Mission Ideas, On Mission

Thankful Leaves: A Printable

If you could write out all the things you are thankful for, what would you write? We have so much to be thankful for! I’m so thankful that my sweet gals are napping in their rooms right now as I write this! Ha

Seriously though, this time of year just gets me! I love Thanksgiving and turkey and of course the pecan pie! But a huge part of it is the tradition that Dan and I started when we first got married. We began a thankful “tree” and each evening at dinner, we spent a few minutes writing what we were thankful for from that day on a little “leaf” and tying it to the tree. Some things are funny. Some things are just plain silly. Some are sweet. And some just make me cry like a baby. Once our gals came along we knew we wanted the tradition to continue and each year just gets better and better! And we also love keeping the “leaves” and going back and reading them… lots of things change from year to year.

I also have noticed that when we are more focused on things we are thankful for, our gals begin to also do the same. It’s funny how that works, eh…

So how do you foster thankfulness around your home? Do you have any traditions like a “thankful tree”?

If you don’t, I want to encourage you to start a simple tradition and take time to voice and write down things you’re thankful for this year!

Here’s a simple (like super simple) leaf printable that you can use. Just print and cut and then punch holes and tie on your tree!

Click the Link Below to Download your free printable!

Our “tree” is pretty basic too – just find a good mason jar, fill it with sticks and there ya have it! I think they even have some great “real” trees now at Hobby Lobby or Target?!

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What thankful traditions do you have?! Share your ideas here or over on our Instagram!

Here’s the free Printable!

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Mission Ideas, On Mission

Growing Thankful Hearts…

“But mommy…. just one more! One more piece of candy!” Seems to be said and heard a lot around our house during this time of year.

At Times, it makes me want to pull my hair out and scream, “can’t you just be thankful that I even let you have ONE piece….” (while that silly pumpkin taunts me from the counter…)

But, then I take a step back and a few minutes of “mommy timeout”, and remember that it’s my calling and honor to teach my girls how to have thankful hearts. They definetly don’t and can’t learn that on their own!

This is a great and easy time of year to take a step back and spend some time developing little thankful hearts.

1. It starts with you! Are you thankful for the things which God has given you? Your home? Your family and your friends? The clothes you wear? Spend some time personally thanking God for all that He has blessed you with. A wise friend once reminded me that “if I were to wake up today with only the things that I thanked God for yesterday, what would I have?” Thats convicting! I can sometimes skip The thankfulness and move right into the petition. When you invite your children into your thankfulness, it’s huge! Do they hear you say “thank you” to your hubby or for that special gift or for the food or for the raise you surprisingly received at work? Or are they hearing you whine “just one more….”

2. Be intentional! There are lots of great ways to foster thankfulness. For us, we have the tradition that dates back to the beginning of our marriage of having a thankful “tree” and each evening during November, we take time at dinner to share one or two things we are thankful for from that day. It may be a phone call from a friend, a walk with the dog, a hug from one of the girls… it can be anything. But we write it down on a “leaf” and tie it to the tree. And over the month it’s always fun to watch the tree begin to fill up. There are other fun ways too celebrate and foster thankfulness.

3. Read about it! Start with scripture and share what it has to say and talk about it with your little ones. 1 Thes. 5:18, Col. 3:15, Col.4:2 and I could keep on going! Just look up “thankful” in your bible! Memorize a few of those verses this month. My favorite is 1 Chronicles 16:34. God’s word is active and alive and can change their hearts! There are also really great books and stories to read together. One recent resource I came across is the “I will Thank You” scripture and art journal from Kids Read Truth! So good!

3. Say it and show it! Take time with your kids to say “thank you”. Make a special card for a grandparent that watched the kids overnight, or the maillady that goes above and beyond with your mail, or the trash man who is faithful to pick up your trash each week. Take time and make cookies or buy a coke or coffee for that teacher who loves on your kids when you can’t. And do this with your kids by your side! Does it take you longer? yep! Can you whip up cookies during nap and be done with it? Probably? But look for ways to bring your kids in to the activity and chat about the whys and watch them grow in their own thankfulness.

What other ideas do you have? What has helped grow thankfulness in the heart of your little one?

Check out our Pinterest Board to see fun ideas to say and grow thankfulness in our little one’s heart! And of course, if you have an idea or resource to share, please do! That is how we grow and learn!

And let me say “Thank you” to each of you who continue to follow On Mission Moms! Thank you for sharing your ideas! Thank you for sharing these posts and inviting your friends to be on Mission with you!! Thank you for pushing me on toward more and more love for Christ and love for others!

