Once upon a time, long, long ago….I volunteered.  A lot. ” Pre-kids”  volunteering  in the Junior League, up to 2 kids and still the league and then onto the schools.  I enjoyed it.  Stepping out of my “box”, helping, guiding, building, painting, serving, I really enjoyed it.  Then, along came a couple more kiddos and back to working outside the home and ‘POOF’ went the volunteering (although I did get some kindergarten hours in for each kiddie).

Life was so busy I never missed it.  Who had time??  To tell the truth, I don’t even feel guilty anymore when there’s a table of volunteer sheets waiting to be filled, I just glance and walk on by.  This season of my life “no” is acceptable.  It is a word I’ve grown used to using.

When our daughter’s cheer competition was a couple of weeks away I had a lapse in reality and agreed to help out at the all-day event.  (The added bonus of not only being able to interact with our girl throughout the day, but getting in for free, free reign of the whole place,  and FREE food–breakfast, coffee, lunch and beverages–SCORE!)  What can I say, I’m a sucker for FREE (and my girl).

The downside of this volunteer role:  having to be at the civic center @ 6:15 a.m.  On a Sunday no less.  It’s a 20-25 minute ride.  However, apparently all the lights are on sensor triggers at that time because we had nothing but green the whole way.  Putting me there right on time since I left at my usual 15 minutes later than planned.

The cool side of this volunteer role:  I forgot how much volunteers contribute to making things run.  Holy moly.  It was fun to see all the different jobs taking place, but I absolutely had the best one…..”Tour Guide,/Line Leader” for the cheer squads.  Bringing our daughter’s squad to book check, pictures, stretch, warm up and then the hallway of hell prior to watching them perform from the floor was the best.  Encouraging these girls who’ve worked so hard for months, calming nerves, handing out hugs and celebrating after a great performance was just too rich.  Escorting two other groups through, one squad of 1st graders and another of high schoolers was less-emotionally involved but no less heart-warming and fun with the silliness of 6 year olds and 16 year olds.

At the end of the day, my ears definitely lost a few decibels of range and I really, reaLLY, REALLY don’t need to hear Katy Perry “Roar” any time soon, but it was good.  Very good.  I’m not saying I’ll be Mrs. Volunteer of the Year anytime soon, but I may actually linger a little longer over those volunteer papers next time.  Maybe.  Just maybe.

2 Corinthians 9:7

Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

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