Back to School With Family Christian

IMG_4013

So many kids are going back to school soon and are so very excited about it. I love all of the cute things that are available these days! But, you know what I love even more than cute? Inspirational! Yep!

 

Family Christian Bookstores have just that!

 

They have Spiral Notebooks, Pocket folders and other things that your children will need for school and it has inspiring sayings on them!

 

IMG_4016

 

I took my niece to do some shopping and allowed her to choose some things that she would need as well as a few things that she wanted.

 

She picked out 3 spiral notebooks with great sayings and reminders on them and a wonderful biography that is sure to inspire!

 

She picked out a notebook with Believe on it and then a fictional book to read as well.

 

IMG_4015

 

I know you often think of looking at a Christian book store for back to school items, but when your child is looking at the note book that has “There’s no one else on earth like you” day in and day out, that will help with all the negativity that is surrounding them.

 

She also got something cute and fun! We always need a little fun, especially when going back to school! 

 

IMG_4020

 

Bringing in positive reinforcement is key in this big ole world sometimes! Reminding them that something so simple as letting their smile change the world can also help to remind them that they can truly impact this world for Christ, instead of feeling that things are too bad and that they could never make a difference.

 

You may have all of your shopping done, but even so, take some time to head on over to Family Christian and pick up some fun, encouraging items for your children so that their days can be full of God’s Joy!

 

IMG_4017

 

Get Social with Family Christian:

https://twitter.com/familychristian

http://www.pinterest.com/familychristian/

http://family-christian.tumblr.com

http://instagram.com/familychristian

https://www.facebook.com/familychristian?ref=bookmarks

 

Don’t forget to check out their $5 deals!

*As a Family Christian Blogger, I was given a gift certificate for the purpose of purchasing school supplies and previewing them here on my blog.  All joyful opinions expressed are my own and I’m not required to give a positive review.

no joy like spreading joy

Don’t miss a single encouraging article!

Subscribe to Spreading Joy by Email:

 

Enter your email address:Delivered by FeedBurner

 

Spreading Joy Summer Project Family

sj summer project wk 3

 

Spreading Joy Project – Family!

 

Don’t you love Summer and all the *cough* free time it brings? I know, I know – super busy yet still, we love the lazy hazy days of summer don’t we?

Our Summer project has encouraged many to do more for others by celebrating the Little things as well as remembering that simple kindness is more of a “big to do” than many people give it credit for!

This challenge we want to place our focus on our family.

We tend to do “random acts of kindness” for strangers and do so happily.  Never once do we give thought to doing random things for those we love the most.  We expect more from them, we hold them more accountable and often display more anger towards them when we are upset (just being honest here….) so why NOT do more acts of JOY for them?

You know them better than anyone else, so this should be an easy thing for you.

Here are some ideas to get you Spreading JOY to your family:

  1. Favorite meal – take 1 or 2 days each week and have favorites of 1 or 2 of your family members.  Seriously, do this! If you are crafty, print up little menus and title it “XYZ’s Favorites” and enjoy with them.  So what if their favorites are Pizza Rolls and Doritos, it’s not like you’ll be doing this every single night.
  2. Chore free day – In our family the kids always had household chores they were 100% responsible for. Their birthday and a few days in the summer time were the only days they were “off”.
  3. Treat just before bed time – Have you ever stayed at a hotel or been on a cruise where they would leave a chocolate on your pillow? This is what I’m talking about. Leave them their favorite or whatever you have on hand…they will LOVE It.
  4. Sweet notes – Are the kids going to grandma’s house? Camp? Write a note for them to find each day they are there.  Label it “Monday”, “Tuesday” etc. Are they going on a Missions Trip? Do the same but tuck $20 inside the Last day’s note so they can have a little spending money on the way home. AND – as far as sweet notes go, don’t forget your spouse. This is a very nice thing to find from your sweetie.
  5. Plan a special afternoon at the park or scavenger hunt – This is so much fun! Have fun creating a special sheet with things to find.  Keep it natural if you are going to a park!
  6. Take some photos together and Get THEM Printed – Let the kids take some photos of you and your spouse and then you take some of them and then get some selfies with all of you together. PRINT them out and frame them, putting one in everyone’s room. Printing those memories keeps them fresh.
  7. Game night – One of our favorite nights. Have finger foods and play several games. Our kids are grown and sadly – gone…but we still do this when we all get together.
  8. Flowers for the Girls – if you have girls get them some flowers for their dresser. Pick out one of the cute cards and “deliver” it to their door. Have it waiting on her when she wakes. *ahem* Husbands, we gals like this too. Aldi and Walmart have great flowers.
  9. Special Delivery for the guys – so, guys don’t like flowers. Maybe you could deliver pizza to the Mr. at work or put together something your young man likes and leave it by his door for him to wake too.  Pizza hut will deliver a pizza for you. You can pay for it, tip and everything. I usually have them write something sweet or different for the Mr. on the box top.
  10. Volunteer Together – Help the elderly in your neighborhood, deliver meals on wheels together.  Doing things for others like this will bring your family closer.
  11. Start a “I like you because” Jar – Take a jar or container and put names on it. Cut strips of paper and each day write down 1 thing you like about each family member (or something they did to make you smile or happy etc) and place it in the jar. Do this daily and allow the owner to look at it as often as they want or need to. Can you imagine at the end of one year how cool that jar will be?
  12. Have the kids make a card for another family member – it could be for Grandma or Grandpa. It could be for an aunt or uncle.
  13. HUG… hug often. Kiss goodnight and give hugs freely. If you are home with your children, hug them when you pass them. I miss hugging my kids so trust me this is a gift. Hug your spouse, kiss your spouse. Hold hands.

