Helping Hands: Little Hands are Helping

HH1Proverbs 31:10, 20, 28 “An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels. She extends her hand to the poor, And she stretches out her hands to the needy. Her children rise up and bless her; Her husband also, and he praises her…”

It’s so easy to stretch ourselves too thin, or to think we have to choose whether we’re going to help others or help our family. But, we can do both at the same time! We can involve our children in small service projects for others, teaching them the importance of serving.

Things children can do

Clean. If there’s someone who needs help cleaning her house, this can be a family project. Children can sweep the floor, dust the furniture, gather trash, load silverware into the dishwasher (careful with knives!), etc. Any chore they have at home is a chore they can do in someone else’s home.

Yardwork. Older kids can mow grass or pull weeds while younger kids sweep the sidewalks or help rake.

Cook. Meals are often needed, and we can involve our children in this. The meal doesn’t have to be fancy – chicken nuggets with macaroni and cheese will be appreciated as much as a fancier dinner. The children can help prepare the meal (see a previous Cooking Corner article about cooking with kids), and go along to deliver it.

Bake. Bake some brownies with your kids, or a couple batches of cookies, distribute them onto paper plates, and deliver homemade goodies to your neighbors (you could even put several in a baggie and leave it in the mailbox, along with a nice note, for the mailman).

Make cards. Cardstock with envelopes, or just colored construction paper, with crayons or markers are everything needed to make cards for others. Write the words in bubble letters on the cover for young children to color in, and allow them to draw a picture underneath a nice note on the inside. Older kids can make these on their own, and may enjoy the project more if they’re allowed to make the cards on the computer.

Keoni AnchetaPhone calls. Put their chatting skills to good use – get a small list of shut-ins who would love to hear from someone, and take turns calling each person on the list (you go first to show them an example). Be sensitive to shy children, but encourage them to step out of their comfort zone to do something for Christ (Matthew 25:35-40).

Visit. Take children along to a nursing home, or an elderly person’s home, just to keep them company for a few minutes. Taking food or a card is a nice gesture, but not necessary, so don’t let being empty-handed stop you! Many people just want the company, and most love seeing children.

Not so perfect

Perfection is not the idea, so don’t worry about messy cards, a little dust left on the entertainment center, or some dirt still on the sidewalk. The idea is to teach our children how to cheerfully serve and give to others, and to bless someone else in the process (2 Corinthians 9:7), because sometimes it’s the little things that make all the difference.

– Davonne Parks

The Wedding Helper: The Big Day

We recently discussed helping the bride before the wedding. Now we’re going to cover how to help on her big day.

hh3The big day

The babysitter

If the couple is like most couples, they have probably included children in the guest list. If you enjoy kids––and have some experience with them––offer to babysit the children during the reception. Depending on the number of children and the ages, you may need to include the help of several others. But this service will not go unnoticed––the adults will be able to enjoy some time with the newly married couple without having to make sure their little one’s fingers are not in the cake.

The chef

Although this can certainly mean you can offer to do the food for the reception, you don’t have to go that far. Offer to provide some pre-ceremony snacks for the couple and their wedding party, especially if they’ll be getting ready during meal times. On your own, or with the help of others, prepare several trays of fruits and veggies and small finger foods. The availability will encourage the bride and others to eat something even if distracted and nervous.

The makeup artist

If you love doing makeup for friends, this may be the perfect opportunity to help out. It can be expensive to hire a professional to do wedding makeup, but brides often want the “expertise” of someone else on their wedding day. Offer to do her makeup on her big day. Make sure you have at least one practice session before the big day. This will give you the opportunity to experiment with color and technique. Also, learn beforehand if the bride (or her party, if you are doing their makeup also) are allergic to any ingredients found in makeup and skin care products. Even if it’s not the wedding day, no bride-to-be wants a major breakout or rash!

The hair stylist

hh2This is another area where the expense can really interfere with a bride’s wedding budget. And even if you’re not the professional stylist, many people can create wedding day tresses. As with the makeup, make sure to schedule in several practice sessions. Come equipped with pictures of up-dos and other styles that might suit the bride’s hair type. Curling irons and bobby pins are often an essential part of styling, so have these on hand. And don’t forget all the supplies on the wedding day!

The photographer

If you can consistently take professional-looking pictures, are able to do basic photo editing (to fix blemishes, coloring, etc.), and have a nice, reliable camera that you’re familiar with, consider offering to take photos for the wedding, as either a photographer, or an extra. If you’ve never photographed a wedding before, practice taking photos at other friends’ weddings (with permission!) before the big day. This can easily save the bride over a thousand dollars, and is something you can do for free as a gift. You can give her a CD of the finished product (after you’ve touched up the good photos, and deleted the bad) so she can choose which photos she wants to post online or print.

The clean-up crew

Like decorating, this job does not require a lot of talent. It really doesn’t require any talent. But it is one job that is often neglected and left for the family to deal with after the exciting and exhausting day. Although this service isn’t going to be in any pictures, it’s one that will be much appreciated. Offer to stay after all the guests––and the couple––have gone, to help clean up the reception area (and ceremony area, if needed). The family may have already hired someone to do this, or it may be included in the cost of the reception hall. But if the family is responsible for clean-up, help them out. It will let them finish more quickly and get home to rest after such a big day.

