30 Sep Serving: A Way of Life
It’s a typical Sunday morning, and this is their usual routine. The Lidgard family of five has come to church ready to worship and serve. Shawn leads his family with quiet strength and a fun-loving attitude. Daphinie is joyful and smiling. Their three children are more than happy to follow their parents’ lead.
Shawn, Daphinie, and their 15-year-old son, Ethan, are outfitted in their Family Life volunteer t-shirts. At ages 10 and 6, the two youngest children aren’t quite old enough to volunteer, yet. But there is no doubt that they are watching and learning, paying close attention to the values that are important to their family.
Meet the Lidgard Family
Daphinie, Shawn, Ethan, Gage and Madison
Shawn was born in Sri Lanka, a small tropical island off the southern tip of India. He lived in Sri Lanka for three years before he and his mom moved to Italy. “My mother loved to travel,” he explained of why his mother would choose to move to Italy with a toddler in tow.
As a child, Shawn remembers growing up in the Catholic church. He also went to military school where, as expected, he attended chapel every Sunday. But somewhere in the midst of travelling and the busyness of life, their religion and of all its well-practiced rituals fell by the wayside.
When Shawn was eight years old, he and his mom moved again, this time to the United States, settling in the southwest desert state of New Mexico. He lived there until he graduated from high school.
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Daphinie was born in South Dakota and raised in New Mexico to wonderful parents and a great family. When she was 13 years old, her mother passed away. Still, Daphinie smiles as she recounts her memorable childhood and being raised in a Christian home.
Daphinie and Shawn met when they were 16 years old and in high school. After graduation, the high school sweethearts moved to Flagstaff to attend Northern Arizona University. In 1997, the two were married.
While still living in Flagstaff, they began attending Northland Christian Assembly. Shawn knew it was that experience that reignited their passion for God’s Word.
(Northland) gave us a good foundation, another starting point to begin growing in the right direction again. We’ve been going to church ever since.
Daphinie and Shawn started a family before moving to the West Valley in 2010. At that point, they had three beautiful children and a newfound sense of direction. They set out to find a local church in their community.
It didn’t really hit home for me and get important until Ethan was born. And while we both had great parents and grandparents and family and friends as role models, we wanted to make sure we were doing what we felt was essential as far as raising our family.
The Lidgards were excited when a friend recommended Palm Valley Church. They visited and loved it! They loved the people. They loved the way the kids enjoyed going to church. They loved what they got out of church every week. And they loved that they found a new church home. However, not long after that, they started to feel as though they weren’t giving enough back. They wanted to do more.
It’s a scary thing to make a commitment. But we wanted to do that. It didn’t feel right NOT doing that. And because this is indeed a commitment, we wanted to make sure we could fulfill what we said we would do.
Growing up, Daphinie remembers being influenced by her grandfather’s compassion for people. He always tried to serve and not just exist. With their three youngsters proudly watching and listening to every word, Shawn and Daphinie talked about the legacy they hope to preserve for their children.
Our hope is that our children realize that having a caring heart and serving is part of their everyday lives. It’s not something that requires you to go out of your way to do once a year. It’s something that becomes a lifestyle. And when you see a need, you fill it.
Through their time serving at Palm Valley Church, God has taught the Lidgard family about being faithful. In fact, faithfulness is one quality of God for which they are especially grateful right now.
While we haven’t been through a lot of traumatic things in our life compared to the stories of so many other people, for the few things we have had to deal with in our years of marriage, God has always been there. He was faithful to us, and we have to believe that it was His plan.
Shawn admits they’ve come a long way. A typical Sunday no longer involves checking church off the weekend ‘To Do’ list. Being a Christ-following family has become a way of life. And that lifestyle has had an influence on their extended family. Shawn’s mother and Daphinie’s father and sister are all coming to church now as a result.
A Sunday is quite often inspired by one particular Bible verse that rings true in the Lidgard family home.
Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. 1 John 3:18
On a typical Sunday, like any other day of the week, the Lidgards focus on serving others, not just existing. And Shawn and Daphinie wouldn’t have it any other way.
Learn more about Serving at Palm Valley Church