Wednesday, January 18, 2012

10 Ways Your Family Can Serve Others

The phone rings. The teacher emails. The dog needs food, and come to think of it, so do your kids. The calendar fills. The laundry piles, and that verse haunts you.

As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15b

I get what the verse means. It’s the living out the meaning that’s hard.

How does your household serve God in daily, practical, and yet, meaningful ways?

Not so long ago, my family stood paralyzed by the greatness of our inadequacies and the needs of the world.

Then, God started whispering, you know those soft whispers you hear in your head and feel in your veins. He told us that serving Him meant serving others. He told us to quit defining what service looked like and just start serving.

So, we did, and guess what? You can too. Need some ideas? I thought you might. Check out this list (and links because who has time to look for links?) of 10 practical ways your family can serve the Lord today.

  • Write letters of encouragement to soldiers. Soldiers’ Angels assists you in flooding our country’s heroes with mail and thanks.
  • Color pictures for the lonely. Color a Smile encourages even the littlest servers to send some crayon, colored love through the mail.
  • Find the courage to look at hard topics. What’s the fastest growing division of the porn industry? Child porn. Makes you sick, right? Good. Go see what the Sold Project is doing about it.
  • Lend a microloan. Kiva changes lives by lending small loans (as low as $25.00) to an entrepreneur across the world. These entrepreneurs then use your money to buy livestock, start a store, purchase a bike, or provide them the opportunity to earn money. Then, through Kiva, these same entrepreneurs pay you back. 
    • Love even when it’s not convenient and especially when it’s hard.
    • Watch a video, even if it makes you uncomfortable. Need direction? Try this one, The Girl Effect.
    • Read words penned by a world changer. Kisses from Katie will make your heart hurt and swell at the same time. 
    • Pray always.
    A totally unrelated to the post kind of question for you: Is it annoying when authors close the comments to a blog post? I like to close comments when I have a guest post, loads of links, or a video. Then a few days ago, I ran into a few blogs with closed comments, and I was a tad annoyed. Your thoughts?



    Brandee Shafer said...

    I've worked with Soldiers' Angels. Great program.

    Thanks for this list, Amy.

    Jen said...

    I only get annoyed when I think I have something I think is really great to say. But if it really is so great, it's worth the effort to email them.

    Love ya!

    The Planet Pink said...

    This is a great list! Thanks!

    I prefer comments to be open. :-)

    Gaby said...

    Thank you for the list. Anything that makes it easier to serve helps moms like us with barely enough time to breathe, let alone research, right?

    I have a friend who is a great blogger and she ALWAYS seems to close comments on the posts that mean the most to me and inspire me to have a great comment :). I don't usually mind, though, other people closing comments here and there.

    Amy@Make me a Mary said...

    Oh my gosh, I just saw Kisses from Katie's video a couple of days ago for the first time. I ordered the book immediately and CAN NOT WAIT to get it. I mean, literally I can't wait. I want to get it on my Kindle--but I want to hold it and reread it and loan it out, too.

    I love this list, and I love your heart for giving. Thank you for being an inspiration to me.


    Nancy said...

    Sometimes it's good for me to sit in silence with a post. I don't always like it, but too often I just type in some meaningless drivel to let someone know I stopped by (not to you, of course!) Anyway, I guess I figure if someone closes comments, they need some quiet. Imagine if Ann Voskamp had all of us dropping by with our meaningless drivel.

    Love the way you keep these opportunities in front of us. Think I'll tweet this now and spread the love.

    TheeFireWife said...
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    TheeFireWife said...

    I checked out the Kiva site, totally awesome! I also blogged about it and linked to it, thanks for the tip! And for letting us leave comments. It's totally bogus when you can't :)

    Amy Sullivan said...

    Thanks you guys for the feedback...Nancy, your comments made me smile, but then you always crack me up.

    Amy Sullivan said...

    Oh and ps: Theefirewife, so happy you like Kiva! I used to blog about them often, and then, I thought people might think, "Will this girl go on to something new, already?" So I stopped.

    Then a month ago, a friend mentioned them in the comments, and so now, I'm back on a Kiva kick.


    I personally don't like closed comments ... but I like you, Amy.


    Susan DiMickele said...

    Thanks to Nancy (above) I picked this up on Twitter. Great stuff. We really need to get you tweeting...

    lori said...

    Honestly? Yes, I hate when comments are turned off because it's usually when I had something I really wanted to say. And, it's all about me, right? Lol, just kidding :)

    HopeUnbroken said...

    i only hate it when YOU close your comments :-) but then again, i don't run into too many others who close their comments!!!
    i guess i'm like Nancy, and just figure i should sit in silence, but it is really, really hard when you force me into it, lol!
    thanks for all the great links. i'm reading Katie's book now. my oldest teen read it already, loved it, and is already preparing me for the number of adopted children she is going to have some day. sigh. so sweet. a daughter after my own heart.
    have a great day!

    Debbie said...

    I consider your blog to be like a Devotional. I check it daily to feel loved, inspired, forgiven, joyful-and all the other positive adverbs you can think of!. It' s usually in the quiet part of my day that I get to read it and although I sometimes feel so moved to comment, I rarely do. I personally prefer to let your words soak into my heart, soul and mind. I just hope you know that I'm reading and reflecting. I am a fan! I bet having "commnents turned off" gives you the time to reflect yourself on what your followers have shared! Kisses!

    Debbie said...

    oops!! My comment was over-punctuated and misspelled... "Comments". Proofreading would have been a good idea!
    And please know that I probably WOULD COMMENT on the regular if I had the time. Your followers leave amazing comments. Mine aren't so articulate and moving....
    Love you!

    Beck Gambill said...

    Thanks for sharing those great links, I plan on checking some of them out! God has really been working on my heart lately and stretching our family's capacity to love. It's an exciting journey!

    When it comes to comments I prefer them open. I don't expect people to respond to my comment but I like to be able to weigh in!

    Ashley Haupt said...

    No particular thoughts on closed comments, but boy do I relate to feeling overwhelmed by how to serve others and family with kiddos 4, 2, and 3months. But I love this--real life suggestions. Timely for me, as I just wrote this post:

    HisFireFly said...

    "Then, God started whispering, you know those soft whispers you hear in your head and feel in your veins"

    I live for those whispers -- wanting to hear His voice and heartbeat at all times!

    amandatdodson said...

    Love your heart and these great ideas! I'm going to look through them w/ the kids today ...

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