 

family

 

What would you add to this list? How are you Spreading Joy to your family?

Did you miss the first 2 Projects? Here are the links to them:

Kindness Matters

Little Things Matter

Want more ideas? Get our book Spreading Joy Daily – filled with ideas for each day that ANYONE can do to impact the heart and lives of others.

 

 

no joy like spreading joy

Don’t miss a single encouraging article!

Subscribe to Spreading Joy by Email:

 

Enter your email address:Delivered by FeedBurner

 

Disney’s Inside Out

Inside Out collage

WHO is going to see Inside Out?

 

You can’t see me but I’ve got a mile wide smile and I’m super excited to see it.  Problem is I have no little kids, or grand kids so cue creeper music.

Nah…just kidding. I do have some great nieces and nephew – literally, my great nieces and my great nephew will LOVE this movie!

And you will too, regardless of your age.

Why? emotions… we all got ‘em.

When you go see it, hop back over here and tell me about it!

And for my crazy, wonderful – emotion filled readers, I’ve got great activity sheets just for Y O U! All Free!

Yeppers! Spreading a little Disney Joy your way and showin my Disney Side!

Make sure you CLICK THE LINK to get the actual Download so it will not be grainy ok? ok.

 

FREE INSIDE OUT DOWNLOADS:

Inside Out Emotional Nail Art is the First up, Super cute for the artsy among us!

 

Inside Out Maze – Can you find your way through?

 

Inside Out Connect the Dots – I have always loved these!

 

Inside Out Recipes – ohhh my goodness! These look ahhmaaazin! The JOY in me is all kinds of JOYful right now!

 

Inside Out Door Hangers - I don’t have a door, but I will be printing these out and hanging them at my cubical entrance. No, I’m not even kidding.

 

Inside Out Coloring Pages – SIX super cool pages to color!

 

Inside Out Spot the Difference – My Step Mom would have loved this movie as she was truly All Things Disney and had every Disney Movie. No, not even kidding about that. She would let you borrow them, and she always knew who had what!

 

Seriously, forget about all the crazy adult things going on in your world right now.

Grab the kids, get some drinks and popcorn and GO see this movie!

You’ll love it.

TWEET me a finished coloring page from your child and he/she could WIN a $10 McDonalds Gift Card

TWEET me some photos of you showing your #DisneySide when you see #InsideOut – I am @spreadingJOY
no joy like spreading joy

Don’t miss a single encouraging article!

Subscribe to Spreading Joy by Email:

 

Enter your email address:Delivered by FeedBurner

 

Spreading JOY Summer Project Kindness Matters

sj summer project wk 2

 

 

Kindness, such a gift in our hurry up and be done world isn’t it?  Kindness is so rare these days it’s often misunderstood as something else.

Sometimes people think kindness is a sign of weakness, but it’s nothing more than… kindness.

Sometimes people think kindness is flirting when in reality the person is actually being…wait for it… KIND.

