A Mind Like A Child

I am spending the week in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania because my cousin, Peyton, graduated high school last night! I am feeling super proud and a little old because that was me two years ago. Time sure does fly by. I am happy to be here for the week though! It is a nice little break from Oklahoma and a great opportunity to spend more time with my family.

Today, I got to meet the cute little seven-year-old girl that my cousin babysits. We picked her up from her piano lesson and then went to a fun frozen yogurt place called Cowtastic.

When we were in the car, the little girl told me she had a present for me. She made me a pink, blue and white loom bracelet for me. How sweet is that?

My cousin told me afterward that the little girl had told her that is was the prettiest bracelet she had ever made and that she made it for me. My cousin asked why she would give it to me if she liked it so much and her response was simple: because I made it for her.

This little, but incredibly sweet gesture from this seven-year-old little girl got me thinking. She had just met me, but she gave me a gift that she made sweetly by hand and she was so kind to me. This little girl did not know me at all, but she was sweet as could be to me. All kids have a tendency to do that, but why does that mindset change as we get older?

Kids see everyone as people. It does not matter what color their hair is, the color of their skin, the clothes they are wearing, what they like to do, if they are male or female or anything else. Kids see people as people. They are kind until they are given a reason not to be.

Why do we stop doing that as adults? Why do we automatically judge a book by its cover? What if we just saw people for people?

“For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes. There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:26-28

We are all one in Christ Jesus, so we need to start acting like it. Children have got this concept down, so maybe we need to learn from them. Life is about more than the color of our skin or the clothes that we wear. Life is about glorifying Jesus Christ in every single thing that we say and do.

When we commit to follow the Lord, we take on a responsibility. We then let the light of Jesus shine through us at all times. If we automatically judge a person that we meet due to how they look, how is that showing the love of our savior? It is absolutely not.

Jesus loved all people when he walked this Earth. He had dinner with those we were seen as the worst of the worst. People judged him for not be judgemental of the people he surrounded himself with. If Jesus did it, why are we not doing it?

We cannot just love the people who look and act like us. We have to love all people.

I want to challenge each and every person that reads this to approach the new people that come into your life as a child would. See them as simply a person, and get ready for your life to change for the better. You cannot even imagine what you will learn and how you will be impacted if you do this.

Volunteering With Kids Will Change Your Life

keeping-on-track Volunteer work is incredibly important. The work of volunteers is vital to make the world a better place.  According to the Dictionary, a volunteer is “a person who voluntarily offers himself or herself for a service or undertaking.”

There are so many different ways that we can use our individual talents to give back to our community. Whatever talent or passion you have, there is a volunteer position where you can use it. Everything from artistic ability, mental ability and physical ability can help in some way. You might as well put your skills to good use and volunteer wherever you can.

There are thousands of incredible places to volunteer your time and service. Whenever I get the chance, I love to volunteer with kids. It is incredibly fun, and there is never a dull moment. It is such a rewarding experience. Volunteering with kids will change your life.

When you have encounters with kids, many people believe that it will purely be a time of  acting as  a babysitter and maybe teaching them a few things along the way. You might go in with that attitude, but I promise that you will learn more being around kids than in any other situation.

The moment I was in the sixth grade, I started volunteering my time as a small group leader at my church. I thought it was just going to be me watching the kiddos and teaching them a little bit about Jesus. I wasn’t expecting anything more.

Over the years I continued to be a small group leader at my church. I hung out with the kids every Sunday morning. Then I started doing extra things like volunteering at the summer church camps with my group of kids and volunteering at our annual event TC Toys. No matter what I did, I was always doing something where I was interacting with kids. I did this until my senior year of high school.

Now I’m a sophomore in college, and I can promise you that I grew so much as a person being around those kids. I would not be the person I am today if I had not spent so much time around a variety of children. Back when I started volunteering, I was only twelve years old and going through the phase where I thought I knew everything, but wow was I wrong.

I was supposed to be a teacher to these kids, but they taught me more than I ever imagined. I started to look at life through the perspective of children, and it really opened my eyes. Kids don’t worry about what other people think. Kids don’t judge others for their appearance or the things that they like. Kids see the good in others. Kids are constantly curious about everything they see. Kids are fearless.

Volunteering with those kids made me grow as a person. It seriously changed my life. It made me more confident. It made me realize that everyone has a story. It made me realize that being unique is cool. It made me realize that there is so much to discover in the world. It made me realize that I needed to take more risks.

If you have never spent time with kids, I challenge you to go find a place where you can volunteer with children. It can be pretty hectic, but I promise that you will learn so much and grow as a person.