Today I’ve invited my friend and co-author, Karen Ehman, to share about how to reach out to others. Thanksgiving and Christmas are joyful for some, but sad for many. It’s also a high-stress time of the year for busy wives and moms. Sometimes being remembered can make all the difference.
Karen is one of the most thoughtful and organized people I know, and so I knew I wanted her to share ways to simplify reaching out to others, especially when you feel kind of overwhelmed yourself. She’s a busy wife and mother of three amazing young people. But she always makes time to show others she has noticed them and shares God’s love in creative ways.
If you haven’t met my friend Karen yet, please spend some time on her blog. She’s written some powerful books and her most recent is Let. It. Go. How to Stop Running the Show and Start Walking in Faith. But she’s also written on organization and hospitality. I think you’ll enjoy her message today.
Do you know someone who makes remembering others and reaching out in creative ways seem so natural? Do you assume that they are just wired that way? That it is a part of their personality?
Perhaps. But what if that is not how you are wired? Can you learn to fit in reaching out to others?
Yes. With a little planning and organization, you too can be person who is thoughtful and remembers others in special ways. Here’s some tips to help get you on your way:
Pray. Ask God to infuse you with creativity and ideas for thoughtful ways to reach out to others and remember special people in your life.
Listen. Be on the lookout for likes and interests your friends and loved ones mention. Did your sister-in-law say in passing that she loves dark chocolate with sea salt? Buy her a jumbo bar and leave it tucked in her front door tied with a bright-colored ribbon on a random afternoon. Slip in a handwritten note that says how thankful you are to be related.
Stock up. If you are out and about shopping and see some cute tins on clearance, purchase a few. Then, when you’d like to make homemade cookies or candies for a friend’s birthday, you’ll have a clever way of packaging it. Other items to look for: festive ribbon, notecards, small cellophane bags, foil baking pans, kitchen towels and wash clothes (these make darling “wraps” for small gifts).
Develop a recipe repertoire. Try your hand at making some simple but tasty food gifts that look nice and are unique. Pick your favorite four or five. Make these your go-to goodies for giving to others. You can locate oodles on Pinterest.
Set up a “General Store.” That is what my kids call a shelf in my basement storage. Here I stash items I have found at bargain prices that will be perfect for my kids’ friends or even my own. For kids I often purchase books, school supplies, colorful jump drives, sports t-shirts, nail polish and lip gloss. For my friends I purchase candles, lotions, journals, simple jewelry and fashionable scarves.
Weave in Scripture. With any gift, attach a tag with a Scripture verse on it. These can be whipped up on your computer or hand written. Layer them on colorful card stock or scrapbooking paper to add a special touch. Search for the perfect verse by using Biblegateway.com and entering in key words.
Remember the hostess. Resurrect the often lost art of taking a thoughtful hostess gift when you are invited to a meal. Flowers are a stand-by. Or try your hand at assembling this simple hostess gift, perfect for Thanksgiving as it uses leftover turkey:
Turkey Noodle Soup in a Jar
Layer the following in a quart jar (or a clean 32 oz mayonnaise jar):
2 envelopes Knor Vegetable Soup mix
1/3 cup split peas
Homestyle or Amish dry noodles (enough to reach almost to the top of the jar)
3 chicken bouillon cubes
Place lid and ring on the jar. Then, fold a new dish cloth into quarters. You might want to choose one in a fall plaid pattern. Place it on top of the jar and secure with a rubber band. Tie around some jute twine or raffia. Include a tag that reads:
In a large stock pot or soup kettle, sauté 1 medium chopped onion and 2 thinly sliced carrots in 1/4 cup butter. Place 8-10 cups water and 4 cups leftover chopped turkey in the pot and simmer for 20 minutes over medium heat. Add contents of the jar and simmer 45 minutes longer until split peas are tender, thinning with water if desired. Serves 8-10.
Thanks so much Karen!
I hope you are inspired to consider how to be a blessing to someone else in the next couple of months. And to try her homemade turkey soup!
Tomorrow I’ve asked my friend and assistant Natalie to compile some creative gift ideas. Natalie is young, so I sent her on hunt to find things that would appeal to people in a variety of ages. I think you’ll like what she picked.
Today I’m giving away another PDF booklet Karen and I assembled titled “Tips for a Simple, Sacred Christmas.” To enter, leave a comment with an idea for reaching out to others at this season. It could be a random act of kindness, an outreach your family has done, a hostess gift or something else. We’ll announce the winner next week.
If you don’t win the 15-page PDF, you can get a copy when you pre-order Karen’s and my new book, Everyday Confetti through Proverbs 31 Ministries.
Grace & Peace,
NOTE FROM GLYNNIS: My blog is having technical difficulties and the comments aren’t showing up. But they are there. Please click on the comment link to post a comment. It will be recorded. Thank you.
Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway. Using a random number generator, I’m pleased to announce that Jennifer, posting at 5:21am on 4:33pm on 11/14/13 was selected to win a copy of the PDF called “Tips for a Simple, Sacred Christmas.” We’ll send you a personal email with the PDF.