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    The giving season is upon us! During the next few weeks, we will be sucked in to the whirlwind of the holidays. For many, Thanksgiving is completely skipped over and Christmas has taken its place. I urge you this season to slow down and remember why it is that we gather and celebrate in the first place. Take an opportunity this season to be a blessing to others and feel the joy that comes from giving from your heart. 

Here are twenty ways that you can be a blessing to others this season: 

  1. Bake a pumpkin pie & deliver to someone letting them know how you are thankful for them!
  2. Go caroling to the shut-ins!
  3. Invite someone who doesn’t have family to join yours for Thanksgiving dinner!
  4. Write a list of reasons you are thankful for your spouse! 
  5. Hold the door open for someone whose arms are full of packages.
  6. Pay for the persons coffee behind you! They will be thankful for that yummy pumpkin spice latte. 
  7. Remember those that are away from their families serving our country! Send a care package, write a letter, say a prayer, ect..
  8. Buy someone a cold drink! Leave some change in the vending machine.
  9. Make cards for those in the nursing homes. You don’t know how much this will brighten their day!
  10. Leave chalk messages on the sidewalk that says “I’m grateful for you!” Or “Gobble til you wobble!”
  11. Lend a helping hand at your local soup kitchen. 
  12. Donate extra blankets to your furry friends at the shelter! 
  13. Leave a poinsettia on your neighbors porch!
  14. Round up three toys your children no longer play with and give to a child in need.
  15. Ring a bell! Be a local bell ringer for The Salvation Army. You get to greet people with a smile and make a difference at the same time! 
  16. Partner with your church to put together shoe boxes filled with blessings for those in need.
  17. Read the Christmas story to those who will spend the holidays in the hospital.
  18. Help someone take their groceries to their car!
  19. Leave a generous tip on your receipt for your waitress with a note that says “Happy Holidays!”
  20. Leave a note on a random car that says, “Have a blessed day!”

Now that you have a few good ideas to get started– go be a blessing to someone today!

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Your Identity In Christ

    Tomorrow, the streets will be taken over by witches, goblins, and other masked creatures of the night. Halloween is a fun tradition where your imagination has the ability to run wild and all of your favorite characters come to life. I am a big enthusiast of this particular holiday and enjoy the excitement of finding the perfect costume to surprise my family with at our annual Halloween party. This year will be especially fun since this will be my sons first trick-or-treat experience! 

    A quick stroll down the costume aisle will quickly leave you feeling overwhelmed by all of the werewolves, superheroes, and political figures that seem to jump right out at you. Each year on October 31, you are given one night to take on a whole new persona. You can transform into whomever it is you wish. But just as the clock strikes midnight for Cinderella, on November 1st you are turned back into your same self once again.

   Similar to wearing a mask on Halloween, there can be times in our lives when we feel we no longer recognize the person we see before us in the mirror. But I have great news! Look past your tired and weary eyes…past your worry and wrinkles…your identity in Christ has been found! Psalm 139:14 tells us, “You are fearfully and wonderfully made.” Isn’t it awesome knowing that Jesus knows all of your skeletons and He still calls you a child of God? He is there to rescue you from life’s monsters! He wants to bring you out of the darkness and into the light.

    Halloween is a day for fun, memories, and lots and lots of candy!! But it is also an opportunity to shed your mask. To dust your soul of the cobwebs and allow yourself to be freed from the chains that bind you. The devil is full of tricks but Jesus is the ultimate treat!

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Prepping Your Home For The Fall

    I can’t believe September is gone and we are already half way through the second week of October. This year has flown by!  The leaves are changing and cover my backyard in a blanket of fiery reds, cheerful oranges, and vibrant yellows! Nothing puts me in the spirit quite like making some seasonal changes around my home. I start pulling out the pumpkins and scarecrows the first week of September. Here is a fun list for you to use when prepping your home this Fall!  

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What are some of your favorite ways to make your home into a cozy Fall retreat?