Sunday, January 15, 2017

Sharing Goodness
As we headed into the Christmas season, Jayna got busy rolling coins from our coin jar. We had decided that the $ there could be used to do good. Usually we have done some type of service/sharing project at Christmas, whether it be toys for tots or taking a tag from a church or United Way tree to buy for, but this time, rolling the coins we had a little more to spend and a defined amount that we wanted to make sure that we spent on sharing goodness. I got busy making a list of possible service ideas- these ranged from the typical tree tag, to putting treats in the mailbox for the mailman, hiding dollars in library books, free babysitting and more. ( Pinterest has a ton of ideas!)  Since Jayna is the child at home the most, she then highlighted some of the ideas that were most interesting to her and we got busy. I loved that this allowed each family member to serve in a way that they felt comfortable and in a way that seemed meaningful to them. So here is how we spent our time and money:
Tree tag- We were able to pick a name from a tree at the school I work at and buy 2 toys and a shirt/pants outfit for this kiddo. This activity Jayna, myself and Richard participated in.
Drive through paying- both Andrew and Richard served others by paying for the person behind them at the drive-through. Andrew has had people do this for him and it has always made him feel good, so it's a way he feels comfortable sharing goodness,
Food bank- Jayna and Whitney went shopping together and bought bags of groceries to take to our local food bank. Whitney thinks about food insecurity a lot, so I think this one has meaning to her.
Free babysitting- Jayna and I offered a family at church some free babysitting. I remember being young and having littles and how hard it was to get out for some time together.  We were glad we could serve another family, so the husband and wife could go out for a bit together.  This activity was free, but a perfect way to really think of how to serve someone else. Jayna being the youngest hasn't had much experience babysitting.  She wasn't so sure about starting off watching 4 kids!  We were a good team and did fine though.
Free meal- Richard and I were out for lunch one day and he saw an older lady dining alone and discreetly paid for her bill as well. It was nice to hear from our waitress that that happens more than one would think.

Build a community center in South Africa- my friend Rachel was fundraising for building a community center which will help a community. I would love to participate in an awesome humanitarian effort, but for now I could purchase a craft download with all the money going to this cause.
I debated about writing this post, I didn't want it to sound like " hey look at our awesome family and the good things we did." , but I did want to share our experience and how I felt it was important for everyone to serve and to find a way to do so in a way they felt comfortable.  By sharing good, they could also feel good.  Of course, service often takes us out of our comfort zone as well. I'm always a fan of activities that help us look outside of ourselves. For me personally I also realized how it can be easier to just pay for something or fun to pick out someone a present, but harder to do babysitting or take a meal to someone in need. It takes more from us, and perhaps helps to make more of us in the long run as well.
Jayna has asked if we will do this every year, and I don't know the answer to that right now- I don't think our coin jar gets filled up every year, but maybe we will continue to think about how we can share the goodness we have been blessed with.
And so it goes...
Reading Now- The Year of Living Biblically by A. J. Jacobs- funny at times, thought provoking at times, sometimes enlightening

1 comment:

Rachel said...

This is awesome! Thank you for sharing this! The babysitting is an awesome free one and such a service!!!!