Day #14 Happy Easter



grace

 

I hope you and your family have a wonder Easter.  It has been so meaningful for our family to focus our 14 Day Walk With Christ on serving others.  I would love to hear your experiences.  Every Easter our family makes Resurrection Rolls, recounts the Easter story by reading scriptures from our Resurrection Eggs, and shares our feelings about Jesus.  Thanks for joining us!!!gateway-11-616x800

 

Day #13 Just Serve

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I am so proud of my daughter Ella.  She is working on her IB Personal Project.  She choose to make baby quilts and donate them to our local hospital.

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These quilts are made 100% by her: choosing the fabrics, cutting the squares, laying out the design, sewing, basting, quilting, and binding.
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IMG_5475There are so many charity organizations that need our help – sometimes it’s hard to decide which to help with or to find something that fits with our talents.  For today’s service activity, I am not suggesting you drop everything and sew baby quilts!  Rather, take this time and visit JustServe.org.  It’s a website designed to connect volunteers with opportunities to care for others and improve our communities.  You enter your city, state and zip code and it searches for opportunities to serve in your very own community!  When I searched my town, there were over 20 opportunities for service.  I think this is fantastic!

Day #12 {Guest Post} Create it. Go!

Hi! I”m Robyn from Create it. Go! and I’m so excited to be here today and be part of Amanda’s 14 Day Walk with Christ. I was thrilled that she asked me to join in on this 2015 service edition.

 I immediately wanted to follow along with all of the great ideas she was going to post, but also wanted to include a little something more personal to our family as well. So, I put up this simple banner in front of our fireplace. I had already made the fireplace mantle Christ centered for Easter, but now we had an extra reminder to try and focus our daily lives on Christ, especially in the days leading up to Easter. Then I took these little canvas bags and placed vinyl letters on each one. How perfect was it that the days “Walk With Christ” are exactly 14 letters too!

Then we had a family night, where we all came up with ideas of service that we could individually, or as a family, perform. We talked about how Christ’s life was full of service and that he never turned anyone away. We likened that to us today, and came up with ways that we could also be like Christ, and serve.

 We all participated in coming up with ideas, all 5 of my kids, from my 3 year old to my 15 year old, and my husband and I. After we came up with some ideas, we wrote them down, and then rolled up the papers and placed them in each little bag. Then each day, we pull one out and we all perform that act of service.

 I love seeing my children’s handwriting and seeing what they came up with each day, as we pull out the service for the day. I also love the way it fills their hearts as they perform that service. You can see it reflected in their eyes, in their prayers, and in their actions.
These are the service ideas that collectively, our family came up with:
1- Pick flowers and give them to someone. (3 yr AND 5 year olds’ suggestion)
2- Help plant a garden
3- Leave notes of appreciation for each member of the family, for something they do today.
4- Send cards to Grandma and Grandpa (or friends/family)
5- Take an Easter treat and message to friends/teachers.
6- Make something out of wood (like Christ did as a carpenter) and give it to someone.
(My 12 year old son came up with this one. I loved the thoughts of Christ behind it.)
7- Mow someone’s lawn for them.
8- Make food for my family in bed.
(That one made me laugh a little, coming from my 9 year old daughter.)
9-Color with the little girls…
Translation: Spend time with a family member, doing something that the other enjoys.
10- Walk the dogs.
11- Do another person’s chores for them for the day.
12-Donate clothes and toys to others in need.
13- Show more love.
14- Pick up trash at the park.
The one that I wanted to share with you today is #5. I create this simple word art printable below. We have the same quote on a wood plaque on our fireplace mantle. I love the simplicity of it and the reminder that Christ is still with us, every day. He is with us wherever we go, because he still lives.

 We printed this out and then delivered it to some friends with some little Easter goodies one night as one of our acts of service.
 For the snack, we just used the recipe for rice crispy treats, but substituted the rice crispy cereal with chow mein noodles, and added little Robin eggs, to make these cute little nests. They were quick and easy and so fun!
My kids also have thought of giving one of these printables to each of their school teachers with an invitation to an Easter program our church is holding soon. It may not be the kind of service where we are out raking someone’s yard, but we are still serving each other, and our friends and families, by thinking of them, and by helping to bring them closer to Christ,
One thing I love about this whole 14 Day Walk With Christ Service Project, is that it doesn’t have to be done in just the two weeks leading up to Easter. If we truly celebrate the real meaning of Easter, and celebrate Christ’s life and his resurrection, then we should be trying to be more like him all year long. I don’t plan on taking this down anytime soon, because I love the reminder it is to our family, to always strive to Walk with Christ.

