Is Your Cashier an Angel?

Stranger Danger is for your children, not you.

“Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.” (Hebrews 13:2)  God tells you and me, flat out, not to forget to entertain strangers.  He doesn’t mean be ready to give a little song and dance.  The word entertain here means showing hospitality, kindness, love to strangers.

Often, when a grizzly snowstorm settles in, I ask my mom to tell me the story of the angel who helped push our minivan out of a ditch.

Coming home from a Christmas gathering in the heart of a classic Michigan blizzard, our minivan slid off the road and into a deep ditch.  It was dark and our headlights were the only ones on the back road.   I was seven sitting in the backseat.  My parents were unable to get us back onto the road, until a broad-shouldered man stopped behind us in his pick-up.  My mom recalls, he seemed to help slide the minivan easily out of the ditch, and after receiving their chattering-teeth thank-yous, he was gone.  His truck was gone; no tail lights out in front of us.

If you want to debate with me about angels, that’s fine.  You and I can happily agree to disagree on whether an angel helped us out of the ditch; we won’t know for sure on this side of eternity.  I am convinced that we often don’t know who we are talking to.  We don’t know if we are entertaining an angel when we help the single mom get her kids and cart to the car.  We don’t know if the gas station attendant just lost his better-paying job.  We don’t know.

Walking the neighborhood, picking up your kids from school, waiting at the hair salon, buying stamps at the post office. Through my most recent Loving God Greatly study, God’s been teaching me to look up and be ready to entertain strangers.

Get out of survival mode; if your children get to their lunches and naps fifteen minutes later, your afternoon might be a little uncomfortable.  But, if you miss that stranger, her eternity might be more than uncomfortable.

How do you look up and show hospitality to those around you? Share your thoughts on Facebook.

(Beautiful featured image is a painting called “Gentle Reflections” that hangs in my home done by Karin Nelson.  Check her work out here)

Easiest Way to Grow Servant-Hearted Kids

Our pastor, says, “Don’t have a wishbone where you should grow a backbone.”  I want my children will grow into servant-hearted adults.

I grew up a PK (pastor’s kid), so I knew our small church’s secret passage into the crawl space.  I knew which day the new candy went into the secretary’s bowl, and which pew was the best to shimmy under with my Strawberry Shortcake sleeping bag while my parents led congregational meetings.

Even though my children are not PKs, I want them to be equally at home in our church.  I want it to be natural to invite their friends to church, just as they’d invite them to our home after school.  I want it to be second-nature to pour into the ministries of the church, and to truly know that as they refresh others they will themselves be refreshed (Proverbs 11:25)

Wishing all of this for my children won’t make it so.  A wishbone won’t grow my children’s hearts for service.  With any goal, the most important part, after writing the goal down, is identifying the next step.   What does the next step look like for a momma of three?  How do I move from wishing my children would feel at home serving in our church to seeing it happen?


If my children see me serve, they won’t know any different.  But, you already know the best way to teach your sweet ones is by modeling.  Then, the question really becomes how can a young mom serve in the local church without sacrificing her responsibilities to her home, her family, and (for many) her job outside of the home?

1. Do something no matter how small.  Don’t buy the lie that what you have to offer is too small.  You are a mom; you know the power of an extra fifteen minutes, or one thing taken off your to-do list.

2. Be clear & specific.  Contact the dept. director/volunteer coordinator and be clear about what you can do.  Do not feel guilty about guarding your family’s needs.  Let him/her know, for example, you can come one hour, two times each month, or take papers home every Sunday and return them the following week.  Also clarify you’d like to include your children.

3. Follow the leading.  Do not be motivated by guilt (that’s the enemy’s tool, not your Father’s); be directed only by the Holy Spirit’s prodding.

Do you see any needs that you could help fill?  Is serving with your kids something you’ve done before? Share your thoughts on Facebook.


Here I have a list of practical serving ideas to help you and your littles jump in and serve; but, I know this list is just the beginning, so I would love to hear your ideas!

Sometimes when you breathe, it hurts.

I took a deep breath and relished in the feel of air filling my lungs without the sting Michigan’s winter air can bring. Charlotte pointed to snow-melt trickling into the runoff drains throughout our neighborhood, and declared, “spring must be here.”

We are grateful to hear birds again, and see patches of green-ish grass peeking out from yards where the snow has melted. We are grateful to walk outside in tennis shoes and jackets. We are grateful to feel the sun on heads and wave to our neighbors. Grateful spring is here, not because we do not like winter (we are a snow-stomping, hot-chocolate sipping, white Christmas kind of family).

But, because winter can be long.

Winter can be cold. Can be lonely. And sometimes when you breathe, it hurts.

Walking through a chronic issue can be longer than a Michigan winter. It can be cold and make breathing hurt. Our middle baby, Charlotte, has been on a health journey for the last 5-6 months. It isn’t a disease and it isn’t life-threatening, but there were days that it caused her great pain. It has created a lot of back and forth—a lot of let’s try this, and wait and see.