Mission Ideas

Shoebox Gift Ideas for Little Gals

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We love putting together the Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes each year and it’s such an easy way to get our little ones involved, from going to the store and buying a few items with their own money to actually putting the items in the box, coloring a picture and praying for their new friend who will receive it. We typically choose a little gal box because it’s easiest to connect with that for my girls. Here are some cute ideas that I’ve found that may be making their way into our box this year (or something similar)! I’ve found the best place to head is to the Dollar Aisle at Target, here at Amazon, or Hobby Lobby!




Are you noticing a theme here? My oldest just loves all things pink and princess right now so our sweet little gal around the world just had to get pink and princess too! We will be adding other items in the box too like flip flops, a shirt, a little notepad to color in, a toothbrush and of course a “masterpiece” that is already in the works!

What have you put in your box this year? Where have you found the best deals? Do you let your little one help you pick out the items? Be sure to check out the Service Idea link for ways to get your little one involved with you as you pack your shoebox! Also check out Samaritan’s Purse  for GREAT ideas to fill those boxes and for a list of items that you CAN’T put in the box!

 

*I am participating in an affiliate program so I do make a small percentage when you buy from the links that I have provided! Thank you for supporting On Mission Moms through your purchase!

Blog, Mission Ideas, On Mission

Reclaiming Halloween

I strongly believe that what the world meant for evil, God can redeem for good. It’s somewhere in the Bible, right? (Actually Gen. 50:20, where Joseph is speaking to his brothers after they sold him…)

I tend to view Halloween a lot like that. While the world often sees it and pushes it as evil, it doesn’t have to be. As believers, we can reclaim it and use it for His good and for His glory!

Here are a couple ways to do that!

1. Use the evening of trick or treating as an opportunity to get to know your neighbors. Have candy for the kiddos but also provide something for the adults too – maybe a cup of hot coffee or cider, maybe a bag of popcorn. Our Life Group (Sunday school class) did this and not only had a great time together but we were able to help some of our friends meet their neighbors and pray with a few parents too! It led to great conversations and connections and who doesn’t love a quick warm drink when you’re walking around forever with your little super hero or princess.

2. Treat (don’t trick) your Neighbors! We have great neighbors and it makes it so fun when we get to surprise them with extra goodies! And they are so sweet to do the same!! Make some special treats for those that live right beside you or those neighbors that maybe aren’t believers and you are developing a great friendship with. Attach a special note and let them know you are thankful for them and praying for them! Look especially for that neighbor that maybe isn’t able to get out or is alone… this can be a stressful and lonely evening for some! So pray for them and stop and chat! You may be their only conversation that day…

What ideas can you share to help us reclaim Halloween and use it as an opportunity to share Christ with our little ones and our neighbors?

Mission Ideas

Service Idea: Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes

 

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It feels weird posting about Christmas Shoe Boxes when we just celebrated the first day of Fall but it’s time! Shoe boxes have been around for quite some time and are a great and easy way to get your kiddos involved in serving and thinking of others. If your church is focusing on the shoeboxes during this time, just grab a box from them and pack it full of fun items for either a boy or girl, depending on their age. Then return the filled shoe box back to your church. If not, be sure to follow the instructions on their website (link below).

Here are some great ideas to do with your box as you prepare and pack and serve with your kiddos.

1. Let your children go shopping with you!

I know, I know.. it’s so much faster and easier to just go grab the items while the kids are in school but that takes part of the fun away from the kids. Let them make a list of things that you could put in the box, let them use some of their money, and let them actually buy the items from the store. It becomes their own project at that point.

2. Draw a picture or write a note for the kid receiving the box!

Samaritan’s Purse has a great little letter template on their website too that you can download for your kiddos to color and fill out. Let them draw in the box too! Be creative and fun and it will be fun for your kiddos – and the child receiving it.

3. Pray over the box (or boxes) as a family!

It’s so important to model to your kiddos and it helps them become a bit more attached to the box and who might be receiving it, what their story will be, and how we can have a part in a child’s life that lives around the world.

4. Talk about the Box and how it will get to where it’s going! 

This could lead to some great conversations with your kids about why you are packing a box, what their child might be like, how you can pray for children around the world, poverty and serving others. Don’t shy away from these conversations! These are great building blocks for our children to learn and be a part of! You can even track your box too, which is fun!

 

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For more info about Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes and how to pack, etc. be sure to check out Samaritan’s Purse Website !

Also, hop on over to our Pinterest Page for more Shoebox Ideas and Wisdom!

Have you packed a shoe box before? If so, what items do you pack? How do you involve your kiddos? Hop over to OMM Instagram and share those ideas so we can learn from one another!

Blog, Mission Ideas

Neighborhood Prayer Walk – Printable!

