September 19, 2016

When Small Wonders Make an Impact... #TheEncouragementDare


I'm not sure if y'all missed it, but for the first two weeks of September, Dayspring invited us all to participate in #TheEncouragementDare

I shared about it and participated in it more in real life and on facebook and instagram, but didn't really post much about it here.  I meant to, but I was busy writing less and encouraging more! (Ya see what I did there?)

When the dare was brought to my attention, of course I said yes! Encouragement is sort of my jam and even my tagline here (which is my life message) lends itself to taking this dare... this challenge... on a daily basis! 



I mention it every now and then (sarcastic font) that we have planted a church and with Fall and Back to School fast approaching, it was perfect timing for us, as a church, to take on this Dare immediately!

You see, our church has sort of 'adopted' the local public elementary school just down the road from where we gather on Sundays.  We began a relationship with the staff last year when we first opened our doors and it was important to us to love our neighbors well.  

We didn't want to come in and act like we had all the answers (clearly, we do not!) and we didn't want to just throw money at issues (although that helps!) 


Photo Credit                                                                     

We wanted to support the school and help meet some needs and hopefully grow some relationships. We wanted the teachers and support staff to know how much we pray for them and are thankful for how they pour into the kids of our City. We wanted the kids to know that they are loved and valued and have an identity and purpose.  

We wanted all of those things... but that can seem like a lot to bite off for a brand new church.

Last year, we did some things well and let others things slide off our radar, so as a staff we had already been praying into how to make sure we started the year off strong and stuck with it!

Enter #TheEncouragementDare and God highlighting the right person, at the right time, to be our point woman to the school!

 On the second day back to school (for the staff --before the students arrived!) we delivered pizzas for an in house training day.  

This was a win for a few reasons! First off, if the staff stayed and ate lunch on site, they got paid for their time. Secondly, it's pizza! Plus it was a chance for us to show our support and start the year off right!

I guarantee you that my backseat has never held so much pizza!

Our amazing point woman met with the Principal and Vice Principal and they agreed to let us to decorate a Bulletin Board each month, highlighting the schools Character Word of the Month. 

They also discussed some hands on needs and ways we can help the students. Some ideas were in class (like tutoring or helping to monitor an after school homework room) and some were physical (clothing items, school supplies, etc.)

One immediate need that they shared was the fact that the school did not have any balls for recess time.  Whether they had been lost or stolen or just wouldn't hold air, school was starting and the kids didn't have any activities for recess other than swings and bars and that sort of playground equipment.



I had the joy and honor of heading to a local store and purchasing all kinds of balls! We got footballs, basketballs, soccer balls, foursquare balls, and tether balls and filled my trunk and dropped them off at the school in time for recess!

Just this Sunday, Sandra brought a sweet Thank You card that was for the church signed by all the staff!

We believe in the call to impact our City and to love our neighbors and while some needs may be too big, there is always something that we can do to encourage and uplift!

You may not be able to afford to buy lunch for an entire school staff, but maybe you can buy lunch for a friend whom you have lost contact with, or for the homeless person you passed on the street. Maybe a trunk load of playground balls isn't in your future, but a closet full of clothes you no longer wear can benefit someone as the weather gets colder. You may not be able to gather a crowd and volunteer in the middle of the day, but you can gather some grace, and share a word of blessing to a co-worker or neighbor who may be having a hard day!
 

Sometimes we make things harder than they need to be and that is what I LOVED about Dayspring's Encouragement Dare! There were articles full of ideas on how to encourage in big and small ways. I encourage you to check our the posts!

What about you, sweet reader? Did you participate in The Encouragement Dare? The Dayspring challenge may be over, but any day is a great day to rise up and share encouragement! What can you do today to help make a difference by speaking life, being love, and shining on?





I'm also linking up with the lovely writer community linked below:

Kelly Chripczuk  for #SmallWonders 

Holly Barrett for #TestimonyTuesday


Kelly Balarie for #RaRaLinkUp

Lori Schumaker for #MomentsofHope


Jennifer Dukes Lee for #TellHisStory











18 comments :

  1. Praising the Lord with you and for you and your church! A beautiful way to honor, encourage, and shine the light of Christ...in a school, no less...a public school! I love it! I am a retired public school teacher and know that we surely would have been blessed had such occurred in one of the schools I taught in! Thank you.

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    1. Thank YOU for your years of pouring into the next generation! And thanks for stopping by!

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  2. I loved this! And no surprise, but awhile ago, we made lunch and delivered it to the school as a thank you. A school in our neighborhood....but of course right! Love you friend!

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    1. Because, OF COURSE!!! Love you right back!

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  3. You are a sweet inspiration and I hope your light shines so bright it burns a imprint on those around you. Sharing this today girl!

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    1. Well that just made my day! Thanks so much for sharing, Meg! xoxo

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  4. This is so beautiful! I love how you adopted the church and how all you are doing matters not only for the students, but for those hardworking teachers and staff! Pizza, balls, love! What else do you need?! What a gorgeous ministry and a great way to launch the fall season! I imagine all those kiddies so enjoying playing with all those balls!!

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    1. I love imagining the kids' faces when they saw that there were, in fact, a ton of new balls to choose from! So fun! Thanks so much for stopping by, Kathy!

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  5. Those are some great ideas to encourage the local school, Karrilee. The church where I work has a school ministry where each staff member is linked to a church member who prays for them throughout the year. The ministry also does a lot of things throughout the year to encourage the staff, such as bringing them a meal, and candy, etc. for holidays. I think it's a great idea for churches to show support for neighborhood schools.

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    1. Amen! I love that your church connects to the staff on aa personal level and commits to pray for them all year long! We may look into doing that as well!

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  6. You have encouraged me to slip out of the carpool line and take a peek at the playground. Why not bless the teachers and the school with a new dodge ball, soccer ball, or football. Thank you for reminding me to take a deeper look at the needs right before our very eyes. I am glad to have met you on Kelly's RaRaLinkup!

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    1. Oh my goodness, this is just my favorite!!! Isn't it wonderful when God reminds us that every little bit changes the world for someone and we really can do our part? I love this so much! Thank you!

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  7. Such a wonderful way to share the love of Christ and encourage some of the most underappreciated people in the world (says a teacher and a teacher's wife) ;) I'm a firm believer that a little encouragement goes a long way and it's one thing that almost everyone loves to receive. Way to go, friend!!

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    1. Right? It was so funny because the Principal and VP keep asking how they can promote us at the school? We keep saying no... that is so not why we are doing this! It's CRAZY what all teachers are expected to pay for out of pocket now and there is always a need - big and small... giving a little paired with a word of thanks and encouragement can make someones entire week! Why would we not do that? Thanks, friend, for stopping by - and to both of you and your hubby for pouring in to the next generation!

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  8. I just love how God works! What a fun opportunity to bless all of those children!
    Blessings and smiles, friend!
    Lori

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    1. Thanks so much, Lori! It's the beginning of blessing the children and the staff!

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  9. What an inspiring, joyful post, Karrilee! I love your heart and this mission: "We believe in the call to impact our City and to love our neighbors and while some needs may be too big, there is always something that we can do to encourage and uplift!" How different the world would be if more of us adopted it and lived it like this. Thanks for sharing your life and your gifts - always ENCOURAGING! Happy New year!

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    1. Thanks so much, Karen! How different, indeed! (Let's spark a fire in this New Year to see this change come about!) Happy New Year, friend!

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Thanks so much for stopping by! I always love to hear your thoughts! Remember to: Speak Life - Be Love - Shine On!
~Karrilee~

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