Thursday, December 15, 2011

Thinking of Others

Children are naturally self-centered.  Let's be honest here - I AM self-centered.

Now that we're in the season of "make a list of everything you want for Christmas"it's like pouring gasoline on an existing inferno.  I really have to fight to remember that the month of December is about Jesus, celebrating His birth, not fulfilling all the material desires of Julie.

And how do I help my children understand this?  That is not a rhetorical question, I really would like some ideas.

So far this Advent we have been doing the Adorenaments (love them) and reading Prophecy Envelopes (Old Testament prophecy on the back, New Testament fulfillment on the front), both are products published no longer by FamilyLife.  We are singing and listening to Christmas songs and watched the cute yet accurate cartoon, The Very First Noel.

I've wanted for years to get my act together and pull off a Jesse Tree; it's not happening again this year.  Two years ago we put together a fun Punchable Advent Calendar.

One idea that we're kicking around in the Majors' household is being intentional with random acts of kindness.  A few weeks ago I was inspired by this blog post about what a woman did for her birthday.  That post had an overwhelming response she launched a website around the idea.

So...we have been talking about doing random acts of kindness and gearing up to do something for other get eyes off self and onto others.

For example, the cookies we made were packaged in cute bags to be ready to give away.  When Mr. Intensity's BFF left with his, I made sure that he understood that he was to give some away.

We visited a nearby elementary school and blessed the teachers with treats (cookies and popcorn popped in coconut oil).  Mr. Intensity sorted through some stuffed animals to donate to the school counselor to use as rewards.

Down the street a widower got a visit from our whole family last Sunday afternoon.  He really appreciated us coming.  I must admit I was hesitant about taking the whole family, fearful that we would rock his world.  We stayed about an hour and he was thankful that we came.

A single mom in Hubby's department has a need for meals (she's actually single, no kids, but has temporary yet extended custody of her brother's two small children).  I had some extra in the freezer from the batch cooking day that I was able to give away.

There have been a few others, but one that is funny: I walked into the grocery and jumped in front of an elderly woman to get a cart for her.  I grabbed a cart and extended it to her.  Honestly, I wasn't thinking about trying to be good, or doing a random act of kindness.  She was very surprised by my gesture and said, "Is this your good deed for the day?"

Busted.  I said, "I sure hope there are more good deeds for me today."

Other things on our list (we are striving for more!)

- Mr. Intensity wants to bake more cookies to take to our Rwandan friend, Alphonse.

- There are leaves on the ground in our elderly neighbor(s) yard(s).  The whole family can rake.

- One day we will go on a walk and pick up trash.

And we are praying for more ways to bless others.  I'm all ears for you ideas.


Steph said...

Tatum's teacher assigned a random acts of kindness project for her whole class. Tatum went next to tp rake our neighbor's leaves, which drop from our trees into her yard, but there weren't any leaves so instead she dusted her piano for her (our neighbor allows Tatum to use her piano to practice her lessons on every day ). It was such a great project because for several nights our family talked about kind acts throughout dinner.

I got an email from my husband today from work (he teaches sixth grade) and his class was writing letters to their parents and one student wrote about how his shoes are falling apart and he just wants new shoes for Christmas. The family is struggling, and so our whole family is going out tonight to buy this boy shoes.

There are so many opportunities for kind acts! I love finding them with our children! For Tatum's birthday this year she had all of the children bring donations for the spca instead of gifts. The satisfaction she felt from bringing in all of those donations was priceless.

Anonymous said...

Randomly wash car windows while leaving notes, take treats to fire or police, make Christmas cards to take to nursing home, go Christmas caroling with family, leave treats for mailman and watch them be surprised! A few of our favorites.


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