Monday, May 18, 2009

30til30: day 14, serving as a CARES team

i have 30 days until i celebrate my 30th year of life. i thought i would share with you 30 people, events and situations that have shaped my life and who i want to be. it has been very challenging to come up with 30…i hope it inspires you as it has me. this part of the list is in no particular order.

day 14: serving as a CARES team

michael and i (and luke) got home about 45 minutes ago from hosting a cook-out (or affectionately and creatively, a chill & grill) for our neighbors. all 224 are invited. this time, about 50 came. that’s a lot of people in two hours. more accurately, that’s 42 hamburgers, 8 hotdogs and 20 sausages.

in august, we’ll celebrate our fourth year of planning events and being the hub of community for our neighbors in our apartments. it’s been a lot of fun. very challenging. but also extremely rewarding.

in exchange for a free two bedroom/two bath apartment, we commit to serving our neighbors (through event planning and other avenues) for 70 hours a month (total, not each). there are certainly times that we don’t want to plan an event, but have to. there are days that we’re tired of interacting with people, but can’t become hermits. it’s not always easy, but it’s worth it.

it’s worth it because we’re teaching luke that life isn’t only about him, that it’s worth the sacrifice to make an intentional effort to serve others and impact their lives.

it’s worth it because last week we got to buy a can-opener and kroger gift card for moe, a neighbor struggling financially, and connect her to the food bank at our church.

it’s worth it because we get to see our neighbors create new categories for christians who genuinely love them but disagree with the lifestyles they’ve chosen and the choices they’re making.

it’s worth it because we daily get to be the hands and feet of Jesus as we live our lives here.

we’ve learned a lot: how to throw an event together, without killing each other (we’ve had some serious arguments over the thickness of pancake batter; don't knock it until you've been there
what it looks like to serve together; what each other’s strengths are as we reach out to the people around us.

it has been a fun ride. when michael gets a job, it will be over for us. as much as i won’t miss the daily grind of community building, i will miss our neighbors and the staff we work with. being CARES team has changed my life and changed the way i see people. it’s definitely changed the way i live my life as i seek to intentionally be a follower of Christ.


  1. Amen sister. After four years as well, I can relate with EVERYTHING you wrote. It made me tear up actually. Being a CARES team changed our lives. I am forever grateful. I still have an urge on Saturday mornings to go make someone breakfast! :-) Loved the pancake comment....I remember a lively "discussion" between Bryce and I on how finely to chop salad bar get it...

  2. You should do what I did concerning the pancake issue. Let Michael take over the pancake duties. But, I'm still claiming the headship of the mickey mouse pancakes makers society. (Also, know this; thinner is better than thicker.)