Knitting for Charity

I finished this baby/toddler blanket last night to go to a local orphan or to another country on a mission trip through our church — my first charity knitting project! Before I turn it in to our church, I plan to pray over it for the wee one receiving this blanket to know they are loved.

This was such a simple way to show my kids how to have compassion for others in this world.  It took me 5 weeks of on/off again knitting in the evenings and they would ask several times who it was for or if I knew who it would go to. From these questions, I was able to have conversations with them about showing and expressing love to those they may not even know or ever meet.

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Pattern can be found here:  http://www.lionbrand.com/patterns/90371AD.html.  The design on this one is just really hard to see but there are “rows” in which they alternate and almost looked raised. It would look better with a solid color of yarn but I was able to use up yarn I had in my stash for this.  Super easy pattern!
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How To Serve Others

For many years, I served in the children’s ministry because in having four children of my own, I “knew” children — it was something I could do easily.  However, as time went on, because again, I DO have four children of my own, I came to resent the Sundays where I knew I had to go in and serve in the nursery or classroom.  My church “time” was and still is, time where I can connect with God, get rejuvenated for the week ahead and have some quiet time understanding God’s word.  When I served in the nursery or classroom, this rejuvenation was being stripped of me.

I turned in my notice to the church and let them know that this was no longer for me at this stage of my life as my “heart” just wasn’t in it anymore.  And then I did nothing.  I didn’t serve.  But as God instructs us in the bible, we are to serve others and that nagging sensation came back in which I knew I wanted to do “something” to help others.

What does the bible say about serving others?

Acts 20:35:  In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

Proverbs 11:25:  Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.

1 Peter 4:10:  As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.

My family belongs to a “big” church and by “big”, we’re talking about 3,000 attendees to our main location each Sunday.  This does not include two off-site locations that are growing at leaps and bounds as well.  So as you can imagine with a big church, there are many families or persons in need when times arise — both good and bad.  Surgeries, birth of a baby, death of a spouse, etc.  In these times, the church likes to help out in easing the burden of fixing meals and they have a team of women that they reach out to fix a meal when a need arises.  I found a way to serve. This is something that I usually do about twice a month on average and it’s something that I can do from the comfort of my home — cook.  It takes usually less than 30 minutes to drive to the home, drop the meal off and offer a few words of encouragement or simply introduce myself and see if there’s anything else they need.  Better yet, I usually take one of my children with me so that they too can have compassion for other people instilled in them by watching me serve as their example.

I know that for some of you reading this blog entry, you don’t have a church home and maybe have no interest in doing so, but you don’t have to in order to serve others.  I had a good friend who has three children and was horribly sick over this past Thanksgiving holiday.  A neighbor and I split up a Thanksgiving menu, went in together on a turkey, and then both our families carried a full meal down to their home so that they could still enjoy the holiday without the stress and my friend could stay in the comfort of her bed knowing that her family was still enjoying a meal and time spent together. I was already cooking for my family and so cooking the additional food wasn’t an extra burden — it took very little extra time but yet  the gesture went so far!  And again, our children were so excited about being able to care for someone in need, that we all agreed that we would seek out another family in need of a Thanksgiving meal this coming holiday.

I believe that there are so many opportunities to serve others in our daily lives with just small gestures of kindness.  Cooking for me, is a simple act.  For others, it may be going to a nursing home and spending time or simply mowing the lawn of the older person that lives next to you.  LOOK for things to do and you’ll be amazed at how both you and the person you are serving are blessed!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Nostalgic

braceletGrandma’s Bracelet

The definition of nostalgic is a bittersweet longing for things, persons, or situations of the past or the condition of being homesick; homesickness.  This bracelet was my grandmother’s and when she passed away, I was able to keep it.  It has a charm for each of her four sons, as well as her grandchildren.  The second to the right charm, the head, that’s me.

And oh how I miss my grandmother horribly.  I remember running down the alley to her home when I was a kid.  Spending countless hours sitting around her kitchen table as she cooked.  She was a second mom to me.  I can still remember to this day, how she smelled.  She passed away 6-1/2 years ago while I was pregnant with my daughter, Isabella.  And I think she passed away and passed on to Isabella her personality — she’s fiesty and sassy, just like my grandmother was.  There are certain days I want to scream and then there are certain days, I smile, seeing this trait in my daughter.