Meet Courtney. The crazy, creative friend who made me brave enough to start this blog just over fours years ago. The author of In This House We Will Giggle, Creator of ABC Scripture Cards, voice at Lil Light O’ Mine. Courtney’s innovative ideas and generous spirit humble and inspire many! Living in Texas with her loyal husband and darling young girls she raises the bar on loving others well. I consider it an honor to share her with you.
(Guest post by Courtney DeFeo)
Two little girls blessed one construction crew, the first freebie in 54 years
On a particularly steamy day in Florida (several years ago), I noticed a construction crew working.I wondered how HOT they must be working in that kind of heat every day. I was sweating in my car with the air conditioning blowing full steam. I had my four-year-old in the back and her friend.
We were on a mission that summer to do random acts of kindness in our town (we call them “light em up acts”). So, I pulled over and bought eight cold Gatorade for this construction crew.
I will be honest. I was thinking about the construction crew, but my mission was the two girls in the back. I have learned that when my kids EXPERIENCE service, generosity, compassion, and love – it gets in their system much quicker. When I LECTURE them or give them a mini sermon, it floats right over their head.
I was on a quick summertime errand – so that these girls could see and feel what it looks like to serve others.
We pulled up, I asked them to help me quickly hand out the drinks. The supervisor immediately walked over with suspicion. I explained that we just had some cold summer treats for them just because they looked hot and thanked them. He said, “What do we owe you?” I said “NOTHING!” He asked again and didn’t believe me.
I told him I was just trying to teach the girls about kindness, and we walked to the car quickly – trying not to make it about us. Next thing I know, he is at the car window with $5 and asked me if he could pay it forward to my family. I said, “NO WAY! We really just want to love on some people today.”
He then explained, “This has NEVER happened to me in 54 years. Maybe from the owner of a site but NEVER from a stranger just because. The guys don’t believe I don’t know you.”
He was so moved, and so was I. I told him a little bit about the program of Light ‘Em Up and what we were trying to teach our kids through the EXPERIENCE of kindness and love and generosity. He just beamed. He shared how touched he was and how crucial it was to teach kids to do life this way. And walked away. He walked away visibly touched – not by me – but by the love of God. I didn’t even have to utter his name. He felt it. I know he did.
Fast forward several years, and this is still the heartbeat of my parenting style and ministry. I wrote a book about it and continued to do anything I can to get other families engaged in living out virtues vs. just talking about them.
It works! I see young kids experience there IS a God that can move in them, and I see strangers believe and experience the same.
This Summer, I developed a little booklet with tremendous potential. It’s called “Summer to Serve” and 100% of the proceeds goes to a ministry called CARE for AIDS! So, it’s a $5 donation for orphan prevention, and the huge bonus is that you get a booklet for your family that will help your kids brainstorm how they can serve this summer!
I’d love to GIVEAWAY THREE to my dear friend Karmen’s readers today. And because I love Karmen’s hair and her accent – I’ll toss in a copy of my book. You just have to share this post on Facebook and tag a friend that you’d like to serve with this summer. Be sure to tag Karmen so we can keep up with you rock stars. Don’t forget the hashtag #summertoserve
One random winner will be selected SUNDAY, JUNE 18th.
Go forth and light up your communities!