In a world where people are always looking out for the best deal and the most they can get, kindness is a rare gift.

Kindness Matters!

 

This next week let me challenge you to take some time to simply be kind.  Seriously – try it! You’ll be surprised.

Ways to be Kind:

  1. Be kind to the person checking you out at the grocery store. Long lines are not their fault
  2. Be kind to your server when your food is delivered wrong. They didn’t do it.
  3. Be kind to your spouse when they didn’t do things as expected.
  4. Be kind to your child when they try, but didn’t do as well as you thought they should
  5. Be kind to those in traffic around you. Leave a little early if you get grumpy like me in heavy traffic. (Yes… very very grumpy)
  6. Be kind at work when you’ve done something 10 times and they ask you to change it again. (Not even kidding, this JUST happened and I had to shake my head)
  7. Be kind to the elderly in the store. Ask if you can help them to their car. Get the door for them. Show some respect! They paved the way for us today
  8. Be kind to your neighbor. Sure you wish they wouldn’t cut grass at 6 am on a Saturday morning. Get up and bake them some muffins.
  9. Be kind to those behind you in line. If someone has 1 item, let them go ahead of you
  10. Be kind to those in the drive through behind you. Purchase a little something for them and use THIS card to give to the person taking the money.
  11. Be kind to the environment. Recycle, reuse and use those crafty talents to make something out of nothing. If you are like me and have ZERO crafty talents…recycle.
  12. Be kind to your Small Group, Sunday School Class or other Christian Group setting. Give some extra cards this week. Extra hugs are good too. Show some extra kindness to them.
  13. Be kind to your Pastor. Ok, this should be monthly…yes! MONTHLY. No reason the Man of God in your world shouldn’t hear that you appreciate him monthly. And his wife. Go…right now and do it.
  14. Be kind to others in need. Yes, so many are in need. Will you do something for them?  We are starting to collect donations for #Back2School and $10 or $20 would be HUGE to a child that doesn’t have the proper school supplies. That is a whole other Blog Article but seriously – – won’t you take a moment and donate a little kindness to those in need. We have NO PAID employees here at Spreading Joy. All Volunteers. So your donations go to help others in need.

I’d love to hear about your week of Spreading Joy by being kind.  Will you take ONE minute and share below how you impacted your world with a little extra kindness?

That would be mighty KIND of you.

 

hands-699486_640

 

Thanks for Spreading Joy! Thanks for being kind! You matter…. even when you don’t feel like it, you do! Kindness Matters.  One tiny act of joy is like a mountain of Kindness to the hurting heart!

Did you miss the first week? Here it is. Week 1 – Little Things Matter

 

Want more ideas on Spreading Joy Each day of the year? Get our book and have fun Spreading Joy & Making a Difference. Spreading Joy Daily

 

 

no joy like spreading joy

Don’t miss a single encouraging article!

Subscribe to Spreading Joy by Email:

 

Enter your email address:Delivered by FeedBurner

 

Spreading Joy Summer Project Week 1

sj summer project wk1

 

Spreading Joy Summer Project

Little Things Matter

 

Spreading Joy is dedicated to reminding you about the pure joy of giving! It’s not in how big, how much or handing out thousands of dollars, it’s about making a difference with the resources you already have. Now, if you have that thousand laying around, we’ll put it to great use to those in need.

 

This summer you’ll have many opportunities to make a difference and we want you to be aware of them and not miss a single one! We are starting a 4 week project to help you see the ways you can impact your corner of the world.

 

We are focusing on how Little Things Matter this week.  I’m going to share some ideas with you here and hope that you’ll do the same in the comments below.

 

Little things you can do this week to make a difference:

  1. Give one rose to an elderly person (or any person for that matter)
  2. Tell someone you appreciate them using a song that reminds you of them – post it on facebook
  3. Send a good morning text (tweet or fb post) with sunshine, smiley face or something uplifting to someone you haven’t interacted with in a while.
  4. Leave your server the amount you’d tip your child if they were serving you at your local restaurant
  5. Purchase some stuffed animals from the dollar store and give out at a local nursing home
  6. Help Spreading Joy get a jump on #Back2school by donating $10 towards necessary school supplies for needy children
  7. Make a huge batch of cookies, brownies and cupcakes and take to your local Fire Department & Police Station
  8. Buy a pack of sticky notes and draw a smile on every single sheet! Leave them on the driver side window of cars as you walk by. Do this everywhere you go until the sheets run out. The KIDS will LOVE doing this. Get them some bright colors!
  9. As you are spring cleaning take your items to a local shelter that will GIVE them away instead of reselling them.
  10. Take your magazines to a nursing home or even Hospital Emergency room waiting area. Don’t forget to tear off your address info.
  11. Plan for #ChristimasJOY and purchase a $10 Gift card to donate to Spreading Joy for the teens for Christmas.
  12. Get some photos developed and proudly display or send to your adult kids, because you know they aren’t going to get them printed off
  13. Going to the beach? Park or other place outdoors? Take a rolling cooler of ice cold water and just pass out to those having fun
  14. Why wait until Christmas to send a card? Write a few notes of appreciation. Have your kids draw/color and do the same.

 

Needing more ideas? Get our book with DAILY ideas –  Spreading Joy Daily

 

Anyone can do this! You can do 2 a day or several of these every day this week.

 

Will you do me a favor? Please? (actually a few favors?)

  1. Comment below and let me know you are participating. Leave your @twittername so I can interact with you there and @Instagram name too.
  2. Share on all of your Social Media outlets and get others involved. Personally invite them to participate and get their kids to participate. Get YOUR kids to participate! We need to raise little givers. The world will be a much nicer place with all of us Spreading some Joy
  3. When you share HOW You are spreading joy, hashtag it with #spreadingJOY and I’ll share so we can all encourage each other.
  4. Share in the comments below some ideas you can do this week or ideas that YOU actually did and the results! I’d love to hear them and feature them in upcoming posts!
  5. Don’t Stress about how… just do. Remember…the Little things matter!

 

Now, let’s go Spread some Joy this Summer!

Week 2 = Kindness Matters 

 

 

no joy like spreading joy

Don’t miss a single encouraging article!

Subscribe to Spreading Joy by Email:

 

Enter your email address:Delivered by FeedBurner

 

Tomorrowland

tomorrowland5436ce4a5fb78

 

I love all things George Clooney, I mean Disney… I love all things Disney. 

Tomorrowland open everywhere on Friday 5/22/2015 and I wanted to give you guys some fun coloring sheets, mazes and “spot the difference” activities that are available for Free as a download! 

 

Story Synopsis: 

From Disney comes two-time Oscar® winner Brad Bird’s riveting, mystery adventure “Tomorrowland,” starring Academy Award® winner George Clooney. Bound by a shared destiny, former boy-genius Frank (Clooney), jaded by disillusionment, and Casey (Britt Robertson), a bright, optimistic teen bursting with scientific curiosity, embark on a danger-filled mission to unearth the secrets of an enigmatic place somewhere in time and space known only as “Tomorrowland.” What they must do there changes the world—and them—forever.

Featuring a screenplay by “Lost” writer and co-creator Damon Lindelof and Brad Bird, from a story by Lindelof & Bird & Jeff Jensen, “Tomorrowland” promises to take audiences on a thrill ride of nonstop adventures through new dimensions that have only been dreamed of.

 

ONE-LINER: 

In Disney’s riveting mystery adventure “Tomorrowland,” a jaded scientist and an optimistic teen embark on a danger-filled mission to unearth the secrets of an enigmatic place somewhere in time and space.

 

OFFICIAL BOILERPLATE:

From Disney comes two-time Oscar® winner Brad Bird’s “Tomorrowland,” a riveting mystery adventure starring Academy Award® winner George Clooney. Bound by a shared destiny, former boy-genius Frank (Clooney), jaded by disillusionment, and Casey (Britt Robertson), a bright, optimistic teen bursting with scientific curiosity, embark on a danger-filled mission to unearth the secrets of an enigmatic place somewhere in time and space known only as “Tomorrowland.” What they must do there changes the world—and them—forever.

Featuring a screenplay by “Lost” writer and co-creator Damon Lindelof and Brad Bird, from a story by Lindelof & Bird & Jeff Jensen, “Tomorrowland” promises to take audiences on a thrill ride of nonstop adventures through new dimensions that have only been dreamed of.

The film also stars Hugh Laurie as brilliant scientist David Nix, Raffey Cassidy, Tim McGraw, Kathryn Hahn, Keegan-Michael Key and Thomas Robinson.

