My middle school years weren’t the best for me, although I’m sure many people might say the same. I was overweight and struggling with my parents’ divorce on top of being a pre-teen! I was picked on in class or at lunch and, when I became upset, I would leave the classroom and find solace in the office.
One of the most difficult things to do in the world is to be a parent. Cydney Cooper knows this well. Cydney was a mom of two wonderful children until she gave birth to her twin girls and, just like that, she was a mother of four.
To make matters more difficult, Cydney’s husband, Skyler, was deployed oversees with the U.S. Army. Raising a family is difficult enough, but caring for premature twins – by yourself – is more than challenging.
The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.
– 1 Corinthians 10:16-17
Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brethren, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but one thing I do, forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
– Philippians 3:12-14
One of my favorite pictures is one that was taken 13 years ago. It is a picture of me holding my oldest daughter when she was just a newborn. It was taken at the end of a long day of work. Work was challenging and often exhausting, but she brought a smile to my face. Things are a little different now at the end of a workday…
I’ve known since I was a child that I wanted to be a mother. In fact, I yearned for the day to come. I was confident I would succeed at motherhood, so when I first learned that my husband (then boyfriend) had a son, I didn’t hesitate… I was made for this! I became a wife and a stepmom in January 2018 and I couldn’t see any obstacle that would stand in my way. We were a family and we were strong. There wasn’t anything we couldn’t do together! But, the first few months were tough on all of us.
As each has received a gift, employ it for one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: – 1 Peter 4:10
I am blessed to come from a musical family. Growing up in church, there was always someone in my family in choir. My grandmother was the church pianist and choir leader. I was blessed to share in a small part of the gift of music. I play a few instruments (not very well) and I love to sing. I have spent some time in the church choir and other music ministries. My talent is limited, but I am always willing to share, especially when it comes to worship.
I haven’t told this story publicly, ever. It was one of only two moments in my life that left me completely speechless. I am still shuffling through all of the data in my head to come up with a logical reason as to why someone would step up and be so kind to me – but it defies all reason; it was God’s work through one couple that would change my perspective on friendship forever.
We all wonder if what we have to give can truly make a difference. Is my time, my skills, or my money enough to change a person’s circumstances? The answer is, “Yes!” You are enough to make a difference.
I recently read a story of an 87-year-old woman in Plymouth, Massachusetts. She was no longer able to leave her house and be as active as she once was, but she was not going to let that stop her from doing good for someone.
“And he sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the multitude putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. And a poor widow came, and put in two copper coins, which make a penny. And he called his disciples to him, and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For they all contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, her whole living.” – Mark 12:41-44