September 3, 2012

Children Can Serve, Too!

Our family is off to experience one more day of the county fair!!!  We LOVE the county fair here.  It really is second only to Christmas!  Friday is always animal and rodeo day, and Monday is ride day (as my kiddos call it)!   Last year, Miss E entered a dress that she sewed by herself (with directions from Grandma) into the fair.  She was SOOOO excited to win first place, but she saw that the dress next to hers had received  a REALLY BIG ribbon called Best of Class!  Her goal since she saw that was to make a dress that would win Best of Class. 

She and Grandma worked for several weeks on her dress this summer.  Grandma helped her pick a pattern that was quite challenging, and Miss E had to learn several new techniques.  They even sewed a hat to go with the dress!  By Friday, Miss E was dying to find out how she had done.  She ran ahead of us to the building and came back a minute later and said, "Well, I got first place, but that's all.  I did have fun making the dress with Grandma, but I wish I could have gotten Best of Class."  We walked into the building to ooh and aahh over her first place ribbon, and as I walked up to her dress, I saw underneath the first place ribbon....the BEST OF CLASS ribbon!!!  She was in such a hurry, she never saw it!  When I showed it to her, I thought she might cry!  She told me she had shivers all over her! :)  She did such a wonderful job and was so enthusiastic about learning.  What an amazing little girl God has blessed me with!  

I can't wait to see how God may use Miss E's sewing skills in the very near future!  We have been talking about making some baby blankets for babies who are sick or are born into very poor families.  As a mom, I want to encourage my children to develop the talents and skills God has given them, but more than that, I want them to find ways to use those talents and skills now to bless and serve others!  They do not need to wait until they are teenagers or even adults.  God can use them now!  If we do not teach our children to serve God and others now, when will they learn?  This is part of the responsibility we as parents have to our children and to God.   


* Always let your children help around the house.  Make a big deal about it! 
* Continually tell your children what a blessing they are by helping others.  "Miss E, you were such a blessing and help by watching your little brother while I cooked supper.  Thank you for blessing our family that way!"
* Find opportunities (make opportunities) for your family to serve others together.  It might be cleaning the church, cooking a meal, making a thank you card.  Even having company over is a great way to be able to serve others.  We have begun assigning each of our children a task to do the minute our company pulls into the drive.  We have a welcoming committee, a jacket/coat committee, a questioning committee (we'll give one of the older kiddos a couple of polite questions that they may ask), and a drink committee!  They love being on a committee, by the way!  It sounds so important! :)
* As they get older, ask your children how they would like to serve.  Service doesn't always involve things we enjoy, but it is true that God does allow us to use the talents and skills that we enjoy to serve others.
* This is something we are going to do in our family this week: Each person will draw a name of a family member.  They need to write out (or have mom and dad write out) five things they really "like" or appreciate about that person, and then find five ways to serve that person this week.  Mom and Dad are going to participate as well as oversee and help the younger ones.

What are your children's skills and talents?  How can they use them today to help serve someone else? How do you encourage your children to serve?

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