Nervous about Volunteering, Serving or Paying it Forward?

Stacie and Kim volunteering!

Have you ever wanted to do more volunteering, serving, paying it forward or helping others and don't know where to start? Have you ever felt like you didn't have the right skills, strengths, stamina, knowledge, experience, courage or time? You're not alone, let me share a secret with you, WE ALL FEEL THAT WAY! It is normal to feel a little anxious about trying anything new and the good news is that it passes quickly.

I was recently invited by my friend, Kim to volunteer at The Children's Miracle Network to be a "Buddy" to children playing a baseball game. My first wave of thoughts were I don't like baseball, I have sweated enough this summer and I don't know the rules except for hit the ball and run the bases. I'm nervous about not knowing what is expected and I'll feel dumb and bored not appreciating one of everyone else's favorite sport. Am I going to have to wear that silly hard hat and mess up my hair? I don't run any where, was I going to be an active participate or a cheerleader? Once all the crazy negative thoughts passed,  I wondered (side note) why isn't there a half time show in baseball.  Then it happened,  I was all in because my friend asked me to go. After all, I was 100% committed to the friendship. This seemed like a journey of feelings and time while it was happening and these thoughts all came and past in less than 5, okay maybe 10 minutes.

The day came and I would like to say I felt more excited than nervous so we will go with that. I believe that when we are excited or nervous we have the same physical feeling it's just how we tell our brain to process it. I arrived on time, then was given a Buddy shirt to wear after completing my volunteer form and signing in. Watched the volunteer videos with others and then waited not so patiently for it to start. I was there and I was ready.

Then a precious little girl entered my world and time stopped. I had a sense of peace that washed over me and her spirit was like a magnificent light. Her smile was radiant and she had just enough sweetness, curiosity, mischief and spunk that I felt a connection immediately. None of my fears or negative thoughts entered because I was right where I was supposed to be. The bonus was that my friend and I both got to be her Buddy and I think it is safe to say she stole our hearts. Guess what, I can run bases, catch a ball and be a cheerleader all at once. Did it matter, nope!

I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and daily routine. Volunteer and help others! It puts life in perspective and fills your soul. The joy you will receive in return is priceless. It's funny how that happens. Interested in volunteering together? I'm looking for my next opportunity. Are you already signed up, please invite me.  I didn't think I could frame a Habitat Home and I have. I didn't think I could cook for 350 people at Urban Ministries and I have. What's next?