It's been a tough year. Added to the general busyness of life have come health concerns, family needs, hospital visits and financial worries. I feel a little like Todd Stocker who said, "I wanted to figure out why I was so busy, but I couldn't find the time to do it.” Yes, that just about sums it up.
And the result? I feel exhausted.. constantly. I feel as though I have no energy, for anything.
If you're like me, your busy lifestyle can make finding more energy a challenge. However, these invigorating tips will boost your energy and keep you going. They're simple.. and healthy so including them each day is a wise decision. Certainly, that's my plan for boosting my dwindling energy levels.
Try these tips to maintain the energy you need for your hectic life:
1. Create a regular exercise schedule and stick to it.
Exercise is one of the easiest ways to find more energy on a daily basis. Exercise boosts metabolism and helps you avoid feeling sluggish.
A regular exercise schedule is essential for seeing results. However, you can try different workouts and classes to keep things interesting.
Walking, for instance, can be done anywhere and requires no special equipment. It increases cardiovascular fitness, strengthens bones, reduces excess body fat, and boosts muscle power and endurance. Some would say that, instead of looking for a caffeine hit when you need some energy, go for a walk.
2. Balance your breakfast with both carbohydrates and protein.
Eating a bagel with coffee may be easy in the morning, but you’ll have more energy if you add peanut butter or meat to the bagel. Balancing carbs with protein gives you more energy throughout the day.
How you begin your day is important.. Breakfast matters in the hunt for more energy.
A combination of carbohydrates and protein is one of the best ways to start the day.
Do you love yogurt? Do you crave toast in the morning? You can combine yogurt with toast for a more balanced meal. Eggs and toast are another common breakfast staple that works.
Check out these foods & breakfast options:
* Oats +yoghurt + sliced banana + sprinkle of nuts and seeds
* Wholegrain toast + peanut butter or avocado or hummus, tomato and baby spinach leaves
* Fruit or vegetable smoothies + oats, yoghurt and nuts or chia seeds
3. Try to catch the sunlight.
Sunlight can be an invigorating force.
The brain relies on light to determine sleep and wakefulness patterns. By spending more time in the sun, you can find more energy. Of course you'd be wise to avoid the time of day when UV rays are most intense. But at least 30 to 40 minutes of sunlight a day can make a big difference in energy levels.
4. Use essential oils. Essential oils have the power to change moods and affect stress levels.
Essential oils can be smelled or used on the skin. They can provide an instant energy boost.
Citrus is a popular aromatherapy choice because it has an uplifting aspect to it. Basil can also help you because it wakes up the mind.
Eucalyptus, mint, and rosemary are also useful aromatherapy oils for more energy.
5. Add sweet potatoes to your meals.
Sweet potatoes offer potassium and keep energy levels balanced. They’re also a good source of other vitamins and minerals. They’re known for having high levels of vitamin A. You'll find many recipes now that include sweet potatoes in breads, muffins, as fries and pancakes.
6. Drink green tea.
Green tea has an important amino acid that is linked to helping people stay more energised. I really struggle with this one. I'm not a fan of green tea but I can tolerate it with peppermint or another flavour to disguise it. :)
7. Mash chia seeds and add them to smoothies.
Chia seeds are high in protein and minerals. Mashing chia seeds can make them easier to drink in your smoothies. You can also add them to your food. Sprinkle the seeds on top of salads or casseroles.
8. Stay hydrated in unique ways.
Water is crucial for giving you the energy to keep going during the day. But, it can be challenging to drink plain water and get the required amount.
Make your own infused water by adding fruit and spice to your water to make it unique. You can combine pieces of lemon with pineapple, apple, or blackberries for a different taste. See below to download your own Infused Water recipes cheatsheet.
Another option is using sachets like Twinings Cold In'Fuse. As the promotion states, 'With no artificial flavours or colours (just natural fruit flavours, spices & botanicals), there’s now a natural way to add flavour to your water!'
I like the watermelon, strawberry and mint flavour.
Add more watermelon to your diet.
