Sometimes it seems like we wait all winter for summer to arrive, and then when it does our to-do lists are still there, and the extra time we were hoping for never shows up! The sunny days are sometimes sporadic and life feels just as busy as it did the last nine months.
Maybe your family feels the same way. Maybe this summer you have every good intention of making sure your kids do something productive. Maybe this summer your desire was to have more family time. Perhaps you were hoping to spend some quality time with each of your children. Or maybe, you started off this spring intent on slowing down life this summer. Then the swimming lessons happened, vacations were booked, your load at work increased, the lawn needed to be mowed, and the deck still isn’t stained.
We can have every good intention, but until we are actually intentionAL, life can seem to pass us by. Without a plan and a goal in mind, it can get easy to wade through each day of life, and passing by opportunities to make a life-long impact. So, what is it that you want for your family? More family time? To serve your community? To build friendships that you have been neglecting? To re-ignite a passion for Jesus?
What could happen if your family intentionally decided to make every season a season of blessings? What if each week, you set aside time for your family to be a blessing to someone else? I’d encourage you to sit down with your family and dream about what that could look like. What excites you? Who in your life needs a helping hand or encouraging word? What might you have to give up to make this a possibility?
To get your creativity flowing, here are some ideas for 8 areas where your family could be a blessing ...
B – Block.
• Organize a block party or neighborhood cookout.
• Prayer Walk in your neighborhood.
• Offer to babysit for a mom in your neighborhood.
• Take cookies to someone on the block you haven’t seen in a while.
• Host a Backyard Bible School.
L – lifeGroup.
• Send a note of encouragement to someone in your lifeGroup.
• Not in a lifeGroup? Send a note of encouragement to a friend from the Church or consider trying out a lifeGroup for 4 weeks.
E - Excess. Our excess can be a blessing.
• Clean out the closets and donate the clothing or toys.
• Instead of eating out or seeing that movie, use the money to go shopping for food for a local food pantry.
S – Seniors.
• Invite an older adult from your neighborhood to dinner.
• Take flowers to a nursing home and visit with the residents.
• Call the local senior center and ask if they know of anyone who needs some odd jobs done around the house.
S – Surprises.
• Do something unexpected for a stranger. For example, pay for someone’s meal or coffee next time you are out or take cookies to a fire station.
• Mow a neighbor’s yard unexpectedly.
• Take a friend’s children out for ice cream.
• Drop off flowers on a friend’s doorstep.
I – Inside your home.
Sometimes it’s hardest to bless those that live under the same roof as us.
• Draw names and have secret “blessing partners.” Challenge your children to secretly do nice things for the person whose name they drew.
• Have nightly prayer partners. Take 10 min to pray for your partner each night, and rotate partners during the week.
N – New.
• Take cookies to a neighbor you have never met.
• Meet someone new next time you are at the library or park.
• Start a new routine (reading your Bible, walking, praying, etc.) and invite a friend to join you.
• Introduce yourself to someone new at church.
• Explore a place in town you’ve never been, and invite friends to join you.
G – Give your time.
• Volunteer at a local food pantry.
• Read for story time at your local library.
• Organize a food drive in your neighborhood.
• Pick up trash at a park.
How has your family been intentionally living a summer of blessing? And let me know how you were blessed in the process!