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Monday, August 11, 2008

We Are Saved To Serve

My husband runs sports camps every summer. Each year he has one week of volleyball camp. My daughter plays volleyball and looks forward to participating in the camp each summer. It's the beginning of Brianna's volleyball season and really helps her to get into shape! It's so good for her!

There is another way that volleyball camp helps her! It helps her get into shape SPIRITUALLY! When you have groups of high school girls there can be some challenges. Insecurity, cliques, bad attitudes. It's a good opportunity for Brianna to practice how she responds personally, but also how she responds to other girls and the challenges that come.

One night last summer a group of girls from the camp were going to the mall. This particular group had not been very friendly and had kept to themselves all week. Brianna battled feelings of wanting to feel accepted...and she felt left out. That opened up an opportunity for us to have a great talk.

It's normal to want to feel accepted. We all feel it. I feel it even as an "old lady"! Even though it is a normal desire, it really is not what we are here for.

A friend of mine used to say, "We are SAVED to SERVE!" I love that. That is what we are here for. To serve. If we can keep this first and foremost in our minds then we will be able to fight those feelings of wanting acceptance, and we will also go out of our way to make sure that OTHERS feel accepted!

~Cliques show we are self-centered...not others/Christ-centered!
~Not including others shows we are self-centered....not others/Christ centered!
~Bad attitudes show we are self-centered...not others/Christ centered!

As Brianna and I were talking through all she was feeling we looked around and there sat a girl...all by herself. I said to her, "Brianna, if we are called to serve and not focus on ourselves what can you do right now?" She got up and went over to the girl and sat down. They talked a little and then went running off into the gym. A little while later she came back with two other girls and asked if they could come over for the evening as they had nothing to do. They ended up spending the evening eating ice cream, playing games, and watching a movie. THEN they came back the next night for another movie, more ice cream and popcorn...and they brought another girl!

Afterwards Brianna and I were able to talk about it. She was so encouraged because she was able to see how God blessed her choice to take her eyes off of herself and put them on to some girls who needed to be served! She had fun in the mean time!

These lessons are lessons that are so important that my children learn because the reality is that selfish behavior doesn't end with the teen years. I have been in situations as an adult when I have not felt included and I have had to take my focus off of myself, and on to someone who needs to be served. It never ends! If young people can begin to learn how to conduct themselves and how to deal with situations when they are hurt or left out, they will be "in shape" as they get older! I didn't begin to learn this until I was an adult.

It's so easy to fall into the mentality where we just brush certain behavior off as "normal teen aged behavior". It IS normal teen behavior but it is sinful and we need to call it what it is and teach them to look beyond themselves.

I must first live this out before my children. Then I can help them as they face similar situations.

They will learn to serve...and God will be glorified!!!

"Father, please forgive me for the times I have been a so focused on myself, my own comfort, and my own enjoyment that I have missed those around me that need to be served and encouraged. Please open my eyes to the needs of those around me."

I'd love for you to come visit me at my personal blog "Chats With An 'Old Lady"!

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Blogger queenoftheclick said...

Thanks for the important lesson!

August 11, 2008 at 12:29 AM  
Blogger Denise said...

Such a powerfully true lesson, bless you.

August 11, 2008 at 4:37 AM  
Blogger Buffy said...

Next time I'm feeling left out I'll remember this! It's a shame all young women don't have the opportunity to learn this the way your daughter did.

August 11, 2008 at 7:10 AM  
Blogger Tiffanie said...

Thanks so much for this post... it is so true, even as adults we feel left out from time to time, and I think I really needed to hear this. Thank you.

August 11, 2008 at 3:04 PM  
Blogger windycindy said...

Everyone does want to belong. Children, teenagers, adults, etc.
It takes a big person to realize it is okay not to be in a clique. Thanks for the inspiring post. Cindi

August 11, 2008 at 8:37 PM  
Blogger Maisie said...

Neat. I'm going to start saying that - "We are saved to serve." This is a concept that I am teaching to my kids and now I have a saying to go along with it. It's great to be reminded that "normal" behavior can also be sinful behavior. I've got to start pointing out it out as sin.

August 15, 2008 at 9:24 PM  

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