If you’re trying to stay hydrated, watermelon can help you achieve the goal. It has high water content and gives you more energy. This a very tasty snack to include in your day. Cut it up into chunks and pop into small containers for an easy snack option.
9. Snack on nuts throughout the day.
Are you looking for a fast way to get more energy? Nuts have protein and vitamins. They’re a fast and convenient way to get an energy boost at work or at home. The nutrients in nuts can create lasting energy that goes on for hours.
Simple tricks can help you discover more energy in your day.
These tips will help you stay alert and focused... with more energy. They are simple changes that can make a big difference to your energy levels and your busy life.
( Previously posted - mygrandmasplace.com)
Yep… affiliate links are included which means that, at no additional cost to you, if you buy through me I get some coffee money …though not enough for the raisin toast as well. Full disclosure listed below.)
Whenever my grandkids visit, I always include some art or craft activity as part of our fun together... yes… sometimes even for my grandsons. Though if your boys are like mine, it’s full-on action and adventure that fills their hearts and minds.
But the girls, particularly, like to paint and colour. Little Koti says, “When I know I’m going to colour in, my tummy jumps up and down cos it’s happy.”
When we colour in together, it’s something we all enjoy. It's a simple activity but it creates a special time, a moment that matters with my grandkids. It’s amazing, too, what deep and meaningful conversations happen when we spend time colouring. “Why do bees buzz?” “Why don’t I have a tail like a pony?” “Why are you scared of spiders?” (What sane person isn’t? )
If you also enjoy colouring, the following simple techniques will have you colouring like a pro.
Regardless of the technique you use, colouring is very therapeutic. In fact, some experts suggest that this activity provides the “colourer” with the same relaxing benefits as meditation or yoga. In addition, colouring takes you back to your childhood.
What could be better than that?
Colouring involves creativity.
That’s where technique becomes important. The following information covers five different areas of the craft. This is, by no means, a complete tutorial. But, it’s enough information to get you started. And you'll quickly discover that these techniques will enable you to create realistic colouring results.
Let the learning begin! :)
You have a few choices when it comes to colouring tools. They include:
And, not every medium works with every technique. Markers work better with some things and crayons and coloured pencils work better with others. The best thing to do is have fun and experiment. Chances are, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with your results. You'll soon be colouring like a pro.
There are several things you can use to help you blend colours. All of them are very inexpensive. Here are a few of them:
2. Shading Techniques
Shading techniques typically work better with coloured pencils, like Prismacolor pencils. One of the most successful ways to practice is to use two contrasting colours.
Use the first colour to shade from left to right. Use the second colour to shade in the opposite direction. Practice blending the colours together, in the middle.
The way you hold the pencil makes a difference.
Position it so that most of the tip is in contact with the paper, which makes the colour smoother and helps to reduce the possibility of pencil lines. This is accomplished by holding the pencil somewhat sideways.
Instead of using white and black to do any shadowing it’s better to use colours like dark blue and purple for the dark colours. Use light yellows, for the highlights.
Try to avoid rubbing the colours, in an effort to create the shading you desire. This has a tendency to smear everything together.
3. Doodling (Your Own Image)
When you’re in an artistic mood and there’s no colouring book in sight, why not doodle?
Doodling is actually a great way to improve your artistic skills. The more you relax and let your hand do most of the work, you’re on your way to being a “master doodler.”
Learning to doodle is a lot of fun. You can doodle almost anything, even your own image. It’s probably best to start with basic tools like pencils, inexpensive markers or ballpoint pens. Once you start to get the hang of it, you can always graduate to more expensive supplies, including pastels, chalk and paint.
Doodling, as a beneficial pastime, is probably much more popular than you think. Famous presidents, authors and celebrities all admit to doodling, on a regular basis.
For most people, faces are harder to doodle than flowers, animals and other objects. Interpreting your finished doodle depends on whether you draw yourself or someone else. A simple round face indicates you’re probably a happy person. A brooding expression might mean you’re not particularly sociable.
