If you've followed my blog before, you know I'm passionate about anything creative! But, crafting aside, there's something I'm more passionate about, and I'm compelled to share it every now and then...it's how Jesus is changing my life. So here's my Jesus plug from a parenting perspective. I'll start by saying right up front that I am not a parenting expert, and I surely don't have it all together as a mom. I'm on my knees daily, begging God to show me His way in raising my kids. I'm selfish, I yell at times, cry at times, and act like a child myself more times that I'd like to admit. But I keep trying...and praying. Three years ago God really convicted me of the importance of intentionally teaching my kids about serving others, not just preaching about it. Sure, we would do things to serve others here and there, but was it really a way of life, or just an afterthought? So little by little, prayer after prayer, I've asked God to show us how to grow as a family in this area. I hope you don't take this list as boasting in myself. Believe me when I say these are things that have been God directed, He's slowly changing my heart-I'm boasting in HIM!
So here's my top ten-I'll be posting these over at Oh Amanda and We Are That Family.
Top Ten Ways to Train Your Children to have a Servant's Heart (that I've tried)
1) Help those in need by joining or starting a Kidz RAP group at your school, church, neighborhood, home school group, or mom's group. Visit www.kidzrap.com for hands-on-kid-friendly projects, encouragement, training tips and more. They will even help you get your own group started! I have participated with my girls in a Kidz RAP group monthly for three years. It's friendly to all ages, fun and easy! And yes, I'm a little bias here because I blog for them too:). Check out the link below:
2) Sponsor a child from Compassion International. My two oldest children selected their child from the Compassion website. They pray for them daily, send letters and drawings to them, and help support them monetarily. This year my middle child even asked for birthday donations for her compassion child instead of gifts for herself-on her own accord! She collected $150.00 that we were able to send Alvaro as a birthday gift!
3) Serve at a local soup kitchen together as a family and ask your friends to join you for a fun and meaningful family night. Read our family's story here.
4) Have your children help you cook and deliver a meal for a family in need-pray for the family as you are cooking.
5) Adopt a child to shop for during the Holidays. Let your kids do the shopping-with a little guidance, of course. I love Angel Tree Ministries.
6) Do a fundraiser together as a family to help raise money for a cause. We did a fun, and of course crafty project, to raise money for the Jesus Film Translation.
7) Adopt an elderly person to visit, pray for and give fun gifts to-no one appreciates a beautiful coloring page like a lonely elderly friend! This is still on our list "to do," but we do visit my 91- year old grandmother each time we visit my hometown.
8) Talk to your children about prayer requests from friends and friend's of friends-pray together for them and share answered prayers. Let them follow a caring bridge site or blog with you. We pray for Madelyn, Ellis Anne, Jeremy and for the Lynch family adoption regularly. Even though my kids don't know some of these families personally, they still care for them deeply.
9) Always look for ways to help others or share a kind word when you are out and about with your kids-they are always watching and learning by example.
10) Serve your own family with a happy heart! I have to remind myself of this daily, minute by minute! And believe me, I can't do it on my own! Only with God's help!
Lamentations 3:22-24 (New International Version, ©2010)
22 Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”
I'd love to hear about ways you serve with your family
or what you are passionate about!