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So far, summer looks different for our family.
It’s the first time since our teens were toddlers that my husband works from home and I work at the Mercy House warehouse three days a week.
It’s the first summer our part time, on-the-side yes, is full time.
On the first Monday morning of summer, my kids opted out of sleeping in to go with me to volunteer.
They counted beads from around the world for hours for a big Fair Trade Friday project we’re working on.
(They also set a timer and raced to see who could do the most. I love productivity, so I didn’t mind).
On Tuesday morning, I was going to go by myself to get volunteers started when I overheard my teens tell their dad, “No, we set our alarm to get up and go with mom. Have you seen how much work there is at the warehouse? She needs us.”
I smiled back a Texas-size lump in my throat.
Because sometimes different is good. And sometimes our kids just need to know they are needed.
Of course, our summer work and summer serving will be sprinkled with plenty of summer.
But there will also be plenty of service.
Because we’ve all realized it’s easier to stay home, easier to spend our days doing what we want, but easy doesn’t always make us feel good. Maybe that’s what makes serving so special?
One morning this week, one of my kids was a little grumpy. I encouraged them to stay home. “Yeah, I can do nothing and feel sorry for myself,” they replied.
Yes, you can.
“Or you can do something for someone else and I promise you’ll feel better about yourself and your life,” I replied as I headed to the car.
My kids had a great time that morning and when a family stopped by so their little 9 year old could drop off the $80 her family raised with a Mercy House bake sale, my kids noticed me trying not to cry.
And the grumpy one left that warehouse without a care in the world because that’s what happens when you care about the world.
I didn’t even have to say I told you so.
(It also might have helped that their youth pastor called to ask if he could bring students to serve every week of the summer. Serving is contagious fun).
Turn a few days this summer into a sacrifice. You will be so glad you did!
I like to think of summer with my kids like a serving bowl. I keep the serving bowl on my counter filled with colorful, healthy fruit for them to eat. When it gets empty, I refill it. When we spoon out what we have an abundance of–time, talent, energy, finances- we fill someone else’s bowl.
There are a lot of empty bowls out there waiting to be filled!
Here are 3 easy ways to serve this summer:
1. Take someone a meal-get your kids in the kitchen. We took some friends a meal to celebrate their new foster baby a couple of weeks ago and they invited us to share the meal. It wasn’t fancy, but this simple gesture not only filled a bunch of bellies, it filled our hearts to serve someone else.
2. Invite someone to eat with your family. Something as simple as dinner can be such a blessing to someone who usually eats alone or doesn’t always have enough to eat. My kids love when we invite someone into our mess and share our live with them.
3. Turn your regular dinner time into a plan of action. Ask your kids how they want to serve others this summer. They may just surprise you.
I’m partnering with Dayspring during their Customer Appreciation sale this week to turn your summer into a serving one. Through this weekend, get one of these beautiful Daily Grace serving pieces pictured above at their lowest price yet!
REG PRICE: $30
Sale Price: $9 with code: THANKYOU it’s only $6.75
REG PRICE: $28
Sale Price: $9 with code: THANKYOU, it’s only $6.75
Daily Grace: Pitcher
REG PRICE: $37
Sale Price: $14 with code: THANKYOU it’s only $10.50
How fun would it be to fill one of these up to encourage a neighbor or friend in need this summer?