If you’re a beginner, it’s good to practice drawing the same face with different expressions. This way you end up with a more realistic shape, to refer to in the future. If you’re doodling yourself, look into a mirror or at one of your pictures.
When you’re comfortable with the shape of the face, practice drawing features. Challenge yourself to draw an entire page of eyes, noses, etc. You’ll be surprised by how much you learn.
If you don’t want to draw yourself, try doodling a loved one or famous celebrity. You can even get a little crazy and try your hand at a caricature. There’s nothing wrong with a little more silliness in the world!
4. Gel Pen Techniques with Shading
Many adult colouring fanatics love using get pens to pull off several fun techniques and pretty decent shading. One big benefit of using this type of pen is the fact that the tip stays the same size. It doesn’t change shape like a crayon or coloured pencil. Here are two popular gel pen techniques to consider:
Hatching is easy-peasy. It consists of a bunch of parallel lines or strokes, which results in a uniformed look. You can use multiple colors and angle the lines any direction you’d like. Crisscrossing the lines, makes it even more interesting.
Dot, dots and more DOTS! That’s stippling in a nutshell. Easily change the texture of your drawing by adding some areas of stippling and it's easy with a gel pen.
It’s entirely possible to achieve shading techniques with a gel pen. Yay! However, it does take practice on your part and the blending pen of your choice.
A blending pen, which comes with two tips, is filled with clear fluid. When you draw over a colour, with the pen, that colour blends into the colour or colours next to it. Cleaning the pen is easy. Simply scribble on a piece of paper, until the pen runs clear.
Most artists recommend that you use the gel pens nearest to the outlines of the picture you’re colouring. Then, use the blender pen to draw the colour from the outline to the middle of the section you’re working on.
5. Coloured Pencils 101 – Mixing and Layering
If you’ve never coloured before or haven’t coloured in what seems like a million years, you probably want to start out with the basics and work your way up to “Colour Maestro.”
Coloured pencils are great for this. They’re available a rainbow of colours and a variety of price points, starting out at just a few dollars. The overall cost depends on the brand and quality you prefer.
One of the first rules of basic mixing and layering is practice. It makes sense, right? Like almost everything else, the more you practice, the better you get.
For best results, keep your pencils sharp. This makes it much easier to fill in small areas. Remember, not press too hard. The goal is to build up colour and not continuously break the tip of the pencil.
One important secret of successful layering and blending is colouring on the right texture of paper. You want something with a fine texture, as opposed to a smooth surface. The texture holds the pencil, which allows you to add multiple layers of colour.
The second part of good layering has to do with the colours you choose. Always use complementary colours when blending to create shadows. It’s recommended you never use a black pencil for shading. Doing so, makes the shading look dull and flat.
Complementary colours are those that are situated on opposite sides of the colour wheel… shades of violet-blue and yellow, orange-red and cyan, green and magenta, etc. Always start out with a light color. If you start with a dark one, you won’t be able to see the lighter one.
Because they layer so well, coloured pencils are one of the most preferred colouring tools.
It’s not uncommon to apply three to five different layers, to create a whole NEW colour. How cool is that?
In case you’re not aware, these pencils are waxy. When you press too hard, your colours end up shiny. If this happens, you won’t be able to build up layers. Use even strokes and a light to medium touch.
Adult-related colouring certainly isn’t anything new. In fact, Psychiatrist Carl Jung, began prescribing “colouring therapy” to his patients in the early 1900s. The calming effect (of this activity) stems from temporarily occupying the logical part of the brain, involved with the fear response. In other words, you’re giving your amygdala nuclei a rest.
As the nationwide trend continues to grow, adult colouring books are popping up all over the place including high-end department stores and catalogues. Small town artists are making names for themselves and earning extra income, at the same time.
Have you ever heard of a “colouring club?” Picture yourself relaxing with a bunch of friends, enjoying yummy food and drinks and colouring the picture of your choice. Yes, new groups are forming every week. No professional art experience required.
This is the tip of the iceberg, in regard to the wonderful and expanding world of adult colouring. As you can see, it’s never really been a “kids only” activity… even though many grown-ups secretly disagree.
