Meet Laura Booz, mom of 6, author, and podcaster. Laura is an encourager of women in their role as mom in her writing and on her podcast. She is our guest blogger today. Enjoy the gift of her perspective as we enter into a season of thanks.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
The Heroic Gifts of Last and First
by Laura Booz
“Whoever would be great among you must be your servant,
and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve,
and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
One summer, we gathered some friends around the campfire to make s’mores. When I opened the bag of marshmallows, the kids rushed toward me in a great swarm. They wanted marshmallows! And each one of them wanted to be first.
Except for Dylan.
In the midst of a dozen little hands reaching for marshmallows, 5-year-old Dylan said, “I can go last” and moved to the back of the eager group of kids.
This was huge.
This was significant.
Even the lightning bugs paused to absorb what he had said.
The thing that struck me was how he said it. It was as if it were an ability or a skill he had learned over time. He declared it like a gymnast who, after hours of instruction and practice, could say, “I can do a backflip.” Or, spoke with the assurance of a trained medic answering the plea, “Does anyone know CPR?!” with “I can do CPR.” With that level of confidence, Dylan had said, “I can go last.”
Over the past five years, this story has become legendary in our home. My kids and I still talk about it because they were there, getting their marshmallows before Dylan. Wow! Dylan offered to go last when the fire was crackling, the summer stars singing, and the chocolate waiting. Going last was heroic.
Everyone in our family wants to be like Dylan and say, in those moments when it’d be awesome to go first. But it’s not easy.
We wrote down some examples of when it’s hard to go last:
- When we’re nervous or hungry.
- When we’re really excited about something.
- When we’re looking forward to receiving something good.
We discussed, “What makes going last truly great?”
The kids answered, “It allows someone else to go first and get the blessing we wanted for ourselves. It’s one small way we can live like Jesus who often put Himself last when He deserved to be first.
No wonder Dylan said, “I can go last” like it was a golden opportunity.
During that conversation, one of my kids pointed out that sometimes it’s equally hard to go first. “ It’s hard to go first when getting a shot, working, serving, being friendly, answering questions in class, and doing something frightening. Sometimes, going first is just as much of an opportunity to serve others as going last.”
The gifts of going last or going first – are like superpowers. In our normal, everyday strength, we tend to get the best for ourselves, but through the power of the Holy Spirit, we can do what we would never do on our own. We can lay our lives down for others. And we can do it gladly because Jesus loves us and laid down His life for us. He will certainly help us in the lasts and the firsts.
Jesus goes last when it seems impossible, and He goes first when it’s inconceivable.
“We love because He first loved us.”
1 John 4:19
Laura Booz is a writer and teacher who encourages women to love God, think biblically, and live vibrantly. She is the author of Expect Something Beautiful: Finding God’s Good Gifts in Motherhood. Laura also contributes to her local church and a variety of Christian ministries including Revive Our Hearts, True Girl, enCourage and Covenant Eyes. She and her husband, Ryan, and their six children make their home in Pennsylvania. Meet her at LauraBooz.com.
© LoriWildenberg. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Lori Wildenberg is a licensed parent and family educator, parent coach, and co-founder of 1Corinthians13 Parenting.com. She has written 6 books including Messy Journey: How Grace and Truth Offer the Prodigal a Way Home; The Messy Life of Parenting: Powerful and Practical Ways to Strengthen Family Connections; and her most recent book, Messy Hope: Help Your Child Overcome Anxiety, Depression, or Suicidal Ideation. Contact Lori for your next event or for parent consulting or parent training courses. Lori can also be found mentoring over at the MOMS Together Group on Facebook.