life out here in Madison, and her wisdom is priceless to me.

She's extremely humble in all that she does, and I am so proud to call her my friend. :)

Be blessed by her sweet story, girls.

My Story
by: Melissa Martin

I almost fell over when Jill asked me to write a SHINE post about serving...our God has such a sense of humor!  For the past few years I have struggled with the whole concept of serving others.  I have friends who make sandwiches for soup kitchens and serve the homeless in downtown Atlanta.  One of my favorite Madison friends began a program to serve the needy here in this community.  But I kept hearing God tell me that I was not to take on any more than I already had on my plate.  I am a stay-at-home mom to three boys and my husband travels for work each week.  I know he wants us to serve others but I kept hearing God tell me that my ministry was to my husband, children and our church family right now.  

Then, one day when school had just started (and I entered my first year with all 3 going 5 days a week), Jill approached me about a need in our elementary school.  There is a curriculum that the Boys and Girls Club puts together called SmartGirls and there were more girls wanting to be involved than there were leaders to teach them.  I got goose bumps!  As a former school counselor this was just the sort of thing I love to do!  

I told Jill I would pray about it and talk to my husband about it.  God confirmed in every way possible that it was finally my time.
My friend Ashley and I agreed to go through the training to be SmartGirls leaders.  We currently have 9 girls that we meet with each Wednesday.  We teach them about making good choices and give them the correct information they need about sex, drugs, STDs, alcohol, and abuse.  We tell them that we want them to plan ahead and know how to get themselves out of sticky situations that they will face in the future.  We encourage them to ask us if they have questions that they may not feel comfortable asking other adults. 

I am so glad I waited for God to show me where he wanted me to serve.  I could have jumped into many opportunities in the past.  But, SmartGirls was the right fit for me.  I am able to use my God-given gifts in a way that I know HE intended for them to be used.  In following God's will I have been blessed beyond measure.  My friendship with Ashley has grown stronger as we meet each week to plan.  The girls that are in our group make their way into my prayers each day and I am so happy to know each and every one of them.  And even though the topic is sometimes pretty heavy, each week I find that at the end of our time together I feel lighter than I did when I started. 

Have a great day, SHINE girls!!

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