Summer has only one meaning to me: the beach. When I lived a mere 45 minutes from the ocean, I took it for granted. Now that it takes significantly more effort to reach the majestic blue Atlantic, I go every chance I can! What does Summer mean to you? Vacation? Early morning hikes? Soaking in the air conditioning?
Summer, with its bright possibilities, has a way of filling the human heart with hope. While your spirits are high and your serotonin is hard at work, take your good mood to someone else. Who can you bless this season while still enjoying the warm sun and fresh air?
Here are a few sunny ideas to review and implement:
- Start a car wash ministry! Have you ever had someone come to your house and offer to wash your car to raise money? Instead of raising money for a mission’s trip or ministry, go on your own hometown mission with your significant other and friends. Offer to wash your neighbors’ cars for no charge. It is a way to get to know people you do not already know and, hopefully, open the door to talk to them about Christ!
- Take walks! You may be able to get out of the house and go for a stroll any time you want, but there are some in your community who cannot. Why not volunteer with your boyfriend or girlfriend at a nursing home or sign up for a ministry for the homebound through your church. You can brighten someone’s day simply by helping him or her take a walk, offering some companionship in a local park, or pushing his or her wheelchair through a beautiful garden. Roll up your sleeves and soak up the sun while offering some sunshine to those who need it a great deal more!
- Assist your neighbors! If your neighbors or someone in your community is working on a project, why not offer a helping hand? Not only will it be a blessing to them, but it can create a lasting friendship and community kinship.
- Create a play group with some local kids or just go outside and join the fun. Have you ever looked out your window and seen kids playing basketball or make-shift hockey in the street and secretly desired to jump in the game? Why not spend some time outside getting to know the children who live around you by joining in some of their games? (Make sure it is okay with their parents first!) What child does not love attention from people at least ten years older than them? You may be able to create a special bond and be a major influence on some young lives.
- Pack beach survival kits for your fellow sand dwellers. My friend’s mom has always been the best at packing beach goodies and needed supplies. Even when she cannot join us, she still compiles all the necessary items beforehand so we will have need of nothing when we reach the pier. It is a small gesture which is much appreciated! When you go to the beach (… or lake … or pool, etc.) with friends, pack a few extra items which are commonly forgotten and be a blessing! (You can find SmarterTravel’s Beach Packing List here for ideas!)
- Start an exercise group. Does anyone else you know want to get in shape but need a push? Create a walking group, an aerobics group, a Zumba group – some kind of exercise group. This crowd of friends can encourage each other to make healthier choices while also enjoying some lively fellowship!
- Walk some doggies. Most of the houses on my block have dogs, but not all of the residents are young and flexible. We do not have to look too far to find an older person who needs help caring for his or her beloved pooch. Maybe both the pup and the owner could use a walk and good conversation?
- Pass out water and goodies in a high traffic area. A busy part of the beach? An outdoor concert or event? Outside of a busy shopping center? You can bake cookies or brownies and attach a Bible verse to each one, give information about your place of worship, or attach the address of a ministry-focused website. A free goodie will make an impression. ~smile~
- Volunteer at a camp. If you work full time, is there a weekend camp which could use your services? A church camp that needs counselors? A local Boys and Girls Club which needs assistance with some outdoor activities? You and your boyfriend or girlfriend can volunteer together, make a difference, and have a great date to boot!
What other ways can you make a splash this summer? We can have fun and make a difference in the world one goodie bag and cold water bottle at a time! ~smile~ Happy beach season to you all!
What excellent summer blessings do you have in store?