Last week in our group blog, we talked about 9/11 and what it meant to us. We talked about the National Day of Service and encouraged everyone to do something kind for someone to honor those who served and lost their lives. Our family decided to join the Million Lives campaign on KLOVE radio and have a lemonade stand. We donated our proceeds to Third Phase (thirdphase.org), a local shelter in Noblesville. By the way, this is a wonderful organization that helps so many people in need in Hamilton County.
The kids were excited, honestly, mostly because we were making cookies and having lemonade. They weren’t understanding what an impact we could make. As we got ready to set up, it started raining! The faces turned to frowns and we waited it out. We decided to try again and set it up in front of our house. The first hour and a half we had 2 customers- my BNF (Best Neighbor Forever, you know, like a BFF!) who supported us because she loves us. And we had one other neighbor whose kids really wanted the cookies!
The kids started getting discouraged and disinterested. I felt really bad for them. I was going back in forth in my mind, “Should I pack up? We could certainly spend our time as a family inside where it’s cool- I’m hot!” I was just about ready to give up hope until…… people started coming! One family led to another and another. One elderly man I didn’t even know came because he saw our flyer in his mailbox and wanted to refresh himself while mowing his lawn (I thought that was sweet!). I was amazed that people were kind and came and gave! Eventually, we closed up shop and took our proceeds to the shelter. When we entered the shelter, the kids understood what we had done and why we were helping.
I tell you this story for two reasons:
1. Just about the time you think there is no hope, the wind changes. Something happens and hope comes alive. I’m so glad I didn’t give up. For the kids sake and the shelter. I was being selfish. How many times do we give up out of selfishness? We give up on a marriage because it’s too hard or on a dream because we don’t want to keep pressing. We convince ourselves there is no hope. I’ve heard the saying, “Where there is life, there is hope!” I believe this to be true.
2. It’s important to reach out and serve others. The kids were gleaming when they took the money to the shelter. They felt that warmth in their heart that only comes when we give and serve others. I admit, I lack in this area- teaching them the importance of doing this regularly, rather than just the National Day of Service. It’s so important to teach them this.
So what have you given up hope on?
What ways can you teach your children to serve?
Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope you have a blessed day!
Natalie K Chandler, MA, LMHC, LCAC is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Natalie enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, and couples counseling. We also specialize in family counseling, child, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Fishers, Carmel, Zionsville, and Noblesville.