Mission Ideas, On Mission

Teacher Appreciation Week: Showing our Teachers extra LOVE!

Typically the first week of May is set aside for Teacher Appreciation Week but this week looks so very different this year! My oldest daughter and I were chatting about how we could show love to our teachers despite these differences and we came up with a few ideas that I’ve shared below. We also began to remember and think back on what a great year she has had in Kindergarten. While we are sad that it ended very differently and abruptly, we are also rejoicing for the time together at home, for new ways of learning, and for the sweet and hard moments. We also are rejoicing and so very thankful for all the of the hard work that our teachers have put in for us! They have sent us messages, put together learning packets, posted assignments, called her through Zoom, paraded through our neighborhood, and even surprised her with a free Happy Meal from McDonald’s (which is a super fun treat for her!) And while I wish that I could put together a fun goody basket of yummy treats or help cater a lunch, or all the hundreds of other ideas that are posted over on Pinterest, we can’t really do that this year.

But we can…

Email them a gift card to Starbucks! You can do this from your Starbucks app and it’s super fun and fast!

Purchase some items off of their Amazon Wishlist. Most teachers have built one at some point!

Share a reward with them from your ChickFilA app!

Have flowers delivered to them either at the school for them to pick up or at their home. You may want to check with the school first to see what can be delivered to there during this time.

Have your child simply make a quick video saying hello and thank you!

Have your child draw a picture or make a card and mail it or take a pic and email it to them.

But most of all, we can pray for them and keep telling them how much we love and support them!

What ideas can you share to show love to your children’s teachers?

Don’t forget the many different teachers they have such as their dance teachers or their piano teachers or their Sunday School teachers. Our children have many people who are serving them from behind a computer screen right now and could use some encouragement and extra love!

Mission Ideas

A Little Bucket of Sunshine

I think we can all agree that life has just been weird lately. For us, we are all able to be home and I’m so very thankful for that. I know lots of friends who are still having to go into work though. And some of my sweet friends are even having to work full days and come home to lead their little ones in school work after a long day at their office. I know the days have been long and hard for many!

I know you have friends that are in that same boat too. A little basket of sunshine is an easy way to encourage another friend in this different season of being disconnected from one another physically. And my prayer is that they will be reminded that they are loved and that this is just a season (hopefully short!).

It’s really simple – grab a yellow bucket or basket and fill it with all things yellow! Some of the items I found to put in my bucket were a yellow bottle of bubbles, a yellow candle (that smells amazing!), a Little Miss Sunshine book, and yellow bags of some yummy candy and snacks. I added a little personal note too, reminding them that they are loved and prayed for!

Now I can’t wait to surprise a friend with a little bit of “sun” on this hard gray day…
How are you loving and encouraging others during this time?
Hop over to Instagram and tag @onmissionmoms to share your ideas!

On Mission

Serving Others after the Storm

Photo Taken from Spartanburg City Facebook Page

Our sweet little city took a pretty hard hit yesterday with tornados striking in several places. It was pretty scary, honestly, and we are all praising Jesus that no one was killed that we are aware of at this point. Our city leadership, county and city officers, and linesmen have done an amazing job assessing and beginning the cleanup.

Now our community will be serving and working and cleaning! If you’re local and looking for ways to step in, there are opportunities all around us! It might be a little harder with our little ones with us but there are always ways to serve! Here are just a few simple ideas.

1. Buy some coffee or bake something yummy! Stop by and grab a big carafe of coffee and cups and all the sugar and creamers. Or bake some muffins or cookies or a little easy snack and stop and deliver it to our linesmen and tree clean up crew! They are working today in really windy and quite dangerous conditions even though the storm has passed and will be for many more days!

2. Open your fridge and your home! A lot of our friends are without power and it may be a couple days before it’s restored. Offer to store their items in your fridge. Invite another mama over to hang out, take a nap or whatever she needs. Go and pick up their kiddos so they can have a few hours to clean up or work around their homes without distractions.

3. Buy them a gift card! Our friends may not even be aware of what they need yet. Their power is still off and they just wanna figure out the next step. Stop by Publix or Ingles and grab a gift card. Trust me, when you start having to replace all the food in your fridge it adds up. Grab a gift card to a pizza place or nice restaurant. They will be so excited when they don’t have to think about where dinner is coming from because it’s not coming from their fridge right now.

4. Call and Listen. Yesterday was scary for some. Ask your friend or neighbor or even the lady behind the cash register if they are doing okay and let them just talk. Just listen. They will want to tell their story more than likely. If they don’t, that’s okay too. Just be ready to listen. Be ready to pray. Be ready to encourage their weary, overwhelmed and anxious hearts with the truth that God loves them and you love them.

5. Step in and work! Spend a couple hours helping your neighbor or friend clean their yard or their house. If your little ones can help, great! Let them see the example that you set. You know what your little one can handle as their mommy. Check with your church for opportunities that they may be organizing. Make sure though that you’re doing the right kind of help at this point and not causing more harm or slowing down the work. Sometimes we need to step back and let the experts do what they know how to do.

Stepping in and serving our neighbors and friends during this time is so very important. May our city be known for how we loved and served other another and may they see Christ displayed after this terrible day of storms.

What other ideas could you share as we work to restore our city?