You can find more inspiration and colouring-in training videos below to add to your new skills.
Remember, if you’re not sure colouring is for you, there’s absolutely no harm giving it a try. Chances are, not only will it be enjoyable, it’ll be addicting too! Try it with your kids.
DISCLOSURE: I may be an affiliate for products that I recommend or link to. If you purchase those items through my links I will earn a commission. You will not pay more when buying a product through my link. In fact, I ofttimes am able to negotiate a lower rate (or bonuses) not available elsewhere.
Plus, when you order through my links, it helps me to continue to offer you lots of free stuff.
Thank you, in advance, for your support.
Previously published on My Grandma's Place May 13, 2017
“Guess what, Nan? We’re coming to stay at your place..It’s so exciting !”
“I know, I know. I can hardly wait.”
Following hard on the heels of the pleasure and excitement I felt at my granddaughter’s words was the thought, ‘How am I going to make this visit special?’ ‘What can I do that will create lasting memories?’
(Yep… affiliate links are included which means that, at no additional cost to you, if you buy through me I get some coffee money …though not enough for the raisin toast as well. Full disclosure listed below.)
If, like me, you’ve gone with the whole down-sizing your home you might not have too much space for full-on, energetic kids. Don’t panic! Regardless of the size of your home, or whether it sits on acres of land or has a postage-sized patio, you can still plan non-stop adventures and fun for your pint-sized visitors.
Choose any of the suggestions below to create a shared time with your grandkids that everyone will long remember. Simple activities shared together can become real ‘moments that matter’ in the memories of your grandkids.
When do your grandkids plan to arrive?
Are they going to stay for just one night or more?
Will they arrive morning or afternoon?
No matter how long they plan to stay, you'll find plenty of fun ideas to keep them busy and happy.
So, let's begin with some morning activities.
After dinner fun
The fun doesn’t have to stop just because it’s getting dark and almost time for bed. Check out these ideas:
Where are they going to sleep?
If you have a spare bedroom with sufficient beds, that’s great. If not, inflatable mattresses on the floor can be lots of fun. Add plenty of soft pillows and covers.
A small tent is another option and you can position it inside or on your patio or decking. I’ve found that most kids creep back inside after about an hour of outdoor camping so be prepared.
Don’t feel that you have to attempt everything on the list. Choose those suggestions that appeal to you or your grandkids.
Although these are simple ideas that don’t take too much preparation or planning, you’ll find that they are ‘moments that matter.’ Your grandkids will talk about this time with you often and with enjoyment. And I hope you’ll enjoy their visit, too.
Oh.. and don't forget to take photos!
A free checklist is available to download below…
Your checklist to preparing a wonderful sleepover. Just click on the image to download,.
DISCLOSURE: I may be an affiliate for products that I recommend or link to. If you purchase those items through my links I will earn a commission. You will not pay more when buying a product through my link. In fact, ofttimes, I'm able to negotiate a lower rate (or bonuses) not available elsewhere.
Plus, when you order through my links, it helps me to continue to offer you lots of free stuff.
Thank you, in advance, for your support.
This article was first posted earlier: 30/10/2014
The first thing my grandsons do once they leap from the car is check the letterbox; although these days, there's very little to be found there other than advertising leaflets. But there's something exciting about opening the letterbox and peeking inside that never seems to dim.
Snail mail for kids
Regardless of age, finding something in the letterbox personally addressed is a wonderful way to connect with your grandchildren and build memories. Yes, email is faster with little expense, but snail mail has its own appeal.
Continuing a tradition
My father used to send regular notes and cards to my children when they were young and they would dance around with excitement.
He'd often add little pen-drawn illustrations on the envelopes and include cryptic addressee titles along with the formal address. We'd frequently find missives addressed to 'The Moby Dick fisherman' (after my son caught his first fish) or perhaps 'Australia's best chef' (my daughter had baked a cake), and other interesting titles.
The letters created plenty of comment and discussion with our postman. too.
Create your own snail mail fun with your kids or grandkids.