“Tomorrowland” is produced by Damon Lindelof, Brad Bird and Jeffrey Chernov and directed by Brad Bird, with John Walker, Bernard Bellew, Jeff Jensen and Brigham Taylor serving as executive producers. “Tomorrowland” opens in U.S. theaters on May 22, 2015.

 

Share your child’s colored sheets or maze activities with the hashtag #Tomorrowland and Tweet Me @spreadingJOY and I’ll RT it for your Child! 

 

FREE DOWNLOADS: 

Coloring Sheet: tomorrowland coloring sheet

Mazes: tomorrowland mazes

Spot the Differences: tomorrowland spot the differences

 

 

Get Social with Tomorrowland:

Like TOMORROWLAND on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DisneyTomorrowland

Follow Disney Pictures on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DisneyPictures

Visit the official TOMORROWLAND website: www.Disney.com/Tomorrowland

TOMORROWLAND is rated PG and opens in theaters everywhere this Friday, May 22nd!

 


no joy like spreading joy

Don’t miss a single encouraging article!

Subscribe to Spreading Joy by Email:

 

Enter your email address:Delivered by FeedBurner

 

The Christmas Boutique

the-christmas-boutique-1403998987I’m excited to introduce you to the Christmas Boutique!

They are an online Retail Store that is dedicated to Christmas 24/7 – 365 Days a year.  My kind of store!

They have designed the store for easy shopping and browsing and have also put together great collections of decoration ideas for Christmas, so if you have a theme for your home you can easily find a range that would complement what you have already or simply choose a new collection to decorate this Christmas.

Here are a few things I’d like to share with you!

Set of Two Tartan & Burlap Styled Rustic Christmas Stockings

WP_20141104_19_54_39_Pro

These stockings are absolutely adorable!  Their cozy design will easily warm up any area and add to the wonderful memories being made each and every year!

 

Christmas Nativity Sets

WP_20141104_19_57_44_Pro

This Nativity Set is gorgeous! I have the red and creme but imagine that any of them will look beautiful among your decorations! Very well made and you won’t find yourself panicking if little hands are admiring Baby Jesus up close and personal.

 

Small Hessian Draw String Father Christmas Santa Sack Gift Bag

WP_20141104_19_54_54_Pro

This draw string gift bag would be perfect to hold those cookies in a jar gifts or any other handmade gift items! Would also make wrapping odd sizes gifts super easy!

 

Large Father Christmas Hessian Sack Jute Draw String Gift Bag

 

Got an over sized gift? This bag is the perfect way to wrap it! Have several small gifts to carry to someone’s house? You could use this bag to carry them all in and not have to make several trips or use plastic grocery bags. (looks like the bag above only LARGER!)

 

Silhouette Nativity Scene Hanging Christmas Decoration – Two Designs Available

WP_20141104_19_55_33_Pro

These Nativity Scene decorations for your tree will have everyone asking where you got them!  The Wooden look resin design will have everyone thinking that they were carved from a tree! This will make a wonderful addition to any tree!

 

This is just a small sampling of the products at the Christmas Boutique!

Make sure you check out their Deal of the Week 

USA and other International Residents – Here are your Shipping times and prices. You want to make sure your shipment arrives in time for gift giving!  Don’t let fact that the prices are in Euros – as it is only $6.27 to ship standard to USA.

 

Visit their shop today at http://www.thechristmasboutique.co.uk/ and see what you can find that will bring you great JOY this Christmas!

Follow them on Twitter @xmasboutique and like them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/thechristmasboutique

Thank you Stuart and team at Urban 33 Retail Group for allowing me to review items from your Christmas Boutique! I LOVE them!

*Disclaimer: These items were given to me in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. I am not required to give a positive review. 

 

 

no joy like spreading joy

Don’t miss a single encouraging article!

Subscribe to Spreading Joy by Email:

 

Enter your email address:Delivered by FeedBurner

 

Jesus Calling Devotional Twitter Party

968931

 

 

I’m super excited to let you know about a HUGE Twitter Party being hosted online by Family Christian Books on November 14th from 1pm EST to 2pm EST.

Featuring the Best Selling Devotional Jesus Calling by Author Sarah Young!

If you don’t have this devotional, you need to make sure you plan on being with us during this wonderful hour of encouragement centered around this book!  If you do have this devotional, plan on taking part because this will make an awesome gift to someone from you!  It’s a win-win for everyone!