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I keep thinking in my head that the weather is cooler outside… it’s NOT! Especially here in South Carolina. We did have a few days of windier, cooler weather over the weekend thanks to Florence, but it was just a tease of the Fall Weather to come! As it does get cooler though and the seasons change, its a great opportunity to get outside and go for a walk with your kiddos and prayer walk through your neighborhood. Or maybe you could go for a family walk together. I’ve shared several posts about prayer walking so as you can see, I think it’s pretty important! But it’s also just an easy and powerful way to get your kiddos (and you!) moving and praying and thinking of others! And it’s FREE! And you don’t even have to put on makeup or fix your hair… if you don’t want!

One of the most important areas that you can prayer walk is your very own neighborhood. As you walk, look for things that might spark a thought in your head and simply pray. Pray for your neighbors as you walk by their homes. Pray for the mailman as you see the mailboxes line the street. You can let your mind recall all kinds of things and simply just bring them before the Father. I fear sometimes that we try to make “prayer walking” more spiritual than it has to be – just walk and talk to a Heavenly Father who loves to chat with you! But be intentional to use that time to pray for others – not yourself, but others!

You can also make it fun for the little ones by letting it be a scavenger hunt or a treasure hunt. We’ve pretended to be on an “adventure” and walked and talked and prayed and it’s one of our favorite things to do!

Here’s a FREE Neighborhood PrayerWalk Printable that you can use with your kiddos too for some ideas of what to pray about.

Be sure to hop over to the socials to share pics of your crew as you are on your fun scavenger hunt prayer walk or comment below new ideas of things that we can pray for in our neighborhoods!

Also, if you haven’t downloaded the Back To School PrayerWalk, you still can!

 

 

Blog, Mission Ideas

Service Project Ideas for the Fall

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Every season change reminds me how much I just love the season to come! Okay, maybe not winter, but that’s just me… I’m a summer and fall kinda gal! And after a great summer, I’m even more excited about the new season coming. What’s not to love about cooler weather, beautiful leaves, mountains, and apples and pumpkins! If you don’t live in the south, I’m sorry…. hehe

In the midst of all the Fall Family fun, I want to make sure that we, as a family, are focused on the most important things, the eternal things,  and I pray that is the desire of your heart as well. Here are some simple and fun ideas for ways to serve others this Fall. 

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Love and Serve a HomeBound Neighbor or Friend. 

Who doesn’t love getting flowers?! Let your little one go with you to Lowe’s or Home Depot and let them pick out a small mum or other fall plant. Schedule a time to stop by and let them deliver the sweet little gift. The cool thing is  that both of you will love it! Your neighbor will love the visit and gift and you will love watching your little one take part in something simple. Offer to rake their leaves and help them with their yard! This is a fun way to serve and love and little ones love to jump in the pile of leaves at the end of a hard days work! 

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Adopt an International College Student.

We live in a college town and there are students from all over the world, right at our door step! We decided this year to not miss out on helping one of those students get settled and have a great experience here in America. You could invite your student apple picking with you and your little one. Or invite them over to make s’mores or roast hot dogs. Invite them into your home and share your lives with them and share Jesus too! Become a friend to someone who is “different” than you and watch how blessed both of your lives become! If you are unsure where to start, just contact your local college or your local Baptist Association office more than likely has a way to connect you. 

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Mail a Missionary Package.

This is a perfect time to put together a package for that family that you know and love that serves Jesus in a really hard place! Find out things they love, but chances are anything that you put together – especially handwritten notes and pics will put a smile on their face! It will also more than likely arrive before Christmas and who doesn’t love extra goodies around this time of year! Make sure to check their security status and whether they can receive packages beforehand! You don’t want them paying customs and taxes on a gift you send their way… 

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Host a Neighborhood Fall Festival.

Get together with another neighbor and put on a neighborhood fall festival. Now this could be a bit more work and planning,  but I’m sure all the neighborhood kids would love it! This is a great way to introduce yourself to those neighbors that you haven’t met yet. It’s also a way to love and encourage neighbors that you do know! Pull out the last of the summer fun like water balloons or sidewalk chalk. Carve Pumpkins! Grill hotdogs and make s’mores (are you seeing a trend in food here yet?) just have fun and love and serve those truly at your door step! 

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Serve friends when they are sick. 

I’ve noticed since school started back, so have the mommy posts about sick kiddos and germs spreading. When you notice a friend mention sick kiddos, take a few minutes and reach out to them and see if you could help out! It’s hard being a mama, much less with a house full of sick kiddos! If it’s a really close friend, just show up with that container of soup and flowers and leave it at their door. (cause you know you don’t want to catch anything either! ha) Have your little one draw the kiddos a card and pray for them. 

What ideas or service projects have you done with your little ones in the Fall? Share your fun ideas below in the comments or over on our Instagram Post! For more fun ideas, be sure to follow our On Mission Moms Pinterest Page!