So now, as a grandma, I try to send my own whimsical notes and letters to my grandchildren.
When I visit with them, they often drag out the old letters or cards I've sent them and ask me to read the inside messages to them again. They really do treasure those simple letters I post to them.
Sometimes, I try to slip some stickers inside the envelope as an extra highlight. The letters are more highly anticipated than ever by my oldest grand-daughter since she's taken up philately. You can find plenty of resources for kids for stamp collecting. You can even create and order your own stamps. How much fun would that create for your grandkids to find their own photo on the stamp?
Even if you don't want to go to those lengths you can decorate the envelopes a bit.
I try and use the most beautiful stamps when I post cards to Rachael. And stationery packs for kids usually include some wonderful envelopes.. like the ones listed below. You can find them on the AtGrandma'sPlace online store.
Get your copy of these exciting stationery packs for kids
Each kit contains 3 different styles of stationery: a page for those kids who cannot write sentences yet. They can draw something special and then write their name at the bottom; there is a page designed with a small number of lines for kids who are learning to write but might be overwhelmed by a lot of lines to complete; and there is a full page of lines for writing but still some fun characters on the stationery page.
There are some fun cards. There are some monster lined envelopes. And there are some Monster Mail Munchers that can be slipped onto the top or corner of a page of stationery or even a book as a bookmark. The kits can be downloaded or ordered as a complete kit that comes in a plastic kit with some additional fun items- stickers and pencils.
So... what do you need to create exciting letters that will keep your grandkids eagerly watching for mail?
* fun cards and stationery.You can buy some or download and print your own. Check out more examples here.
* Try embellishing the envelopes with quirky designs or images or use stickers. They can be quite simple and your grandchildren will still love them.
* Some stickers are also great to include in your letters or vouchers that your grandkids would enjoy using.
* Be creative in how you write your messages. It doesn't have to be a long note but make it relevant. Send a card when you know they've had a rough week or been sick. Send a funny card when they've done something special or perhaps they're worried about something at school. They will love knowing that you've been thinking of them.
BONUS... make your own letterbox.
Download the template from TinyMe. Print and send the pieces to your grandkids or set it up ready for their next visit!
Download, print and create your own mailbox. Set it up ready for their them and watch their reactions.
Pop some letters in the letterbox for them to find when they arrive. And, you could prepare some stationery for them to use and then post in the letterbox for themselves. You'll also find full instructions for creating this set at TinyMe.
Enjoy yourself with these great resources and build some memories with your grandkids.
How you can improve your whole day with these 21 simple techniques.
(Yep... affiliate links are included which means, if you buy through me, I get some coffee money ... though not enough for the raisin toast as well. Full disclosure listed below.)
'Can you believe it? It's morning already! I don't care if it's a beautiful day- I just want to stay in bed and sleep.'
I admit it. There are some days when I can barely drag myself out of bed, especially if I've had a late night. But you know.. whether you're a morning person or not, there are simple techniques that you use to help your day start well.
More than that.. you'll discover that your whole day is lighter and brighter.
Look, I know what you're thinking: you don't have time. And what happens if your kids have already bounded into bed with you and tried to pry open your eyes? How can you complete any of these simple habits to improve your day?
Well, include the kids in some of these activities. They'll enjoy it, too.
And you don't have to include every tip. Some of these simple activities will encourage a more positive outlook. You'll feel more cheerful right from the start. Some ideas will promote good health, so they're worth doing, too. It won't take long.
And then there are other techniques that will promote greater productivity. You'll accomplish more. So, you choose. Take a look. Decide just what you can manage to work into your morning routine and discover the difference. Oh, and download and print the free cheatsheet. If you pin it on your noticeboard or fridge you can remind yourself to make some simple changes to your morning routine that will brighten your whole day.
Try it... get every morning off to a great start. Remember, your first actions set the tone for all the hours ahead of you. Welcome more happiness, health, and productivity into your day with these simple habits.
Morning Habits that Promote a Positive Outlook
1. Pause for prayer & meditation.
Take a moment to pray even before your feet hit the floor. Take time to learn, recite and focus on a Bible verse or meaningful quote.
