936 Pennies: Discovering the Joy of Intentional Parenting
Join our adventure and discover inspiration and resources for refusing rush, creating habits of rest, living intentionally, and making the most of this beautiful life!
There’s a spice shop here in Milwaukee with the slogan, “Love people, cook them tasty food.” I smile every time I think about it. I love how such a basic necessity of life–sustenance through food–can also be such an amazing outlet to express love.
Grayson and I often love each other through food–a fresh batch of homemade ice cream, a surprise bottle of wine, brunch out at one of our favorite restaurants–these are often how we remind each other, “Hey, I’m thinking of you.”
We are seeing this sort of love poured out into our life at this time. On Tuesday morning we welcomed into our family baby Ellison Palmer! Along with this bundle of joy (and sleepless nights) has come a outpouring of thoughts, prayers, and delicious food from friends!
The very day Ellis arrived, my good friend Jessie, 39 weeks pregnant herself, came to the hospital bearing fresh cinnamon rolls, along with a foot massage and pedicure for me! The next day we arrived home to a loaf of peanut butter and banana bread from my sister, who had stayed with Ezekiel during our time at the hospital. The next two nights we had friends bring over dinner, allowing us to sit back and adjust to having Ellis home.
In Acts chapter 2 we’re given a beautiful picture of what the Church looked like when it first began–the Church as a whole; encompassing all who believed in Jesus.
“The apostles were doing many miracles and signs, and everyone felt great respect for God. All the believers were together and shared everything. They would sell their land and the things they owned and then divide the money and give it to anyone who needed it. The believers met together in the Temple every day. They ate together in their homes, happy to share their food with joyful hearts. They praised God and were liked by all the people. Every day the Lord added those who were being saved to the group of believers.” Acts 2:42-47
I know that many things are different now. Culture and circumstances have changed. However we can still glean some great insight and application from the first church. Take for instance their eagerness to share and to fellowship with one another. Is this not one of the great blessings of being united so intimately together because of our bond in Christ?
The natural out pour of this love and fellowship can be seen in many practical ways, the one mentioned here in Acts being the sharing of possessions and food. It’s a very tangible way that we, as believers, can simply love on one another as a celebration of the love we share in Christ.
It’s been such a blessing this week to know that many, many people have been and are praying for us; to receive so many offers of help and assistance as we adjust to our new life; and to receive meals and know the love that lies behind them.
I know that when I’ve been on the other end, the one making meals for friends celebrating new life in their homes, it’s been such a blessing to me to feel a part of the process; to come together with others in celebration and offering love, support, and prayer over a miracle of life.
“The group of believers were united in their hearts and spirit. All those in the group acted as though their private property belonged to everyone in the group. In fact, they shared everything. With great power the apostles were telling people that the Lord Jesus was truly raised from the dead. And God blessed all the believers very much.” Acts 4:32-33
As I mentioned, some things have changed since those days. The beauty I see in this passage, though, is in the believers’ attitudes, they acted as if their own property belonged to all believers. They held back nothing, but offered to all in need; what an incredible picture of Christ’s love, Who gave absolutely everything, even His own life, to show His great love for us.
Author and Pastor David Platt says this about the Church in his book, Follow Me:
“…the New Testament envisions followers of Jesus living alongside of one another for the sake of one another. The Bible portrays the church as a community of Christians who care for one another, love one another, host one another, receive one another, honor one another, serve one another, instruct one another, forgive one another, motivate one another, build up one another, comfort one another, pray for one another, confess sin to one another, esteem one another, edify one another, teach one another, show kindness to one another, give to one another, rejoice with one another, weep with one another, hurt with one another, and restore one another. All of these ‘one anothers’ combined together paint a picture not of people who come to a building filled with customized programs but of people who have decided to lay down their lives to love one another.”
I realize the church is imperfect. It’s made up of imperfect people, after all; but I want my life to be centered around and characterized by these types of relationships. At this time in our life, we’re on the receiving end; benefiting from the love and support of fellow believers. I only pray that no matter the stage in my life, Christ will pour His love through me that I may also be a blessing to others, doing life alongside of them and loving them with the very love of Christ. Whether it’s something as simple as bringing a lasagna to a weary set of new parents, praying with a hurting friend, or giving of my own time, money, or energy to help another believer; this is what the community of Christians is: living life alongside one another through Christ’s love.
Raising kids stirs something deep in our souls — an innate knowing that our time is finite. Taking my kids outside in creation, I’m discovering how to stretch our time and pack it to the brim with meaning. God’s creativity provides the riches of resources for teaching the next generation who He is and how He loves us. Join our adventure and discover inspiration and resources for refusing rush, creating habits of rest, living intentionally, and making the most of this beautiful life!