Wednesday, August 22, 2012

From the Ground Up

I can't explain the strange phenomenon going on outside of our subdivision. It's enough to raise my eyebrows though.

As you pull onto the main road once you weave your way through my neighborhood, you'll find a Dollar Tree to our right and to the left a Dollar General, but what made it even stranger is the brand new building that's been going up next door to the Dollar General.

A Family Dollar.

How many dollar stores can one person have on the corner?

Apparently three in my case.

I zip through to take my kids to school, run errands, or head to church and pay little attention. Just another building in an ever growing community.

But my 8 year old son finds it enthralling.

When the bulldozer came out and dug up the ground, he pressed his nose to the glass and studied it. "What are they doing?"

"Breaking up the ground to pour a foundation."

"What's a foundation?"
"It's the base of the building that gives them what they need to create the rest of the store."

"Oh. Cool."

"I guess." And off we'd go.

Each day was like warp speed. It amazed Myles how much they accomplished. "Are they working at night?"

"No, just during the day, but they're working together and they know their job."

"Cool. They look sweaty and tired."

I glanced at the dozen or so workers. "Yeah, they do." It was 100+ temps.

The beams went up, the bricking, and then the parking lot. "What are they doing now?"
"Making a place for people to come. It's a parking lot."


Then trucks came. 

"What's all that?"

I explained they were filling the shelves in the store so people would have something to buy.

"Can we go today?" He asked me that for the 4 solid days it took to stock shelves.

"They're not ready yet. They're preparing and probably training their workers."

"Oh…" You guessed it. "Cool…Well do you think if our whole family goes we'll get some kind of discount? It is the Family Dollar."

That cracked me up. "I doubt it."

"Then that kind of makes the name dumb."

Finally the store was up and running. Yesterday I took him in there. As if he'd leave me alone until I did. We walked on the polished tile, admired the merchandise that wasn't falling off shelves, but in proper order. I guess we spent thirty minutes perusing. Walked out with Cheese-Its, cookies, dividers for a binder and a card.

"Dude, mom, that place--"

"I know, cool."

"Yeah. Can we go back?"

"I'm sure we can."

This morning (Tuesday) I was thinking about that building and the awe of my son as he watched its progression and I think that's the kind of enthrallment God takes with us as he breaks the ground in our life, preparing to lay His foundation of Jesus Christ in our lives.

As He works in unity with the Son and the Holy Spirit to place the right beams in our lives to hold us up, provide support and strength so we can hold up under pressure and tough weather. The process takes time, but they move quickly when we allow them to do their job.

As we read our Word, our shelves are stocked and put in order, making us a place people can come and receive things they need i.e. ministered to.

But I also think it's like the church. If we work together we can build anything. And we can accomplish things quickly when we're unified. Just remember the tower of Babel!

Our church body should be a place people can come and receive. Feel special. After all we've built a place just for them! We should show them customer service with a friendly smile, a warm welcome and make sure we see to their needs. Especially if we catch them floundering down the aisles, unsure of what they came in for in the first place.

Family Dollar.


"According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. " 1 Corinthians 3:10

 Tell me, how good are you at welcoming people into the church body? Or being the church outside the actual building? Are you a place people feel comfortable hanging out?


  1. Oh, I hope so. Because I sure like to hang out with people.

    Awesome story!

  2. Something I'm truly working on. Being tested in.
    ~ Wendy

  3. I like the title of this post...but then, I'm biased, 'cause that's the title of my manuscript. :)

    I'm going to echo both Heather and Wendy...I hope so and it's something I can keep working on! :)

  4. I love, love, LOVE your analogy of construction workers breaking ground to pour a foundation and God's excitement when He breaks ground in our life to reveal His foundation. BEAUTIFUL!

  5. Great thoughts, Jessica! I've just moved, so I'm visiting a church and trying to get a feel if that's where God wants us to be. My family goes to the same church, so that is making it hard for me to make friends, but so far I like it. The people are very friendly and welcoming, and I can tell that they really care about reaching the community.

  6. Excellent thoughts!

    And your son is a sharp cookie. He's right about the name. There should be a discount if you bring the whole family. :D

  7. CREEPY WIERD!!! I had a dream last night that I was late getting home after church because I stayed late to talk to a new older couple at church. LOL - what are the chances this would be your blog post too. Think the Lord is trying to show me a shortcoming of mine? (I'm little miss run around like crazy on Sunday -- I get annoyed when people stop me in the hall. How's that for NOT WELCOMGIN!?! :(

  8. Awesome post and metaphor. I have had to work on being welcoming, because it's not my strong suit. I just get so comfortable in my own little world, you know? It can be hard to reach out, but there are rewards when we do.

  9. Excellent analogy, like always! I love the part about him wanting your family to get a discount because it's "Family Dollar." :) I love how kids think!

  10. There is something refreshing about looking at an event trhrough the eyes of a child. We need to look at the world that way.

  11. Great post. As an introvert I have to work hard to step out of my comfort zone and make others feel welcome. This is a great reminder.

  12. You amaze me. You got all that ... truth ... from a Family Dollar store being built?
    A fun story.
    And spiritual application that made me sit back and go "Huh."
    And yes, I hope I am a welcoming place for people, wherever they are on their faith journey.

  13. Amazing how God can take these earthly "things" and give us insight into His WAY! You, my friend, have your eyes open and we all get to benefit.

    Bless you!

  14. Dude, mom, er--Jessica, that was a cool post. :-) Does your son like to build?

  15. Great post! Wow, 3 dollar stores near each other. LOL Good analogy to church and building those people kinds of relationships!


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