Read a Bible verse or passage and use this as a starting point for your prayer and praise. If you feel a little uncertain to begin with, you can use others' prayers until you feel more comfortable using your own words. Find more inspiration in the clips below.
2. Breathe deeply.
Abdominal breathing encourages relaxation and peace. Inhale through your nose, and exhale fully. Try starting the day with 10 deep breaths.
Experts tell us that breathing deeply improves your health and helps you handle stress more effectively. You can do this anytime through the day but you can begin your morning breathing deeply before you even get up. (If your kids have joined you in bed, they will enjoy breathing deeply, too, and it's a good habit for them to learn. Ask them to 'take deep breaths like they've been running a long distance,' or 'Breathe like daddy does when he's asleep.'
3. Bask in sunlight.
Exposure to light stimulates our brains. Open a window or head outside. You don't need to linger outside for too long, especially if you're rushing. Just a couple of minutes will improve your outlook and provide other benefits.
Adding a bit of light exposure to sunshine first thing in the morning can even help you sleep better at night- think, serotonin, cortisol and melatonin.
4. List your blessings.
Express thanks for the best things in your life. Include your loved ones, talents, and experiences.
Taking time to think of those blessings will brighten your whole day. Writing down those thoughts in a daily journal (digital or notebook) is a great way to remember them.
5. Give yourself something to look forward to.
Lift your spirits by thinking about something you're going to enjoy later.
You might like to just meet someone for coffee, go for a walk along the beach, head to the library or give yourself a manicure. Whatever you choose, make sure it's enjoyable - something to boost your morale, a real treat.
6. Listen to upbeat music.
Put together a cheerful soundtrack. It could be classical, country, hip hop, or any other kind of music you like.
The benefits of listening to music have been well-researched. Quite apart from the enjoyment of listening to your favourite tracks on Spotify, music has been found to reduce depression and elevate your mood. It also helps you relax, strengthens any learning you're engaged in, reduces pain and more.
Studies show that people tend to smile less as they age. Reverse the trend by beaming at yourself in the mirror. And.. there are benefits to smiling. Sure, it makes others feel better but it helps you, too. Smiling self medicates and heals.
8. Give to others.
Serving others is the most reliable path to happiness. Pray for someone in need or plan a good deed you can do today.
Morning Habits to Promote Good Health
9. Move around.
Fight stiffness with a few minutes of aerobics and gentle stretching. Try sun salutations or walking in place. Taking a brisk walk outdoors is a great option especially if you can walk with a friend. Or, there are simple exercises that you can complete at home that will make you feel great all day. Or.. you can download an exercise app that can help you exercise.
10. Drink water.
Rehydrate before your morning cup of coffee. Keep some drinking water on your nightstand. I like to start the day with a glass of water with lemon juice. If you're not particularly excited about the taste of water (and I feel a bit the same) you might like to consider infused water- add some fruit to a jug of water and taste the difference.
11. Perform a self exam.
Showering is an ideal opportunity for self exams for skin and breast cancer. This may save your life. Don't know how? That's ok... Learn how with these 5 simple steps.
12. Design a spa experience.
Pamper yourself with luxury bath products. Splash on an invigorating grapefruit scented bath gel, or treat the dry skin on your heels and elbows with a special lotion. You don't have to spend a lot of money on bath products, either. Make your own using simple household ingredients. And everyone is excited about the benefits of coconut oil. Actually, sunflower oil is pretty good, too. I like to run some into my feet and legs first thing in the morning.
13. Massage your scalp.
Rub your scalp while you shampoo. Massages defuse stress and increase blood flow.
14. Spread your toes.
Your feet are probably going to spend most of the day trapped inside shoes. While you're still barefoot, wiggle your toes. It will increase your balance and help your posture. So.. you think this isn't a big deal? Well, actually, it is... there's even a Wriggle your Toes Day- August 6.