 

 

Day #11 – Guest Contributor Calee Reed

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Today the amazingly talented, fabulous Calee Reed is sharing her thoughts with us on our Walk With Christ.  My daughter and I first learned of Calee last year at Time Out For Girls.  Calee’s messages and music opened my daughter’s eyes to the world of Christian music.  I can truly say our lives have been changed since knowing Calee.  Just a little bit about Calee:  Calee Reed grew up in San Diego, California, and was taught to sing by her mother at a very young age. When Calee’s mother passed away in 2011 after a battle with cancer, Calee decided to write her first CD, The Waiting Place, as a tribute to her. Her upcoming album, What Heaven Feels Like, features inspirational songs in Calee’s fresh style and releases in summer 2015. Calee and her husband, Shaun, live in Salt Lake City and have one adorable daughter, Violet .

You MUST watch Calee’s amazing music video inspired by the story of her mother.

You can follow Callee on Facebook and Instagram (@caleereed), blog, and website

From Calee

I found myself frazzled and tired last week as I chased my two year old around our neighborhood park. She’s sweet and darling, but she has GERD (a condition that she was supposed to have outgrown by 3 months old) which causes her to wake frequently at night…which causes us both to be grumpy and exhausted most of the time. That morning I was feeling especially overwhelmed and inadequate. When will she outgrow this?? How can we be expected to function normally when our sleeping schedule is so erratic?? Why haven’t we found a cure yet for her issues?? Frustrated thoughts tumbled around in my head.

My new visiting teacher had asked me to meet her at the park that morning so we could chat about this month’s message. I was on the verge of texting and canceling (in favor of escaping back home to my sweatpants and couch) when she appeared. Smiling and friendly, she talked about her kids and asked about my family. After only a few minutes, I found myself cradling my wailing baby and apologizing for needing to take her home to attempt a nap. “Oh, that’s alright!” she sweetly responded, “Let me share a quick part of the message with you!”

She proceeded to share a few thoughts from President Dieter F Uchtdorf about patience:

“Patience is not passive resignation, nor is it failing to act because of our fears. Patience means active waiting and enduring…Patience is not simply enduring; it is enduring well!”

“Patience means accepting that which cannot be changed and facing it with courage, grace, and faith. It means being ‘willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon [us], even as a child doth submit to his father’ [Mosiah 3:19]. Ultimately, patience means being ‘firm and steadfast, and immovable in keeping the commandments of the Lord’ [1 Nephi 2:10] every hour of every day, even when it is hard to do so.”1

I could tell that she had read the message prior to us meeting, and had purposely chosen those few thoughts to share – even though she couldn’t have known my specific situation prior to us meeting. The words from that inspired man sunk deep into my heart. I had read and shared the message with my own visiting teaching sisters earlier in the month, but at that moment I was ready to hear a different message that Heavenly Father had sent to my heart. The questions that had been plaguing me a moment ago found themselves quieted in the light of new perspective. I was so grateful that this woman from my congregation had taken a moment to acquaint herself with those words and share them with me.

As I’ve contemplated the ways I ‘Walk With Christ’ through service in my daily life, I’ve come to the conclusion that one of the most important ways I can serve is through being prepared to share the messages of the Savior with people around me – just like my visiting teacher did with me.

I have the incredible opportunity to travel around the country with some intensely spiritual, inspired individuals as a presenter with the Time Out for Women program through Deseret Book. I love when presenters quote scripture and the words of prophets; knowing that God sent those messages and words for me brings added peace and power when I hear them. I have watched these individuals present their prepared messages, converse backstage and with the attendees of the events and have felt so inspired by them. These individuals know the words of Christ to well, and love the words of Christ so much, that they are able to share with power and confidence specific messages from scripture and/or prophets at any given moment. It’s become a personal goal of mine to study each day to become more like them.

One of the ways I’ve found to share/serve in this way is through social media. I am the main contributor to an LDS Instagram account! It might sound silly, but searching out quotes, making memes and posting them daily for the 2k+ followers of the account brings me a lot of joy and fulfilment – plus it helps me stay on track with my goal of daily studying! Often I find myself searching for the quotes and memes in the middle of the night while waiting for my toddler to fall back asleep. It brings me peace and perspective, and brings a little light into the social media feeds of the people who see the messages each day. I’ve seen endless ward and stake accounts, accounts run by youth, accounts run by Bishops, all geared toward bringing inspired words and messages to their friends and/or congregations.

