The other day, my son and I got to play outside–really play. Not just kicking through a leaf pile on our way to the car. Not just taking the meandering route into the grocery store–but actual time spent outside, soaking up the sun.

I got some strange looks when I shared that at church.

Because, you see, it’s been raining, icing, sleeting, etc. out here. Which means that our park, while sunny the other day and actually a very pleasant temperature, was ridiculously muddy.

But, you see, little boys (and their mothers) can be washed.

And the benefits of going outside far outweighed the downfalls of it.

You see, I knew that Gideon would want to roll, squeeze, rub, and possibly even taste-test the mud. I knew that he would get grimy and slimy, and that I would too. I knew that this would probably mean another load of laundry and definitely a bath.

But he was so inordinately happy. He ran around from one side of the playground to the other, leaping with abandon into leaf piles, mud puddles, and dead winter grass. He rolled from side to side, reveling in the sheer glory of being in God’s sunshine.

I chased him. Then, I sat and watched him.

And it was a beautiful day. I felt happier, more energized, more, well, human.

I think that there is a correlation to our own Christian service. You know what I mean.

There are those tasks–those services to others that we know we could do, that we even know we should do. But in the doing of it, we might get messy. Sometimes literally (somehow, service often involves cleaning). Other times, emotionally (which means tears and heartaches). Sometimes we might get messy in other ways.

But in the end, on the other side, even if things did not turn out how you envisioned or intended, God grants a feeling of purpose for Him and a feeling of peace. We always feel better after doing God’s work.

So, today, I encourage you to get out there. Maybe your work is playing with a child in the sunshine and mud. Maybe it’s inviting another lonely mom and kid(s) to come with you. Or maybe it’s something else. But today, be brave, grab hold of some sunshine and go out and do it.


Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. ~ 1 Peter 4:10




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