Over the summer, I had these great aspirations of a big service project for my kids. But truth be told, it was so busy and overwhelming that I never got to doing one. How awful is that?
Everything was moving so fast between the house, living at my mom’s and summer camps/workshops. Life felt so chaotic that it was all I could do to take care of ourselves. We were too busy to be a blessing. Too busy to help others. And that is something that makes me sad.
So when school started, I became more deliberate about finding opportunities to serve together. I prayed about opportunities and quickly, the Lord presented them.
I asked a woman at our church if there was anything my kids could do to help with our church’s ongoing clothing drive, maybe sorting kids clothes by size. She came back to me with the dilemma of tangled hangers that caused her much frustration when trying to hang the many clothes. Sorting hangers was something my kids and I could do to help! We sorted the types of hangers, grouped by 10 and rubber-banded them together. We made it through two big boxes and still have more to get to.
Not too long afterward, our church had a outreach ministry night. A lady came and talked about human trafficking while our children, back in one of the Sunday school classrooms, made bracelets for children of prostitutes in Bolivia. And while the young kids didn’t know that detail of their lives, they knew they were sending love to children in tough situations.
And as if one-two-three, the following week, one of our local Christian radio stations, 95.5 the Fish, ran a charity drive for Feed the Hungry where they were asking for donations. My kids and I listened to the broadcast as we drove to school, learning that it only takes $6 to feed a child for a month. Pulling from their own cash and my contribution, we made a donation. It wasn’t a large donation, but it was something. And my kids were considering the needs of others.
You may feel at times, like I did, that opportunities can be hard to find. That they take too much effort or time. But what is amazing to me is that the Lord provided opportunities to bless others simply by my heart’s desire to do so. Serving can be simple. Sure I hope to take the kids overseas someday on a mission work, but for now, sorting hangers and making bracelets is ok in my book.
Pray for opportunities. Ask your Pastor or others in charge of different ministries at your church. Call a food pantry, a homeless shelter or a local charity and ask what their current needs are. Is there anything that your family can help with? We don’t need to serve in glamorous ways. It can be up in a stuffy back room simply being a blessing to another human being.
How about you? How do you find the opportunities to serve together?
And if you have young ones under foot, check out my ebook, Teach Me To Serve: 99 Ways Preschoolers Can Serve and Bless Others. It will inspire and motivate you to develop a heart for others in your child.