Saturday, April 28, 2012

Trading a Ladies Event for Lemonade

April 28, 2012

"There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her." Luke 10:42

I love attending ladies events. What stay-at-home mom doesn't look for an excuse to dress nice, immerse herself in adult conversation, and enjoy a time of praise and worship without curtain-crawlers tugging at the hem of the aforementioned nice clothes?

But today I made a last-minute trade for time with my children at a lemonade stand over a ladies event hosted by my church. I do not condone boycotting all ladies events. Much prayer and planning and preparation go into these types of events; events which are meant to reach and inspire women in the faith.

Scripture tells us to encourage each other and build each other up (1 Thessalonians 5:11). But today as I drove away from a friend's house after having dropped off my children so that they could participate in a lemonade stand to raise money for Bibles--Bibles I will distribute in Africa with a missions team this summer--something felt gravely wrong. I glanced down to see myself wearing heels, stark-white pants and a nicely ironed shirt . . . while my friend sat in the hot sun with more than half a dozen children anxiously awaiting their first sale of juice.

What was I doing? What kind of message was I sending to my children? Let someone else do the work while I sit in a beautifully decorated, air-conditioned building sipping my tea listening to an inspirational message? I couldn't do it. There was only one thing worth being concerned about. My friend had discovered it and it will not be taken away from her. Though I love a good women's event, I knew what I had to do.

Risking disappointment from a few church friends and women from my Sunday school class, I drove straight home and changed into my grungy clothes. I returned to my friend's home, pulled up a chair beside her and the children, two of which were my very own, and settled in for the duration of the lemonade stand.

Let me say again that I believe there is a time and a place for women's events. We must encourage and build each other up in the Word of God. But when we choose listening to someone talk about faith over the chance to live out our faith, we must question whether we have become too complacent; whether we have exchanged conviction for comfort.

My actions today may seem a little crazy to some. But sometimes, crazy's fun.

And the tally from the lemonade stand? A whopping $125. Enough to buy 12 Bibles in Africa. Twelve Pastors; maybe 12 Widows; maybe 12 former Child Youth Soldiers; maybe, just maybe 2 Youth (ages 16-26) who will leave our conference equipped with 6 Bibles each, trained to lead Bible study in their own community.

Did I make the right decision today in trading a ladies event for lemonade?

Only eternity will tell.

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