We can impact the lives of those around us with immeasurable good when we acquaint ourselves with the words and teachings of prophets, leaders and scripture and find the courage to share them when prompted. We don’t have to be scriptorians or religious scholars, we only need the desire to live up to our baptismal covenants and small daily goals like reading our scriptures, the Ensign, or messages on LDS.org, like my visiting teacher did! The healing, the light and the peace that sharing those messages and teachings can bring into the lives of others constitute service of great importance. If we truly strive to be the disciples of Christ, we will walk in His footsteps – a part of which is familiarizing ourselves with His words, and the words of His called servants, and then sharing those thoughts to lift everyone around us.

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Thank you Calee!  You are SO AWESOME and we CAN’T WAIT for your new album to be released!

Day #10 Service Cookies

I remember a talk I heard about 10 years ago.  I don’t remember the speaker’s name, but I do remember something she said:

service cookies

 

I LOVE this!  I love making cookies or treats or rolls and taking them to friends and neighbors. I am going to print this out and put it on my fridge!  Sometimes baked goods are the best way to show love!!  If you would like to download a PDF version, click HERE.

Today’s activity involves baking!!  Invite some friends over to make cookies.  Make cookies with your family and take them around to your neighbors.  We invited the missionaries over to decorate sugar cookies.  One of them said he couldn’t remember the last time he frosted cookies (so sad!)  When we were done we fixed up plates and took them to our neighbors.DSC_1809

I’m pretty sure we didn’t solve anyone’s problems with this, but we had fun as a family and we let other’s know we care about them 🙂DSC_1811What kind of treats of goodies do you like to take to people?

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Day #9 Happy Mail

service printable

Who mails stuff anymore?  Who even goes to the post office?  Who has stamps?  Hahaha!  Today we are going to take a step back in time and create some good old-fashioned mail!  Even though we live in the age of digital everything, there is still something exciting about having a package on the porch, or a bubble pouch in the mail box!  Today, take time with your family to write letters to loved ones and mail them, snail mail style.  We decided to make a few care packages to mail also .  You might want to include some of the printable images & quotes that have been featured theses past few days.  Have the children write their feelings about Jesus or what Easter means to them and include these in the packages.

I purchased plastic eggs and an assortment of candy – not chocolate, I didn’t want anyone to receive melted candy 🙂

The children filled the eggs (and sampled a little along the way).  Then we packed some boxes with some notes and shipped them off.

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DSC_1817Any activity involving candy is always a hit!!!

Day #7- Family Service Project

Today’s lesson comes from my friend Brittany.  She is my super talented friend who is the worlds best decorater!!!  You should follow her on Pinterest, Instagram and her Blog!!

Thank You Amanda for inviting me to participate in the 14 day walk with Christ. I am really excited to share an amazing experience of service that as a family we have been able to participate in.

This past month I was browsing Instagram and came across a heartbreaking story of a little girl named “Kycie” she is 4 years old.   (You can follow their story on Instagram @JandJterry)  We have a little 4 year old in our family as well so it really made us stop and take a moment as we watched her story unfold. This sweet little girl who was thought to have the flu, however she didn’t start getting better in fact she worsened and started to have seizures. She ended up being life-flighted to Primary Children’s Hospital. The Dr’s diagnosed her with type 1-diabetes and after the damaging seizures thought she may have permanent brain damage as well.

Meet Kycie:

Screen Shot 2015-03-24 at 9.54.00 PM I have been so impressed with the constant faith and optimism this family shows. They just recently posted this picture:

Screen Shot 2015-03-24 at 9.55.09 PM Her mom writes: If we have faith in Jesus Christ the hardest as well as the easiest times in life can be a blessing. The Savior has carried Kycie (and each one of us) through this journey in our life. And for that, I am grateful.

As I read each of her updates on Instagram I can feel her love for her daughter, it radiates off the page. It reminds me of a song there is sunshine in my soul today.

As a family we decided that we needed to show the Terry family some love and support and to let them know we are praying for them and thinking of their sweet little girl Kycie.

We put together a little care package and each of my kids wrote a letter to Kycie and her family. We wanted to send a little light and a little sunshine to their family, in their time of need.

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Thanks to the Terry family we have been trying to take more time to love each other and give extra tight hugs every night, and of course thank our Heavenly Father for the many blessings we receive each day.

To read more about the Terry family please visit Kisses for Kycie on Facebook.

