Last week during spring break we spent Wednesday together as a family. Having boys now 16, 18, and 22 we have found it not so easy to figure out what we can do that everyone is excited about. We slept in (of course they were very excited about this=), we had a big family breakfast and then we headed off to the House of Ruth to serve. In doing this we spent time together, and we learned about a non-profit in our area that serves young pregnant women who are desperate for love, safety, and shelter. We planted flowers, weeded the garden and swept the grounds. In the midst of this the boys sang, goofed off, and felt the sweet satisfaction of making life better for a few people. We then cleaned up and headed downtown Portland for a Sur La Table family cooking class!! I know kind of random, but hey everyone loves to eat and we tend to like really good food=). When we loaded up after having sharpened our cooking skills, Enric said “this was a really good day”! And it was. The goal of spending time together in situations that produced conversation and built relationship as well as allowing all 5 of us to experience the joy of giving back was a 10 in my book.
As parents you will need to be intentional about providing opportunities for your kids to give back. Most often we are much better at giving to our children and frankly though this feels good to us it does not really provide an opportunity for character to be developed and refined. Face it, it is just flat out easier to give things to our kids than to take time to mentor them in serving and giving back to the world they live in.
My challenge to all of you is to sit down as a couple or a family or perhaps a couple families and make a plan to take your kids on an adventure of serving. I promise you will not be disappointed=)).
For opportunities to serve check out: