Guest post by Jennifer Self
It is so easy for moms of little ones to get caught up in the popular Christian dogma that suggests we should look beyond our homes and diapers to “find our ministry”. While I believe that training our little ones is the most fulfilling and rewarding ministry there is, there are many things that we moms can do with our little ones to minister to those around us. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
1. Write a note or pick up the phone.
A sister in Christ who takes the time to send me an old-fashioned snail mail note of encouragement has blessed me many times. Another dear lady called me on the phone and prayed for me over the phone line. A simple but meaningful gesture like this can mean so much to another mom in the trenches with you.
2. Bake some bread.
Do you make a delicious loaf of banana bread or some melt-in-your-mouth cookies? Make a double batch–don’t make the mistake of leaving out your family–and take the extra with a note to an older person or someone who cannot bake for herself. My kids recently delivered a loaf of Judy’s Honey Whole Wheat Bread with a note they all signed to an older widower at our church. He appreciated it and loved the bread, too! (Thanks, Judy!)
3. Adopt an older woman.
My siblings and I had a “grandma” when we were younger and lived far away from our own grandparents. My children have adopted various “grandparents” as well. I think the ministry is mostly towards us since we gain so much wisdom from the older women in our lives. However, it may mean the world to someone to know that she is important to your life.
4. Do yard work for someone with your kids.
Is there an elderly neighbor or handicapped person in your life that cannot do his own yard work? This is a great service opportunity for children. Take the whole family and rake leaves or shovel snow for him.
5. Be a safe haven in your neighborhood for kids.
There are a lot of hurting children out there. Some of them have their physical needs met, but they are lonely and neglected emotionally. Be the mom that opens her yard and even her kitchen to the children that play with your children.
6. Visit a fire station with cookies.
Holidays are tough for many families, but they are very long for those that have to work. Pick a police or fire station in your area and deliver a batch of cookies to them. If you are taking your children, you may want to call ahead first. A friend of mine and her family does the same for truck drivers stuck at a truck stop over Thanksgiving or Christmas.
7. Make meals for a sick mom or one that just had a baby.
You know how hard it is to get a meal on the table during healthy seasons! Help out another mom by fixing dinner for her family if she is sick and perhaps a pot of chicken noodle soup for her. I felt very blessed when several ladies from my church delivered my meals for the first week after I had my last baby.
8. Distribute your talents.
If you have a creative talent such as sewing or crocheting, there are many people who could benefit from your skill. When my youngest was born, some ladies had made little blue knit caps for the babies born at our hospital. It was such a special and meaningful touch. Perhaps you sing or play an instrument. See if there is a children’s hospital or hospice center that would appreciate the joy your talent could bring.
9. Visit a nursing home.
Children are not welcome in some places, but they are sure to find an eager audience at a nursing home. Older people are often neglected by their busy families. They love seeing your children. The last time my children and I visited a nursing home, a lady invited us to her room, gave the children some candy and told us all about her handsome Navy husband now in Heaven.
How easy it is to overlook the greatest thing we can do for others! Those that are lost need our fervent prayers. Our brothers and sisters in Christ need covered in prayer. Pastors, missionaries and other church leaders will increase in the effectiveness of their respective roles if moms at home with little ones will gather them around their knees and petition Heaven on behalf of others.
These are just a few of the many ministries with which you and your children could bless others. How have you ministered with your children?
Jennifer Self is a disciple of Jesus Christ who loves following His plan for her life as a wife to the most wonderful man in the world and mama to four little blessings. Her days are filled with spending time with her man, homeschooling, preparing reasonably healthy meals and keeping the dust bunnies and the clutter monster at bay with a little writing mixed in. She began blogging at Cherish the Call in 2009 to inspire women to love the calling God has placed upon their lives.