Equipped…With Cheerios!

cheerios

We ran out of the door in a hurry, pretty normal for me and my family one might say (that one who might say would totally be my husband!). It was a beautiful spring Sunday morning – the kind of country morning where the sun is shining, birds happily chirping and a few white clouds in the sky. I live in a typical cookie cutter kinda neighborhood, the kind where you can easily reach out and touch your neighbor because we live so close. The BEST part of my day is when I pass by this tree at the entrance to our neighborhood, it tends to make the cookie cutter part sweeter!

tree

We were headed to church and I was excited to simply be alive! What could possibly go wrong on this gorgeous day?About half way into our trip was when I realized that I had forgotten my cute zebra print bag full of Children’s Church teaching material and yep, today started our assigned month of teaching a room full of energized and bouncing off the wall kiddos. Too late to turn around (mainly because we were already 5 minutes late for Sunday School), I prayed that there happened to be an extra teaching book at church. And that I would be able to easily find a replacement lesson that would work in a pinch.

Quickly thumbing through the replacement book, I found a piece that used cheerios as an object lesson – PERFECT! We had lots of cheerios in the pantry for our Nursery class. The best part of all, the topic of this lesson was on “Sharing” and it fit perfectly with the last lesson we did together on “Cheerful Giving!”

We didn’t miss a beat and finished up by reading the key verses for our lesson:“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:6-7

If you have ever taught young children, then you realize that their little faces glaze over when you read words such as sow sparingly, sow generously, under compulsion….say WHAT? They tend to look at me like I am crazy or something, really?? I think I appear to be completely normal.
glasses

After putting it all into kids lingo that they could actually understand, they hurried to finish as their parents arrived. Each child wrote down one specific thing they would share this week – whether it be food, time, encouraging words or even paper at school.

Pulling out of the church parking lot, I have to admit that I felt a bit defeated in my abilities to teach. Hello? The unorganized, crazy teacher lady that pulls out the box of cheerios and makes it work? Is this really what God wants me to do? Maybe it’s time for someone else to step up.

I opened my phone to review any messages missed during church and there sat a quote from a dear friend that she sent specifically to me:

“He doesn’t call the equipped; He equips the called!”

Well I certainly didn’t feel equipped, but I KNEW I was called. Called to make a difference. Called to share what I know with others. Called to do something more than just worry about my 4 and no more. Called to step out of my comfort zone and do things differently from the norm.

Later that same evening I picked up a new book that I have been assigned to read as part of an upcoming missions trip that my husband and I are going to join this summer. We’ve never gone on a missions trip and I honestly can’t tell you why we are going now, we just are!

I do like reading, most of the time. But – is there anyone out there that struggles with assigned reading? Do you slightly feel like you’re back in school and you will have to turn in the dreaded book report at the end of the assigned reading? Yep. Me too.

I started reading, reluctantly…a book called “The Hole in Our Gospel” by Richard Stearns. There’s way too much to share here about everything that started jumping off of the pages. I. Could. Not. Put. The. Book. Down. Here’s what I want you to see and the point of my drawn out story:

Page 91, last paragraph, and I quote:

“Someone once said, “God does not call the equipped; He equips the called.” Saying that we are not clever enough, good enough, or talented enough to serve God is just making excuses.”

Page 123, last paragraph, and I quote:

“Going back to 2 Corinthians, Paul continued to build his argument that the wealthy church had a duty in Christ to help the desperately poor churches in Jerusalem with perhaps the most eloquent statement in Scripture about giving: Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver….”

I sat in amazement at how God works His divine plan with even the smallest details of our lives. It was no accident in forgetting my bag of teaching books. It was no accident that a friend sent a random quote. It was no accident that I waited until now to pick up my assigned book.

Lord, I can’t figure out this crazy adventure we’re on and I’m slowly realizing that it isn’t for me to figure out. It’s about me trusting You fully in every aspect, every detail of my life. Like the song says: Where you go, I’ll go. Where you stay, I’ll stay. When you move, I’ll move. I will follow YOU!

~Starr

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