You need to following along with the Hashtag #JesusCalling as we will be discussing this amazing devotional that has encouraged so many of us for years now!

There will be great Prizes!

5 Participants will win a Deluxe Edition of Jesus Calling AND A $50 Appreciation Certificate.

5 others will win a $50 Appreciation Certificate.

 

All you need to do to enter to win one of these great prizes is follow the Host @Family Christian on Twitter and if you’d like you can follow the Co-Hosts as well and make sure you attend the Twitter Party on Friday November 14th! 

Co-Hosts: 

@mudpiesandtiara

@Ellenblogs

@ahhmazingrvws

@aliciamarie112

@SimplySherryl

@CptFussybuckets

@annesramblings

@MimiBakerMN

@PeaOfSweetness

@spreadingJOY <-that’s me

Thanks Family Christian for this awesome opportunity!


Jesus Calling Devotional: 10th Anniversary Edition

familychristian

Follow along with Family Christian by visiting the following Social Media Sites:

https://twitter.com/familychristian

http://www.pinterest.com/familychristian/

http://family-christian.tumblr.com

http://instagram.com/familychristian

https://www.facebook.com/familychristian?ref=bookmarks

 

 

no joy like spreading joy

Don’t miss a single encouraging article!

Subscribe to Spreading Joy by Email:

 

Enter your email address:Delivered by FeedBurner

 

*Disclaimer, as part of the Family Christian Official Bloggers team I occasionally receive products and/or compensations in return for participation in various promotions.  As always, all opinions are my own and I’m not required to give  a positive review

Bite Size Cake

Pinterest – Love that place. Let me say right off, if I’m not following your boards, holler at me.  The more people you follow there, the more you’ll see and learn about. (Seriously, leave your link below.)

Instead of just “pinning” and never actually doing, I’ve been working putting my Pinterest account to work.

 

heart bite size cake with logo

 

For years I have dipped Nutter Butter Cookies in white chocolate or almond bark.  Something about this combination is very irresistible.  Any time they are a simple treat, but at Halloween, they can be ghosts.  At Christmas, they can be snowmen (cut a miniature Reese’s Cup in half for the hat.)  Great fun for the kids to make and decorate.

 

Easy Desserts

Here is my Pinspiration:

 

Here is what I came up with:

When I was experimenting on some recipes for my son’s wedding shower, I came across the above dessert.  I laughed and thought why not and why had I not thought of that earlier?  My only concern was the cake drying out.  My nephew and I started experimenting.

You’ll need:

Small cookie cutter any design (we used a tiny heart)

Wax Paper

Sara Lee Frozen Pound Cake

White Chocolate or Almond Bark – melted**

Fun Sprinkles

 

We sliced the thawed cake an 1 ½ thick and then took our little cookie cutters and cut out as many heart shapes as we could out of each piece, placing them on wax paper.

We melted our Chocolate in the tray that it comes in just as directed on the package and using a fork, we gently put the hearts in the chocolate.  We were careful to get it completely covered and then placed on wax paper to harden.  We topped them off with the sprinkles.

They were absolutely delicious! He said they reminded him of Little Debbie Zebra Cakes.

Our wedding shower was going to be big (we were expecting 50-60 guests,) so I had wondered if they would be ok overnight, in case I needed to make them a day ahead.  I literally left these on the wax paper overnight, covered them up and the next day they were still delicious! Storing them in an air tight container will be perfect for them.  I wouldn’t suggest refrigerating them as it can dry out the cake.

 

**use this type of chocolate for other things like pretzels, Ritz Crackers with peanut butter in the middle, etc.  lots of uses! THINK Homemade Gifts!**

 

 

I believe this is a PinWin but feel free to let me know your thoughts.

 

To see all of my Fun Foods, Weekend To Do’s and more, follow me over on Pinterest.

no joy like spreading joy

Don’t miss a single encouraging article!

Subscribe to Spreading Joy by Email:

 

Enter your email address:Delivered by FeedBurner

 

Back to School 2014 UPDATE

Back to School is such an exciting time.  It is also stressful for many parents as they get the ginormous list of items that are needed each year.  It seems that it is continuing to grow. 

