Monday, July 17, 2006

Service Suggestions Day ONE

In conjunction with the "Pathway to Purpose" Sunday school class I will be posting five days of service suggestions. In our class on Sunday I got up on my soapbox a bit and talked about the many reasons people think they are exempt from serving God. The two biggest ones I hear all the time are "I'm too busy" and "I have to take care of my family and don't have time." I am going to suggest an area of service each day this week and then break it down so that people with a lot of time, people with limited time, and people with children can participate in some way if this is an area they feel led to.

As I have become fond of saying, you can invent option "C." We need to stop thinking we serve God in some big, huge way or we don't serve him at all. There are a multitude of options between those two extremes and I hope this week will help you think beyond the obvious to what works for you.

TODAY'S AREA: Minister to Those in a Nursing Home

For Those with Limited Time: Did you know there are many Nursing Home residents who never receive cards or letters? If you're like me, you live for mail delivery because this time you might just receive a card instead of bills and junk mail. Contact a local nursing home and introduce yourself. Tell someone you want to send a card to someone who doesn't receive mail or frequent visitors. They'll tell you how to send the card in to them. Some will give you a resident's name or room number. Others will have you send it to the nurse in charge or the activities director. Then just purchase a thinking of you card when you are in Walmart or the grocery story. Write a personal sentence or two at the end and pop it in the mail.

For Those with Children at Home: You can take the above suggestion and go one step farther. Get your younger children to color or draw a picture to include in the card. Let the children help pick out the card and have each child sign it. Ask friend and extended family if they have loved ones in the nursing home that they could send mail to. I know of several women in the church who have family members living in assisted care/nursing homes who would probably welcome mail, especially with your child's artwork. As eyesight fails, words are difficult but the bright colors from crayons and markers can brighten the day! If you want to know someone specific you could send pictures to, see me on Sunday.

For Those with More Time: Those who have lots of time on their hands can make a difference in the lives of nursing home patients with a more hands-on approach. You can drop by and visit with those in the common rooms, watching television or playing games. You can bring along a deck of Uno cards and play with those who are able to follow the game. Some homes have people recovering from surgery or sickness. Many of them are more aware of life around them and would appreciate some normal "outside life" activities such as having their nails painted or their hair done. Even a warm lotion hand massage and prayer time would be helpful. Or read them a magazine article or short story. The best book ever to read someone in the nursing home is "In Grandma's Attic" by Arletta Richardson. This book features multiple short (just a few pages each) stories about a grandmother reminiscing about her life to her granddaughter. The stories are interesting and funny and my Grandmother Fair loved having these read to her during her last years on earth.

So - what do you think? Is there something here for you? If not, stay with us. Tomorrow we'll another topic and three more great ideas.


Anonymous Leslie Breighner said...

Hi Jess,

Thanks for the great suggestions. However, I did not send a note to someone in a nursing home, rather a relative that I have not been in touch with for a long time. I enjoy your blog.


3:49 PM  

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