Thursday, January 22, 2015

What's Your Ripple Effect?


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As I stated a couple of weeks ago, we love to go camping.  The kids could spend hours "filling up the lake."  [aka Throwing rocks in the water.]  I love to watch the waves ripple from the various sized rocks that the kids pick up.  Then sometimes a boat goes by.  Several minutes later the waves hit the shore and I have to remind myself that a speed boat passed.

Ever hear of the ripple effect?  Dictionary.com defines it as "a spreading effect or series of consequences caused by a single action or event."  The concept comes from water and the ripples created when an object touches the surface.  Something as small as a pebble or as large as a boat has an impact.

I have two stories for you.

Story One.  

Three years ago we needed a babysitter for our kiddos while we attended a new Community Group with our church.  This babysitter could not just be any girl with a pulse because our 7 and 3 year old required someone with tough love - and lots of it!  In our experience, this can be almost impossible to find in the teen sector.  We needed a girl at least college age and older who would be available every other week.  Tough order to fill.

I posted on Facebook of the need.  Didn't really get a lot of feedback and definitely nothing that panned out.  Except for one person who commented on my post.  I will call her Cindy.  For whatever reason, she took the time to help us locate a gal.  Together, we went through a long list of girls. One by one each girl was busy or couldn't help for this or that reason.  Each time I returned to Cindy, she dug deeper in her mental Rolodex to fill our need.  Finally we found our gal, Miss J.  The kids adored her and she handled the challenges very well.  I never worried when we closed the garage door and left our home.  I knew whatever curveball my little cherbus threw her way, Miss J could catch it.  I also knew that my kids would be put to bed on time and I would not come home to playdough in the carpet.  Woo-hoo!

Story Two.  

Two years later we said goodbye to Miss J as she had gotten married and was now expecting a baby.  Sadly, we found ourselves without a babysitter.  I once again posted on Facebook hoping for some leads.  Guess who stepped up to the plate yet again.  Yep, Miss Cindy was determined to help us.  She lead us to Miss L.  The kids adore her and she is eager to learn how to handle the challenges our four blessings present her.

The Rest of the Story

Two very similar stories.  A need.  A friend determined to fill the need. ... Now it's time for the ripple effect.

God has used our family in some crazy, humbling, wonderful ways to minister to Babysitter #1 and #2.  Completely opposite ways but huge, none the less.

Three years later, Miss J is now attending church and we have been privileged to have a front row seat to watch her growth as a Christian.   I have never seen a person grow so much in such a short time...oh how she is growing in her knowledge, love, and obedience of her Savior.  Now her family is headed down a completely different path because of Jesus!  Praise the Lord!

Miss L changed her college major and is looking at her future in a new light.  She continues to be in a serious dating relationship but now looks at the relationship differently after a talk we had that went deep into the night hours.  All for the glory of God. 

Two lives completely changed.  Why?  Because a lady didn't gloss over a cry for help on Facebook.

Hundreds of other people either didn't know of a potential babysitter or didn't take the time to share a name with me.  But Cindy took the time to not only share multiple names but find a babysitter so my husband and I could attend Community Group twice a month.  That in and of itself is a huge deal.  What she didn't count on was the ripple affect.

This post is about the little things that we do for others.  Those things that would be so easy to gloss over, ignore, or forget about.  Taking the time to be intentional.  Taking the time to hear the Holy Spirit speak and then obey.

Most will never know the eternal ramifications that occur each time they step out in obedience on the things that seem so minor.  But when we join where God is working even something as small as helping a family find a good babysitter can affect eternity.

Remember the ripple effect concept that I shared at the beginning of this post?

Make it happen.  The Holy Spirit will show you how. 


Need encouragement?  Check out our accountability group - SISTERS at ABCJLM.


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The Our Out-of-Sync Life blog focuses on encouraging women to deepen their spiritual life, simplify daily tasks, and impress Jesus on the children around them.