I have a number of family-friendly fun things planned this Summer, and we’ve started to check them off the list one by one. Of course there’s lots of swimming, and play dates, and beach outings, and the like. But recently we did something that wasn’t on the Summer “bucket list” and yet it was probably the best thing we’ve done so far.
It was the best because we all got our eyes off ourself, and those moments of selflessness had more to offer than any moments of Summer play.
Actually, what we did was not that spectacular — We simply brought small gifts to someone who wasn’t feeling well. But the process was enjoyable, even in the most simple ways: having everyone sign the card, praying together in the car, holding the flowers at the door (that’s exciting for a 5 year old!), bringing someone a smile. All of it was meaningful.
And while I do hope the recipients of our gifts were blessed, I’m quite sure my crew benefitted more. Which makes sense, for Jesus did say, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). What Summer activity beats learning that lesson?!
Let The (Real) Summer Fun Begin!
Thankfully there’s more time to add these types of meaningful moments to our Summer!
Sure, let’s have some down time, let’s hangout with friends and family and let’s get refreshed; but let’s also find ways to get out of our little world to invest in someone else’s. You might actually find doing so is the most refreshing thing you can do all Summer!
It will certainly be one of the most profitable things for your kids to do this Summer. Because it will teach them how sweet it is to look beyond themselves and focus on someone else. It will show them that sacrifice can bring great joy. And hopefully they’ll see that doing things God’s way, with selfless concern for others, is the good life. Even when it’s not full of smiles and light-heartedness, serving others is purposeful, meaningful, and worthwhile.
I’m sure once you are looking for opportunities, plenty of ideas will come to mind, but in case it gets more wheels spinning, here’s 10 ways to get started:
- Ask your church how you and your kids can help.
- Bring a meal to a new mom.
- Babysit for a couple so they can go on a date.
- Ask the church who could use a visit during their hospital stay.
- Send a card to a family who’s recently lost someone.
- Bring a treat and a listening ear to an elderly neighbor.
- Secretly deliver some Summer gifts to someone’s house.
- Bring older kids to help you serve in a Sunday school class.
- Spend an afternoon helping and visiting grandparents.
- Send a care package to your church’s missionaries.
And the list could go on and on. There are needs everywhere, and there’s people to encourage all over the place!
If you have that extra bit of time that you’re filling up with fun plans, you might as well sprinkle in some thoughtful serving. And ironically, I think you’ll find that the extra serving will prove better than any of the “fun things” you could plan— for you and your kids.