Thursday, February 24, 2011

Two Minutes Longer

Wednesday is our women's Bible study morning. We all love Wednesday mornings for different reasons: two hours of childcare, coffee, snacks, girlfriend time, and of course, learning from God's Word together.

Yesterday, a guest speaker shared about the ministry she launched in women's prisons. The discussion in our group centred around the question, What can we do to help free people from their prisons? and in particular, How does this look for mothers with many small children?

Here are a few ideas we shared:

* Take two minutes longer in conversation with someone. Move just a tiny bit beyond typical small talk so that the person you're talking with gets the sense that you really do want to know how they are. This doesn't count only for friends, but strangers - the grocery clerk checking through your groceries, the person in line with you at Tim Horton's or Starbucks, the unusual man who stops to chat for no apparent reason...

* Send a card. In the mail. It's a simple as that - think of someone, write a card, pop it in the mail. I mean, don't you get just a little bit happy when you receive mail that's not a bill?

* Deliver a meal. Some people do this for new moms or when there's a family death, but meals can be offered for all sorts of occasions (or for no reason at all). Moving, sick kids, hubby away for a long time - these are all great excuses to drop off dinner for someone.

Don't cook? Yeah, me neither. But $10 for a frozen lasagna and a bag of caesar salad isn't too hard to come by.

* Invite someone over for coffee and a visit. The fact is, being a mom can sometimes be a lonely gig. Nothing lifts the spirits as well as simply getting out of the house! So invite that other mom you've met at church or the kids' school, the mom down the street, whoever. (You can also invite non-moms, of course! But if you've got preschoolers, make sure you warn her in advance. *wink*)

* Make a phone call or send an email to someone when you think of them. Say, "I was just thinking of you..."

There are a million things we can do as "ministry" that don't require us to take time off work, find childcare, teach Bible studies, or visit prisons. It seems that we've run out of excuses. Our group challenged each other, and I'd like to extend that challenge to you...

This week, reach out to someone in friendship and encouragement. You can use one of the ideas we came up with as a group, or something completely different. And then, I hope you'll come back to share what you did. That way we can spur one another on as we minister from where we're at.

I'll share what I did in the comments...

7 comments:

  1. I'll be back in a couple days to post about what I did this week. But I wanted to tell you about last week...

    Friends of ours have been having a rough go. Grandpa went to Heaven and a few days later their beloved furry child (dog) went to Heaven. In the midst of that, their little one celebrated a birthday and followed it up with a bit of a medical emergency. (The child is okay, but the medical issue gave everyone a scare.)

    The day they had to put the dog down, I knew they'd be grieving. It's not something I understand (I am just not as attached to my dog as some people), yet I knew their sorrow would be great. So I brought them dinner. Nothing fancy, just made an extra big recipe of a casserole and dropped some off to them (along with a bottle of wine).

    Maybe they thought it was weird. But when I asked God how I could help them or encourage them, the only thing I could think of was food.

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  2. Ok - the unusual man - that's totally us at Millenium right ?! ;)
    Kelly

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  3. Kelly, I know not of what you speak. LOL.

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  4. I have a fb friend that's a mom stuck at home all the time and I often don't start conversations with her because they are always the same. So yesterday, I felt that I needed to do just that. To really talk to her and see how she really was doing. Thanks for sharing this! Such great ideas and so simple. No excuses indeed! I'm going to see if I can make a difference this week, too :)

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  5. Last night I was at Bible study and a lady who hasn't been there for several months was in attendance. She is a bit eccentric and can often dominate - so I sometimes need to manage that. However, last night as we were sharing she said "I want to talk - and I haven't talked for 7 months." I just felt God say - "Let her talk - Listen." So we did. Only for a few minutes - but I think she was blessed to have all of the women just listen to her. Sometimes people just need a turn to talk.

    Frieda

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  6. Tyler...I am becoming a fan of the texting ministry...When I pray for someone, I text them I am praying for you...When someone comes to mind I text and ask how is your day? It doesn't take much time, but it can mean a whole lot!

    GREAT reminders friend!

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  7. I love this post, because if we all do a little, at the leading of the Holy Spirit, everyone's needs get met. Thanks for reminding us that it is the little things done in great love that matter most.

    Fondly,
    Glenda

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