Unto The Least Of These…

10th Special Olympics World Winter Games

As many of you know, I’ve worked with individuals with special needs for twenty-two years professionally, and for another six years before that, as a volunteer with Special Olympics, camp counselor and group home/ house counselor. I knew I wanted to teach and work with this population of people since I was about sixteen years old. In all these years I’ve seen a lot, done a lot, and have some good…and not so good memories.

Not too long ago I was looking through the online newspaper in the town I used to live in. I saw some of my former students. Arrested. Drug Possession. Armed robbery…and a myriad number of other things. It made me sad. The one young man I had in my classroom when he was only six years old. Even then he was hard core to the bone. I would go home at night and cry. The words that came out of his mouth were vile, hurt and anger seeped from every pore. My heart was soft for this little guy, who cussed me on a daily basis and even threatened my life on more than one occasion.

I would pray, “God, I don’t think I can do this! These boys have serious emotional problems. How can I make a difference? Will it even matter? Give me strength…and keep me focused. Give me patience with them even when it is undeserved.  Father in the face of darkness, I ask for safety for me…for them… Thank you, Father. Amen”

Looking back…did I make any real difference in their young lives? Was anything different for having me as their teacher? I wanted to help, but did I?

When doubt creeps in and I wonder about the past, God whispers to me through His Word……

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:40  NIV

Nothing we do for the Lord is in vain. He sees. He knows. He remembers.

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This day I am thankful for:

* beautiful almost-Spring mornings

* enjoying my son driving

* shared smiles

* a latte my son bought for me as a surprise

* riding down country roads

* my husband patient with me as I snap pictures

* rest

* quiet in the midst of chaos

* mom time with each child

* opportunities that continue…

* the chance to make a real difference

* doing for “the least of these”

* God who sees

Encouragement Is Nourishment

Road

Today, over at Faith Barista, we are jamming about encouragement. We are discussing the topic where we feel we could use a little (or a lot) encouragement. Truth be told, couldn’t we all use some?

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I love to travel. The thought of the open road gets me all excited.

I love to meet people. I love to hear stories. I love to write.

I love vintage. Treasure finding. Flea markets. Decorating.

The Junk Gypsies are my heroes.

East coast, Maryland girl. Down home, Tennessee woman. Mid-West mama, lovin’ Ohio.

Kickin’ it up in cowboy boots in  Texas. In awe of the Tetons in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Love ’em all.

I love living in the country and the every day of small town life.

I thrill at the bright lights and diversity and interesting shops in the cities.

I am passionate about rights for the disabled. I want to help where I can.

I am constantly in awe of my Jesus. His name is above all others.

I’m not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Life has been a roller coaster. A heartache and a party.

Love. Laughter. And Mud. (nobody’s perfect)

So, that is kind of me….as best as I can describe myself.

I guess, at age 43, I pretty much know who I am. What I like. People I love.

But, where do I fit in? How do I meld together my talents with my interests?

Is anyone out there, “living the life”? Do you wake up in the morning, knowing you

are exactly where you are supposed to be? Doing what you love?

I know, no one’s life is perfect……and I wouldn’t want perfect anyway. That’s boring.

How do you live out your dreams?

Please share your advice. I read every comment.

Your words matter.

They really do.

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