Slide1

 

 

Thanks to you and your generous giving, we are able to help several hundred kids each year go back to school with the necessities.  While you may not realize it, this is a HUGE thing that you do!  Donations were down a bit this year and we were concerned that we might not be able to do as much as we usually do.

Thanks to you we were able to do more this year!

Thank you for giving of yourselves this year to help encourage children to do their best this year.

Thank you for praying over this event and spreading the word so that others can get involved and give.

Thank you for your monthly support that allows us to do more than we ever thought possible.

Thank you!

Slide2

We had a few events where we gave them out with a few churches that go out into the community and pick up kids that want to come to church, but don’t often have a way.  That is always fun and I’m thankful for churches that still provides transportation to anyone that wants to attend, but wouldn’t be able to because of transportation issues.

Each year, one of the things I look forward to is personally handing out the bags in neighborhoods that have a great need.  Yep, you read that right – I go out and deliver them personally.  This keeps my heart tender and on the lookout for other ways to encourage the discouraged.

My plan of leaving early that Saturday morning and getting them handed out before the heat set in fell through.  After 3 evening of 3 to 4 hours of sleep, I was simply exhausted and took my time getting ready.  I smile at that thought because I had no idea that God was putting me right where HE wanted me and at just the right time.

I got to the neighborhood around 11:30ish. I saw one of the Mom’s sitting on her porch.  I decided to see if I could find some kids and then I’d come back to her.  The heat had all of the kids indoors that day.  I drove back to the mom sitting outside.  Got out of the car and then realized that she didn’t look too happy.  As I got closer to her, she recognized me.  She gave me the biggest hug! I told her what I was doing and she said that everyone would be thrilled as they truly needed help this year.

She also told me that she was just sitting on her porch wondering and praying about what she was going to do due to an emergency situation that had just come up.  She had no food and nothing for her daughters very first day of school.  We talked for a little bit.  I told her that she had some hard choices ahead of her but “for right this moment” let’s go hand out school supplies.  So we left and spent the next 3 hours individually handing all of the bags full of supplies.  I decided to let her hand out the majority of them.

People hugged her, thanked her and the kids were super excited! They laughed and shrieked with delight.  I got several hugs as well.

 

Slide3

 

May I remind you – when your world is falling apart, do something for someone else.  It will help!

In the car we laughed and giggled with delight.  At one point she said “Wow, you get to do this every day” and I laughed and said “Yes, I do.  Still not as much as I’d love to, but yes.”  We discussed my “day job” and the fact that I volunteer for Spreading Joy just like everyone else does.  It’s an honor to do this.

YOU – yes, Y O U can do the same! Spreading JOY daily is fun!

Knowing the situation at hand and the tough decisions that are going to be made, I took this young mom shopping for groceries.  I let her out, allowed her to shop and I went to a neighboring store for school uniforms for her daughter.  4 Shirts, princess underwear, shorts, pants later, she had several outfits for her first week of school.  I returned to the grocery store and she had filled her buggy. I looked and there wasn’t “anything fun” there.  I couldn’t let that happen.  So we went down the cracker/cookie isle and I asked about the favorites.  We tossed in a few more things and then checked out.

I helped her take her groceries in. We talked for a little more and then I prayed with her. Trusting the situation to the Lord, asking for wisdom, strength and courage to step out.

Had I left that morning as planned, I would not have seen her sitting out on the steps.  I would have missed the opportunity to really bless this family.  While I had no idea, God knew.  I’m just thankful to be a vessel for His service!

Thank you for being a huge part of this journey this family is on! Thank you for handing out hope with us again this year! Thank you for caring for others and for doing what you can to help.

 

back to school items in bag 2014

 

Thank you for your donations and prayers to make this possible.

Thank you for Spreading Joy with us and for doing so daily!

YOU Matter, YOU are Spreading JOY!

 

Here is a link to some of the other major events we’ve been part of over the years.

Here is a link to our some of our accomplishments.  No way could we list them all as we truly do strive to make a difference daily for someone.

What’s next you ask?  Well….Christmas, of course!  Would you start giving now?  Will you start planning now?  Will you be part of Christmas JOY this year? Here is a look at last year’s Christmas Update. 

Thank you in advance for your love, prayers and support. 

 

 

no joy like spreading joy

Don’t miss a single encouraging article!

Subscribe to Spreading Joy by Email:

 

Enter your email address:Delivered by FeedBurner