Train up your children

Written by Ashley Miltgen, Major Gifts Officer

I’ve been realizing lately how I receive so much more than I give when I choose to serve others. It’s been almost a month since Easter, and I am still reaping the benefits of just one simple act.

It was this Easter when I had my first experience washing the feet of our guests at Denver Rescue Mission’s Good Friday celebration. I thought that by participating in this experience, I might be a blessing to others: I had no idea how much this opportunity would bless me and my family.

As I was leaving the downtown shelter, I couldn’t help but become more aware of all the blessings in my life. That night I soaked up everything: the way my daughters were giggling in the back seat; the breathtaking mountains zipping by my car window; the warmth from the coat I was wearing; the fact that I didn’t have to worry about where my children would sleep that night — suddenly I found myself overwhelmed with joy.

After spending the night savoring all the normal things I so often take for granted, I didn’t want the night to end. I decided to snuggle my two daughters in my arms until they fell asleep. Like most nights, there was a lot of talking before entering dreamland. This conversation though, was even more precious. My oldest daughter Grace, who is 6, wanted to know more about the feet washing I had done. The questions started out simple: Mommy, how many feet did you wash? Mommy, were any of the feet ticklish?

Ashley's daughter, Grace

The questions quickly progressed and got deeper: Mommy, how does someone get to be homeless? Mommy, why can’t your work just give the people money for a house? Mommy, what if we didn’t have enough money for a house?” We talked for two hours about homelessness and how we can serve others as the Lord has called us to. And as I drifted off to sleep I was reminded of Proverbs 22:6 – “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”

I have since been repeatedly amazed by the questions Grace has asked about God — about how she, too, can serve others — all from her mommy doing one simple act of kindness. One simple act to serve others has continued to bless me beyond measure.


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