Sunday, September 15, 2013

how to teach stewardship to children: the sunday parenting party

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i'll be the first to admit that i've not always held the plight of others in the forefront of my mind.  i can't count the number of times that i've chosen to do for myself and my own interests over them.  i didn't truly develop a servant's heart until i had my son.  that's when stewardship started to take on a new meaning to me.  the thought of not being able to feed, diaper, or clothe him struck a nerve deep inside me... giving birth in me the heart of a servant of God.  as Bear has grown older, i've tried to give him as many opportunities to be hands on to serve others. 

our church and community often receive calls of action to help with various causes.  these provide immediate opportunities for us to give and do as a family.  and that's important to me.  i want my children to learn how to be year-round stewards instead of just putting spare change in a red pot because someone is ringing a bell. 
 
here are 3 ways that i help my children be givers throughout the whole year...

make it personal
 our church partners with a phenomenal organization called The Raining Season, which runs an orphanage called The Covering in Sierra Leone.  those children are beautiful, faithful, and oh so loving.  Bear knows that when he's old enough {15 yrs}, we'll go to Sierra Leone on a mission trip.  until then, we have to be content with sponsoring two children there.  child sponsorship through them is $40 a month.  and we get to Skype with our kiddos once a month.  these 15 minute sessions allow us to connect with these children, to see the light in their eyes when we first say hello, to see their growing openness with us as we forge a relationship, and to make funny faces that create laughter across those thousands of miles. 

The beautiful children at The Covering orphanage.
Photo Source
 
follow through
some of the activities we do at home involve food.  our sensory bin bases are rice, dried beans, and pasta.  sometimes it's hard for me to rationalize to myself playing with food when there are so many hungry in our world.  so the way i try to keep my son service-minded while evening the scales is by visiting The Hunger Site and FreeRice.com.  a mouse click on either site provides a food donation sponsored by bigger companies.  another thing we do is pick up $5-$10 of hygiene products on our biweekly trips to the dollar store.  these items either go with our missionaries to Sierra Leone or to my monthly trips to our local emergency pantry. 
 
the heart of a servant
though it's painful and somewhat embarrassing to admit, i forget all too much just how blessed my family is.  in our mealtime and bedtime prayers, we try to include those who are cold, hungry, lonely or struggling with various other issues.  with a five year old, sometimes it's hard to keep the connection between the words that we say and our service-seeking hearts.
 
 when i tuck Bear into a warm, comfy bed with a fully tummy and a happy heart, my soul aches when i realize that there are parents, many in my own community, who can't do the same.  i don't want to weigh my children down with the burdens of the world, but at the same time, i don't want them to take our blessings for granted.  i want them to be aware of our privileged life and for their hearts to ache for the cold, the hungry, the lonely, and the struggling.  Because it's only by the Grace of God that it is not us.
 



 
Now onto The Sunday Parenting Party! This week’s hosts are denoted by the word {host} behind their link’s name in the list below. The SPP is place for readers to find ideas on nurturing, educating, developing and caring for children, as well as honest posts on the stresses of being a parent or caregiver. Reviews and Giveaways are welcome as long as they are relevant to the topic.

All parenting philosophies are welcome with one exception, please do not link posts promoting physical discipline as this is something we would feel uncomfortable having on our blogs.

PS: By linking up you agree that your post and photos are Pinterest, Sulia, G+ and FB friendly. We will be showcasing ideas on our The Sunday Parenting Party Pinterest board.

my favorites from last week's party:
Is Preschool Worth It? from The Stay-at-Home-Mom Survival Guide
A Letter to My Dad from Happy Whimsical Hearts
Managing the After School Craziness from Buggy and Buddy
 
     
                       

 
Keep in touch with Crayon Freckles on Facebook to get daily post previews and hear about other great activities! You can also follow Crayon Freckles on Pinterest and Twitter.
Check out Why Does My Teen?, which is an informational site for the parents teens.

1 comment:

Sheri said...

You are such a lovely person Andie, and your children will learn compassion for others simply by watching you. I admire that you are being proactive in your service to others, but sometimes it's also as simple as opening the door for the person walking in to the dollar store ahead of you. They'll get it. <3

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