With and Not For

Years ago, my husband challenged me to stop doing things for people and to do things with them. That ministry principle changed everything about how I thought about serving others and what it meant to love people, include people, and empower people.

And I realized how much I loved the withness–the togetherness, the sharing, the community, and the fellowship. It never felt like “work” or “service” to walk children to school, to host all those basement fitness nights or Saturday morning pancake breakfasts with neighbors, or do any of the things I was doing with folks in the neighborhood.

I grew into deeper belonging, deeper joy, and deeper meaning just being right here with people.

These past few days, I’ve thought about this principle in terms of motherhood: I love doing things with these children (now 12 and 15) and not just for them.

I’ve been baking cookies with; I’ve been riding bikes with; I’ve been folding laundry with; I’ve been watching movies with (Princess Diaries!); I’ve been grocery shopping and preparing meals with anyone coming along.

It’s a mindset shifter and a happiness fueler to think about motherhood and doing things with them and not simply for them.


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