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Day #6 Make Dinner For Someone

Nothing says family unity like cooking in the kitchen!  Today’s service project is making dinner for someone.  Think of someone you know that could use a little break from the dinner-time routine.  It could be new mother, someone who was recently sick or in the hospital, or it could just be a family with young children and you know the mom would love a night off!  Who ever it is – get ready for some fun in the kitchen!DSC_1771

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For our meal we smoked pulled pork, made coleslaw and then baked our famous banana cake.  I am sharing the recipe with you!!!  I literally get requests for it!  Even if you don’t have time to make and entire dinner, you could make the cake or other baked items.
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I also included this little kitchen towel I made.  You can read how to make it here.

IMG_4972  I made these little printable tags you can download and print.  One is for if someone is not feeling well, the other is for a general Happy Easter message 🙂Screen Shot 2015-03-25 at 3.16.11 PM Screen Shot 2015-03-25 at 3.16.04 PM


Instead of just having mom or dad go drop the meal off, we all went together.  Aren’t we cute!  IMG_5011I love this quote from President Spencer W. Kimball:service

Day # 5 – SMILE

Hello! It’s Ginger from Ginger Snap Crafts! I am so excited to be back here with Amanda & all of YOU participating in the 14 days of Christ series ~ service addition! I think it’s a wonderful thing to do with your family this Easter season! I’m so glad Amanda organizes this each year. 🙂 Speaking of family ~ I have a fun, wild & crazy one that’s for sure! ha! 😉 My husband & I have 5 beautiful & active children ages 17 to 5. They sure do keep it interesting around here. They also have really cheesy grins! ha! 🙂 Which brings me to our service idea that was centered all around smiling! 😉

I really love this quote! It helped inspire our whole activity. 🙂

Purpose: We have been struggling (I’m sure we are not alone!) with our kiddos saying mean things to each other & not being kind. So I decided to create an evening where we could learn how to say kind words to each other, give a smile to someone & make each other smile. When you make someone smile it really is beautiful thing!

Songs: 

Smiles

If You’re Happy

Lesson: For the lesson we each took a turn going around the room & saying something kind about each person in our family. It turned out so well! Everyone took a turn, & they all really shared from the heart what they loved about each other. There were lots of smiles all around. I think it was the best (& longest!) lessons we ever had! 🙂
 
Activity: For the activity we wanted to do something that would help serve someone else, and we hoped to be able to put a big smile on their face, too! DonateaToothbrush.com is a wonderful organization that donates toothbrushes all over the world to those that need them or can’t afford one. So we went to the store & stocked up on a bunch of different kinds of toothbrushes to send to them. The kiddos had fun picking them out! They might of even picked out one or two toothbrushes for themselves, too! ha! 😉

 When we got home we packed up the toothbrushes in a box!

Then we mailed our “smiley” package to DonateaToothbrush.com so they can hand them out.
You can find our more, & see how to donate to Donate a Toothbrush right {HERE}.
 
Handouts: For the handout I wanted to give my kiddos something that would remind them to speak kind words to each other, to smile more &to make each other smile. I found these cute walking mouths at Hobby Lobby in the party section, & then I made some cute smile tags to hang on them.
 
You can print out your own set of smile tags right {HERE}.
Just cut them out, punch a hole & then tie them on with some twine or ribbon.
Treat: These Apple Smiles make the perfect treat!
 
Apple Smiles from She Saved
Other ideas & resources:

A Smile is Like Sunshine

I hope you try this activity out with your family. It really was a special evening for us! 🙂
Thanks for having me over, Amanda! I hope you all have wonderful Easter. 🙂

Day #4 #ShareGoodness

#sharegoodnessToday’s lesson focus on Sharing Goodness through Social Media.  Does your family look like this?share goodness

I know we are like most families and Social Media is a big part of life.  Even if you don’t want it to be, it still is.  Instead of keeping my children away from social media, I use it as a learning tool.  It is a great way to have so many discussions.  If they learn now how to navigate the world of social media safely, they are more likely to continue those patterns into adulthood.  Use today’s lesson as a springboard to discussions with your children about the good and bad of Social Media.   Ask them to share experiences they have encountered personally or experiences their friends have had.  Talk about these #ShareGoodness Tips:

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For the service part of this lesson, take some time and asks each family member to write 10 positive posts or comments on their social media sites.  If you have young children, help them send emails or write comments on your accounts to people they know and love such as grandparents, aunts or uncles.  So much of the time we are “takers” on social media – checking how many comments we have or how many “likes” we have.  It is important to give of ourselves in this virtual world.  Set goals on how each member of the family can #ShareGoodness each day.