Morning Habits to Promote Productivity
15. Strategise like a boss.
Plan your itinerary. You'll tackle your tasks more efficiently and free up more time to devote to your priorities. It's even easier if you do this the night before.Use a planner to help keep track of all your appointments and tasks for the day.
16. Check the news.
Stay in touch with what's going on in the world. Watch the news, listen to the radio, or buy a newspaper. Then, you'll have something more than just the weather to talk about at the office.
17. Read something enriching.
Pick up a book of inspirational quotes or brush up on world history. Learn something new every day. Why not start by check out some of the book reviews here on Coffee Stories.
18. Complete one task.
Score an easy victory that will create momentum. Clean the outside of your refrigerator door or pay your credit card bill.
19. Review your calendar.
Similarly, scan your appointments. Once you see how much free time you have, you can decide how to use it. You'll be able to focus on projects that you can realistically manage.
20. Check messages.
Look over emails, calls, and texts. You'll feel reassured knowing what you have to deal with. Take care of any urgent business.
21. Skip the snooze button.
Streamline your morning by waking up only one time. You'll feel more alert and less rushed. If you often have trouble getting up, go to bed an hour earlier.
Put the minutes before breakfast to good use. Develop habits that will brighten your days and help you to become more successful.
Disclosure: At Grandma's Place is committed to high standards of integrity and quality. I do not promote any brand I do not believe meets these standards, and I only promote brands I would purchase myself. If I don't love it, and don't think you'll love it, it won't appear on my blog.
The Christmas holidays can be a stressful time for many. It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of family get togethers, church functions, work parties, and the shopping, wrapping, and everything else this time of year distracts us with. We can very easily lose sight of what’s important – letting God’s light shine through us during this special time of year.
While we can start within our own families, we can also spread love and joy to others around us that aren’t a part of our families, too. The Bible even gives us a command to love one another:
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” –John 13: 34-35
Here are some simple ideas for showing the love of Jesus this holiday season.
#1. Invite Friends & Family to Church Activities
You probably have both family and friends who do not attend church regularly or even at all. This time of year is when non-church goers are more open to attending. Even if you’ve invited them recently and they’ve said no, reach out and extend the invitation to attend with you again. Just remember, if they say 'no', don’t get irritated with them and try lecturing them about why they should go. Let it be and just continue praying for them.
#2. Lunch/Brunch/Dinner After Church
Do you know of someone elderly, young family, or someone living alone that is having a hard time? Whether it be job loss, death, financial struggle, or anything else someone could be struggling with, take time to reach out and invite them to a meal out after church.
This is a great way to get to know others you may not normally have the opportunity to get to know. Love on them, not just by paying for their meal but by listening and being present. Ask them about their lives and engage in conversation with them. Don’t prod, let them lead and open up as they feel led. Ask if you can pray over them before parting ways and then do so.
There are so many opportunities to volunteer. Check for local resources such as visiting elderly in a nursing home, visiting sick children in the hospital, helping at a soup kitchen, adopting a family in need and making sure they have gifts under the tree, food on the table and a message about God’s love. These are just a few ideas to get you started thinking.
#4. Give Homemade Treats
As you’re doing your regular baking this holiday season, make some extra goodies. Put them in a decorative tin and take to your neighbors. Drop some off at the local police department or fire station. Giving homemade treats is a fun and easy way to share love with others, especially those that are often forgotten.
#5. Be Helpful
If you’re at a holiday gathering offer to help in the kitchen or see what else the host needs your help with. Not everyone likes help, especially in their kitchen, but just making the offer goes a long way. You can also ask if they need you to bring anything. Once the meal is over, offer to help cleanup or better yet don’t offer just start doing.
#6. Send A Package to Our Troops
Let’s never forget about all the men and women who serve our country to give us the freedom we have to celebrate. Holidays can be a very difficult time for them as they are away from family and friends and sometimes can’t even call home! Put a smile on their faces and show them they’re loved and not forgotten this holiday by sending a care package.
Life as a grandma.. it's no 'quiet, restful days in the rocking-chair'. It's filled with activity, excitement and lots of family fun. Please share it with me.