Over the past few years, one of the most requested topics on my speaking circuit has been a lesson in which I list a hundred ideas for training our kids to be servants. Service oriented kids grow up to be productive adult servants in the kingdom and it’s those people to whom the Lord will say, “Come ye blessed of my Father,” according to Matthew 25. So it matters if I’m making a real effort, as a mom, to put the heart of a servant in my child. For this reason, I’ve decided to devote a post, every now and then, to a service suggestion — a simple idea for moms to make their homes busy service centers for young hearts and hands. I’d love to hear from those of you who try them. So here goes:
Holiday Gifts for Teachers
Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day! Traditionally a big Colley holiday, the family Valentine box comes out each year, gets pretty full by the big day, and my husband always gets ludicrous boxer shorts with some cartoon character and an accompanying heart-themed saying stamped all over them. Doesn’t every husband get those every year? I fondly recall the kids under the dining room table making valentines and stuffing them in that box even weeks before the big day.
I also remember the good old days when brown paper bags decorated with hearts served as classroom mailboxes. They were taped securely around the school room wall and it was very hard not to peek before the party. It was a pretty big deal to finally tear into that “mailbox” and read the “I-like-you-beary-much” or “You-are-just-ducky-Valentine” cards and start writing with a brand new red pencil placed in the bags by the teacher.
I’m glad children still take valentines to school. I know it’s different nowadays, with so many children with allergies as well as social restrictions. I am trying not to think about little Morgan Nyman of Milwaukee, Wisconsin who, several years ago, found herself in the middle of a lawsuit, at only eight years old, because she carried homemade valentines with messages about Jesus to distribute to her classmates. It’s just hard to believe something like that could happen in the USA. But since this happened to Morgan in 2001, similar incidents have occurred often and in most areas of our country.
For today, though, let’s take a few moments to be sure we use the holiday to teach our children to serve in the body. I know if your children go to school, they carried a sweet card or box of candy to their teachers. Be sure you use this and all fun holidays to show appreciation to those classroom teachers who are giving your children the most important knowledge. Bible class teachers are surely deserving of your remembering them at every holiday. But even more important than Valentine happiness in that teacher’s heart is what will happen in the heart of your child when you explain that the most important teachers are those who are teaching the Word of God. Taking a few minutes to dish out a child’s portion of what “eternity” means while you are making these teacher valentines is an opportunity to once again put heaven in your child’s heart. You want to take every chance to do this. It’s a great Family Bible Time activity, too. (And this Sunday is not too late to take your Valentines to class!)
Here are a few ideas:
- Bake a loaf of bread with your child (any kind) and let your child write on a heart-shaped card “Thanks for giving me the Bread of Life.”
- Let your son make a super-heroes card and include the message “Thanks for teaching me about the REAL super-heroes.”
- Let your daughter make a princess card and write “Thanks for showing me every Sunday that I am a real daughter-of-the-King princess!” Hobby Lobby has some very inexpensive “jewels” for gluing on a jar of lotion or a bag of cocoa.
- A Snoopy card can be about “getting ‘snoopy’ in the Word” or a jar of goldfish crackers can be about “making me a fisher of men” or a fruit basket can be about “showing us the fruit of the Spirit.”
- Or place an inexpensive candle down in a jar of pink jelly beans or red m&ms and make your card say “Thanks for teaching me about the Light of the World.”
- Or…make this simple recipe for Cherry Bark and attach a note: “Thanks for life’s sweetest lessons!”
Prep Time: 5 minutes
16oz Vanilla Candiquik
0.3oz pkg Sugar-Free Cherry Gelatin
1 bag (9.9oz) Cherry m&m candies
2 Tbsp Valentine sprinkles
1. Line a large 15×10 baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Melt vanilla candiquik according to package directions. When smooth, stir in cherry gelatin. Pour onto parchment paper. Use a spatula to spread thin. Immediately sprinkle with cherry candy and sprinkles. Allow to set (about 20 minutes). Break into pieces and store in air tight container at room temperature. ENJOY!
If you can’t find Vanilla Candiquik, use almond bark or Wilton’s vanilla candy melts.
You get the idea. And, of course, Pinterest makes the possibilities endless. Just take the time to do this with your children. If you don’t get around to it for Valentine’s Day, be ready for an upcoming holiday. You will be glad for it. Happy Valentine’s Day!