Ever since I began thinking about this I knew what I wanted to do the very first week. You see, there is this sweet little old lady that lives down the street from us. Honestly I don't even know her name. But quite often when we are out walking with the dog and the kids she peeks her head outside her house and says hello and comments on how cute our kids are. She thought Lily was a boy for quite a while when Lily was young, but I can easily look past that!:) Anyway, I've just been waiting for this first week with the plan being that Lily and I would make her some homemade muffins and have a real visit with her. Too often when we would see her the dog would be pulling us and be anxious to go and we never got to talk with her very long. So somehow I envisioned getting to know her a little better over muffins and I just sort of imagined how much she would enjoy having the kids over. Except that, well, she's not there anymore. Joe said he hasn't seen her in over a month and her house is all dark and closed up and the snow is piling up in her driveway. Our best guess is that she has gone to a nursing home or to live with family. And now I find myself wishing that I hadn't waited so long to make an extra effort with her. And so I find that already, in week one, God has been teaching me something.
So while that didn't work out what we did end up doing was filling a need and serving our church. All four of us went over to church one night after dinner and helped take down and put away all of the church's Christmas decorations. The couple that always does it seemed thankful for the extra help and it was a great, simple way for our kids to get involved in serving our church. Lily was especially excited to help put away all of the many wreath bows!
Week two also involved a sort of last minute change of plans (as again my first idea didn't pan out). This week, however, we were in South Carolina. I knew right away though that I wanted to do something for the two staff women that were watching our kids all week while we were in meetings. So on the morning of our day off Lily and I snuck around like little elves and made a surprise breakfast for the girls which we left outside their bedroom door (see the picture above). I think there is almost extra joy is being able to surprise someone and I know that Lily really liked being a little "breakfast elf" of sorts!:)
And finally, we just finished our third week the other day. To do something to serve our community we gathered up all of our old baby food (which we had lots of because Eli just flat out refused to eat the stuff) and one of our gently used blankets with the hopes of donating these things to the Humane Society (which we have done before). One again though we had some change of plans (I'm sensing a theme here). This time Joe took the kids (while I worked) and unfortunately the Human Society was closed. So Joe took them to our very small local animal shelter. They couldn't take the food, but put the blanket to use right away for some cats (which Lily loved). And on the way home Joe and the kids found a home for the baby food at our local food kitchen.
So those were our first 3 weeks of family service projects. Small things. "Our" plans may have changed a lot, but I have no doubt that God's plan for our family remains well intact. And I WILL be keeping a close eye out for the lady who lived down our street and if I get the chance again I won't let it pass by!