My ten year old daughter, Rebekah, started our summer off right by making a commitment to serve others.
She accepted this challenge from Adventures in Odyssey, Focus on the Family’s Christian kids’ radio program, and signed up for their program called A.C.T.S. I previously blogged that “Kids Who Serve are Winners Not Whiners.” No parent wants “Mom, I’m bored!” ricocheting off their eardrums all summer.
A – A
C – Call
T – To
S – Service
Personal inspiration needs no prodding, so follow-through would be increased if she was doing things she wanted to do, not things her mom wanted her to do.
Her own enthusiasm and imagination took off; she owned it from the beginning. When parents let go of the reins, they can be surprised by the direction their kids take.
I was thrilled to watch the creative ways she served the family, the neighborhood, and the local needy. In the first few weeks she had already completed the 12 hours of service, and hadn’t finished crossing things off her list. At first, she was thinking about winning the grand prize, a mission trip to Costa Rica with one parent, (what ten year wouldn’t think of the prize?), but then she began concentrating more on others.
Adventures in Odyssey radio programs teach kids to use their imagination to learn about history and faith, it was fun to see her imagination to come up with ways to serve.
She started by volunteering to help paint the lime green walls with two coats of primer. I liked this idea, especially since it took two coats of primer and two coats of pain to turn the lime green to a soothing gray.
When a neighbor had surgery, Rebekah enlisted the nieces and nephew to make homemade cards and cookies. I was humbled. It hadn’t even occurred to me to reach out. Brayden made some tiny cookies in the Easy Bake Oven and some big cookies in the real oven.
Other projects Rebekah has accomplished so far:
- weeded the trees for a single neighbor who works full-time and has a hard time keeping up on her garden
- babysat several times for another neighbor
- baked muffins for her older sister who had a baby
- started collecting toys, shoes and clothing for the women and children at the Gospel Mission shelter
It was hard for her to understand that serving family “counted.” But, I shared her Gramma Mary’s wisdom, “Charity begins at home” to convince her serving family teaches you to serve others.
Her big summer project is to make 30 drawstring bags for the kids at the homeless shelter. Most of the time they arrive with little or nothing. Beka plans to fill the bags with small trial size personal care items, snacks, toys, and Christian reading material. It’s a challenge coming up with items that are not gender or age specific, but it’s been a good stretch to imagine yourself in their position.
We hope to have these finished and delivered at the end of July. Then we’ll make our video about Rebekah’s summer of service and enter the competition. Who knows? Maybe a future blog post will show Rebekah and I working with the orphans in Costa Rica!
Even if she doesn’t the grand prize, we both feel like winners. She’s had fun using her imagination to come up with amazing ways to see and meet needs. I’ve been blessed to watch her take the lead and follow-through. Thank you, Adventures in Odyssey, for challenging us to A.C.T.S.!
It’s not too late to sign-up for A.C.T.S.!
Click on the image to download your service kit.
Visit the website to learn more about Adventures in Odyssey’s
summer challenge to serve.
(Click on image to download this free e-book)
Just for reading this blog post today, you get a free gift,
an e-book called “Voyage with the Vikings.”
There’s still a lot of summer days left to encourage your family to accept the summer challenge to serve. You can either join the Adventures in Odyssey program or serve in your own way.
I’d love to hear the things your family is doing to serve this summer. Many of you work at Bible camps, Vacation Bible School, or do short-term mission projects.
Those that comment will qualify to win the special package of The Imagination Station books #1-3 pictured above. I will choose a winner Wednesday, July 3rd and announce the winner in a blog post that day.
Encourage us by leaving a comment about the way your family serves!