“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35
Well, today brings to a close our 30 Days of Intentional Kindness that was inspired by Jenae at I Can Teach My Child. However, our journey of intentional kindness is far from over. I have been encouraged by the many ways we have changed our thinking over the past 30 days…and for the times we thought of others over ourselves, when we otherwise probably wouldn’t have. Committing to this challenge has helped us to reach out in love and to touch more lives than we otherwise would have.
Just today, while standing in line at Target, I noticed the cashier greet the person in front of us and ask how she was doing. The customer’s response was an annoyed, “Fine”. Normally, I probably wouldn’t have even noticed, but after 30 days of focused kindness, I did notice. And I decided to be intentional in my interaction with this cashier…to be kind and upbeat and connect with this person that God placed before me, even if for a brief moment.
I was really looking forward to our Thanksgiving road trip this year so I could catch up on some reading. One of the books I was privileged to read was Mike Yankoski’s Under the Overpass: A Journey of Faith on the Streets of America.
It’s the story of two college students who intentionally chose to live on the streets for five months, depending solely on the generosity and kindness of others as they panhandled to sustain their existence. Their story is captivating. In the book, Mike shared how people would hurry past them on the streets, pretending they didn’t exist. He went on to say “the most meaningful gift might be your genuine attention and caring. It was amazing how much a smile or quick hello did for Sam and I, partly because such kindnesses were so rare.”
Did you catch that? The most meaningful thing is something that you can freely give.
I know that I for one am going to commit to impacting one person at a time and to continue praying that God’s love would flow through me to everyone that He places in my path.
This summer, as I started thinking about how I could prepare ahead for the upcoming Christmas season, I knew that I wanted to make this Advent jar full of fun activities. But as we worked our way through this month of kindnesses, I knew that I wanted it to be even more. So I decided to keep our fun activities, but pair each with a kindness. In most cases, I tried to come up with pairs that sort of went together, like donating toys and then having a family game night, or making someone else’s bed and then having a slumber party under the Christmas tree. But above all, I wanted all the activities in our boxes to encourage us to focus on people and not things this Christmas season. Here are the ones I came up with (in no particular order):
And here are links to a few of the activities we’ll be doing:
Grandparent Gifts (no peeking, Grandma!!)
What Shall I Give Oranaments
Advent Wreath Donuts (Inspired by Jenn’s post on celebrating Advent with your kids)
And if we have fun building the fort, I may just be making one of these fort kits in the near future.
But for now, I’ve gotta go fill our Advent matchboxes so we can start tomorrow!