On Mission

Sending Well

I’m usually the one that is “going” so it was just kinda weird to not be the one packing the bag or boarding the plane this time. It was his turn though and I was determined to send him well!

We baked the cookies and hid the notes in his bag. We made a countdown paper chain to help us all visualize how many more sleeps we had. We had prayer points for each day to remind us how to pray for him. We FaceTimed a few times to be silly and giggle. We made the welcome home sign and drove to the airport.

But for me this time, it was also about more than just doing those little things. It was about preparing my own heart to see God work there with him and here with us too as we stayed home. It was about walking in faith and not in fear or anxiety, which I’m sometimes honestly prone to do.

I had to remind myself of these things (often):

1. God is the same loving and caring God here with us and present with him, 2000 miles apart.

2. God has called us to GO (and send, welcome, pray, and give) and He alone will sustain us whether it’s a week or a lifetime.

3. God is at work all around the world and also right here and He has welcomed us to be a part of His work!

Isn’t that worth celebrating!?

Was it hard, sure!

Were there tears? From all of us, at different times and different days!

Am I tired – it’s 7:30 and I’m already in my PJs…

But if God is calling us to go and send again, our answer is yes! In fact, I’m already planning my trip! Ha

And now that daddy is home, all is right in our little world.

Mission Ideas

Lessons from Donuts

Our morning didn’t go quite like we had planned thanks to the rain but it opened up our schedule to celebrate and enjoy National Donut Day and have some great conversations about loving and serving others! We stopped and grabbed our free donuts from Krispy Kreme and then we decided to buy some for daddy and his coworkers too. Our oldest picked out all the fun flavors she loved like chocolate covered, chocolate covered with sprinkles, and strawberry with sprinkles. You can guess her favorite thing is sprinkles!

As we were on our way to surprise them, she began to talk about all the ones she wanted us to keep for ourselves and take home so that we could enjoy them. This was a great opportunity to chat with her about what we were doing and why. We were taking donuts to daddy and his friends to surprise them and to show them how much we loved them. It wasn’t about us or about donuts or sprinkles. We talked about how we shouldn’t keep all the donuts for ourselves even though they are our favorite kinds, because God tells us to love and serve others first before ourselves.

It was the perfect opportunity to just chat about denying ourselves and thinking of others first.

How are you seizing opportunities to help your little ones grasp the whole concept of thinking of others before themselves? In our culture today, it’s hard!! But I’m realizing it is really just in the little simple moments like car rides and conversations about favorite donuts like we had today where the big truths are woven into their hearts!

And we get fancy on National Donut Day!! I’m learning to pick my battles. It’s okay that you wear a fancy yellow costume dress with pink sandals… haha

And don’t feel too sorry for them! They did get to enjoy a sprinkle donut too!

On Mission

Fun Summer Service Ideas

Summer is my favorite!! Mostly because I truly do love to be outside, sitting on my back porch and playing with the girls in the sweltering heat. What’s not to love about that? But I also love the freedom of our schedule being wide open! No school! No early mornings! Very few extra activities that we “have” to be at. Just me and the girls and fun and friends!

Each summer I strive to choose a few ways to encourage the girls to serve and love others. Summer seems to be an easier time to do this because of our more open schedule. Here are a few easy ideas to help us make this the best summer ever!

1. Invite a few friends over for a popsicle and water playdate! Try to Invite friends who you don’t see often or need encouragement or maybe the mama that seems to have it all together – cause chances are, she may be longing for fellowship too!

2. Set up a lemonade stand and either give ice cold glasses of lemonade away just to simply say “we love our neighbors” or if you do decide to sell it, donate your profits to a local non-profit or church to use.

3. PrayerWalk a neighborhood and then spend a little while playing at the park. We have a local event called Pray & Play and if you’re local, join us for the next one on May 30 at 10:00am. Our little ones can pray too – they don’t have to be elaborate or fancy but they can be simple.

4. Spend an afternoon serving together at a food pantry or clothing closet! We did this last year with my oldest and my two nieces and we had a blast! I answered lots of questions and we may have not gotten a ton of clothing hung on hangers but my girls were challenged and their eyes were opened to the need right in their community!

5.!Make cards and a care package for friends serving Jesus around the world! Send a few pool or summer toys for their kiddos to enjoy too! Families love to get a little taste of home! If you don’t have someone that you can encourage, let me know and I can help you get connected!

What are fun summer ways that you have served Jesus? Share with us over at Instagram so we can all be encouraged!

On Mission

Storytime Alive Update

We had such a fun morning serving together with our little ones at Storytime Alive last week. It was a chance to gather together, read a story, make a craft and then serve together. I chose Last Stop on Market St which is a great book that tells the story of a sweet little boy who rides the city bus with his nana to serve at the Soup Kitchen every Sunday after church. After we read our story together, we began to make sandwiches for our local Soup Kitchen. Our little group was able to put together 80 sandwiches!! How awesome was that!! But even more awesome was that our little ones learned about what a Soup Kitchen is and that they can be a part of serving others.

We also had fun taking a “ride” on a city bus, making cards for our friends who would receive the sandwiches, making our own bus and playing at the sandwich shop!

Serving others doesn’t have to be complicated – it can be as simple as reading a story and letting it come alive like it did for us!

What other books could you read with your little one and then serve in some simple way?