Danielle Ledoux is a former intern with Joni and Friends’ Cause 4 Life program who enjoys writing about God’s work in people’s lives. She is a graduate of Pensacola Christian College and is currently getting her Master of Fine Arts in Dramatics.
Christmas is the time of year when the church potluck shines. Fellowship, friends, and holiday parties populate the calendar to celebrate the season surrounding Jesus’ birth. The most delectable goodies are plentiful around the table! But after each church function, it is generally the same two or three families that linger behind to vacuum the carpet, wipe down the tables, and empty the trash, year after year.
I have always been grateful for my mom who notices these quiet, faithful servants and remembers to thank them with a meal or a card. Another woman who seeks to thank those who go un-thanked is Charissa Taylor Lees who works for Solid Rock Youth Center and organizes a “Caregivers Day” alongside her church.
For years, Charissa has watched her mother care for her two brothers who both live with disabilities. One of her brothers experienced a heart attack at the age of 21 that left him immobile and unable to talk, making laughter and smiling his only forms of communication.
Charissa’s youngest brother, Josh, was born with Down syndrome. When doctors said that Josh would never talk clearly or learn to read and write, his parents refused to accept that. Instead of limiting Josh with can’s and can not’s, they pushed him in physical therapy and taught an entire nursery of children sign language so that he could communicate with his peers. Today, Josh not only reads, writes, and talks, but also works at McDonalds. He is known and loved by the entire town.
Charissa observes other caregivers in her church and community, like her mom, whose faithfulness can be overlooked or taken for granted. With “Caregivers Day,” the idea is to give moms and wives a day when “you can focus on you”—a Saturday to do crafts, relax, and enjoy a hot lunch. On the first Saturday in March, about fifty volunteers from First Baptist Church partner with Solid Rock Youth Center to pamper these caregivers for the entire day, taking care of their kids at the youth center so they can truly relax. The entire event says, “Here’s a day for you. Thank you!”
But we don’t need to wait until a scheduled day to show our appreciation. Especially during this time of year, it’s easier to take that first step. Charissa suggests, “Make a gift, start a conversation, try. You’ll be surprised where God will take you.”
Charissa shared with me that because of all that caregivers do, it is important to relax and take a break so they can better care for their loved ones. If you are that quiet mom or selfless wife, we know your effort supports that smile, hug, and laugh we receive from your child or spouse. Please take time to rest! And, whatever you do, use that time to talk to God. If you draw, do it for God. If you write, do it for God. If you enjoy crafts, do them for God because He alone gives peace and rest. After all, He is the Prince of Peace born to bring peace and goodwill to men.