Those of you who know me in real life know that our precious Man Cub decided to make his big debut over the weekend. He is oh so sweet and our girls couldn’t be more infatuated with him. I can’t wait to share more about his beautiful birth, but today I want to share a different story with you about serving others. This is dear to my heart right now as I am already overwhelmed with acts of service and kindness from our church family following our son’s birth. Also, please know that I did not write this post in the less than 72 hours since he was born. I wrote it last week in anticipation of his arrival. But I may have been creating the free printables for it while I was in early labor Friday night. #dedication
My oldest, like most kids (and adults), can get a little self-absorbed at times. And for the longest time, I battled the selfishness in the most ineffective way. I lectured, I preached and I scolded. I told her we should think of others and care more about their needs than our own. I explained the difference between needs and wants.
It wasn’t working.
Finally, I opened my Bible and read her Matthew 20:35, “In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must remember to help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'” and Galatians 6:10, “So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”
That’s when it hit me. I was telling her to be selfless, but I was not showing her how. The verses I read in hopes of convicting her and molding her young heart to look more like the heart of Christ convicted me and pricked my heart. I was not looking for opportunities to serve others; failing to model the behavior that I was expecting of her. No wonder it wasn’t clicking! And shame on me for neglecting to serve others outside of my home.
That’s when I came up with Thoughtful Thursday. She and I read through the church bulletin and think about people who might need a little pick me up. She loves making cards for people, so sometimes that’s all we do for Thoughtful Thursday. But taking time to make a personal visit is so much better; we are always blessed even more than the person we visit.
My own mother is so good at this Christian service. I have so many vivid memories of going with her to visit shut-ins in their homes or at the nursing home. She prepared me for what I might see, hear or smell and reminded me how much they loved to see children. On all of these visits, I can’t remember a time that we ever showed up empty handed. My mom is so crafty, has an amazing green thumb, and makes a mean chicken salad. Sometimes we would come with a small flower arrangement, sometimes a handmade card, and our most special friends would get a picnic of chicken salad on croissants. These gifts, although humble, meant so much.
Her example in mind, I wanted to make sure our visits included a gift – nothing extravagant, but something useful or encouraging. When our daffodils (or buttercups, as everyone in the south calls them) are in bloom, I will send her out in the yard to cut some before we head out on a visit. However, my favorite gift is a fresh loaf of Our Daily Bread. What is more comforting than some homemade bread?
Now, I have to be honest. Some days, this is as good as it gets. My to-do list is long, my kiddos are impatient and fancy packaging is just not in the cards. But you know what? Homemade bread delivered in a gallon sized Ziplock is still a welcome gift!
However, just a few minutes and a couple of simple supplies you probably have lying around can turn that Ziplock bag presentation into something oh so lovely.
Let me show you how easy it is. First, gather up your supplies; parchment paper, some baker’s twine, a hole punch and one of my free printable labels below or a DIY label of your creation. You’ll need a piece of parchment long enough to wrap around the bread about one and a half times.
Place your loaf of bread in the middle of the parchment paper (to ensure freshness, I would wrap in Press and Seal or clear plastic wrap if I wasn’t delivering it the same day).
Then pull the ends of the parchment paper together.
Next, make a series of 1 inch folds until the paper is tightly secured around the bread.
Next, fold up those corners – just like wrapping a Christmas present.
Finally, finish off your package with a bit of baker’s twine and a cute label.
You can find cute baker’s twine at your favorite craft store, or you can find several different types (like this: Maya Road Baker’s Twine Cording) on Amazon.com.
I miiiiight have a little too much fun creating fancy labels and may have gotten a little carried away, but here are several free printables that you can use to wrap up your favorite baked goods to share with those you love. For best results, print them off onto sturdy card stock.