Weddings are filled with planning––many people put more thought into the planning of the wedding than they do the marriage itself. Helping with the wedding preparation or the big day itself is a great way for you to serve others with the talents God has given you (1 Peter 4:10).

“‘Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!’” Revelation 19:9

By Lisa Grimenstein

The Wedding Helper: Pre-wedding Assistance

hh1Her wedding is one of the most anticipated things in a girl’s life. We play it as young girls. We dream about it as growing young women. Then the time arrives––the wedding date has been set and it’s time to start planning. And this is where the stress often begins.

Although “wedding season” is coming to an end, there are still plenty of weddings going on, and more to come next spring. Many of you may have one or two friends getting engaged or planning their weddings. Now is your chance to help! Remember that while it’s fun–and helpful!–to play helper, and can save the bride a lot of money, make sure that you’re offering help in areas you are good at, not something you think would be fun to try, because inexperienced work could also cause the bride much unwanted disappointment and stress on her big day.

Pre-wedding assistance

The florist

Do you love arranging flowers? Maybe you work or have worked at a florist’s shop? This is a great way you can help out the bride-to-be. Offer your services to create the flower arrangements for the wedding. I know several people who have offered to provide flower arrangements and bouquets, at cost, for the wedding as their gift to the bride and groom. Not only does this save the couple the cost of paying someone to do it, but it allows you to bless them with the special gift of your service.

The baker

If your passion is baking, this might be a great way to serve the couple. Bake their wedding cake. Of course, this is definitely not the job for your average cake baker. If you feel confident enough to offer your services, make sure you practice, practice, practice! It would also be a good idea to take a class on cake decorating––especially one with a focus on wedding cakes.

The calligrapher

hh4Do people tell you you have great handwriting? Offer to help the bride with one of the most dreaded of all pre-wedding jobs––invitations. Set a day, or days, when you can get together and address wedding invitations. Not only will the job go faster, but it will give you some great talk time with your friend in the midst of all the wedding busyness.

The decorator

This is one of the most basic jobs you could help with. You really don’t have to be an interior designer to help out with the set up of the wedding and reception. Unless the couple are having their reception in a location where the decorating is taken care of, they will need to set up the place themselves. Offer to help set up flowers, lights, tables, and chairs at the wedding and reception places. This will remove a lot of stress from the bride and her family, who are usually the ones setting up.

Coming up

Later, we’ll discuss how to help the bride on her wedding day, so check back!

By Lisa Grimenstein

On-Campus Study Session

agly3“For Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the LORD.” Ezra 7:10

The weather may be warm and the sun may be shining, but we’re quickly approaching the start of a new school year. Many will be heading off to college––some for the first time. The beginning of a new school year offers a great opportunity to help out. Whether it’s your first year at a new school, or you’re returning to campus, an on-campus study session is a great way to make new friends or renew bonds with old ones.

Getting started

Assuming that you’re starting out at a new school, organizing a study group is a great way to get to know people. As you meet people, or as a way of meeting them, let them know that you’re thinking of starting a Bible study group. You may ask several girls on your hall in your dorm or some people from your biology class. I would recommend keeping it small at first, only 4–6 people.

When you have your group together, discuss a day and time. Keep in mind that college schedules widely vary. Many students have classes or labs in the evenings, or work jobs after class to make extra money. You may have interested people who just won’t be able to participate at the time. You may also find that your group has time available during an afternoon or on a Saturday morning. Once you have a day and time to meet, you need to decide on a location. You may reserve a study room in the library, meet in someone’s dorm room (if all of your study buddies are female), or find a quiet coffee shop or book store.

dbr3Next, choose a topic to study. This will help keep things moving when you get together. Don’t count on just coming together without a topic or book to discuss––it may result in everyone sitting and staring at one another. Decide on a book of the Bible that everyone agrees on. Or choose to discuss a specific topic, such as gossip, purity, or temptation. You may also agree on a book about a biblical topic to study by an author you’d all like to read. Just remember that although other authors may have very biblical things to say on certain topics, there is only one Author and Book you should ultimately go to for answers.

Your study session

Although there may be occasional exceptions, it’s important that everyone arrive to the session on time. You are all taking time out of busy schedules and study time and activities to be there, so be considerate of others’ time. The routine of the session itself is up to you. You may choose to start with prayer requests and praises and then have some time of prayer. Or you may leave that until the end. Even though praying out loud may seem awkward at first, try it anyways, even if it’s just a short prayer, and allow all group members to take turns leading in the upcoming weeks – praying out loud in a group setting is a skill that will serve all of you well throughout the years. Designate someone to keep everyone on topic. However, there may be times when something is on the heart of someone, and it’s completely appropriate to get sidetracked in order to develop closer relationships with others and with God through life experiences.

Although there should be some sense of routine, also remember to keep it casual. Have a snack on hand, or a pot of coffee available. Enjoy one another’s company and relationship while taking time out of school studies to study God’s Word.

By Lisa Grimenstein

It’s Time for Bible Class

hh2“From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” Ephesians 4:16

Summer’s here and that means two probable things––you’re out of school, and it’s VBS time! These things offer the perfect opportunity to help out in your church body. It’s important, as mentioned in the verse above, that each part of the body does its work, so that the entire body can function. That includes you!

Vacation Bible School

If your church is participating in a Vacation Bible School program, there are many things you can do to be involved and help out. Most likely, there will be a volunteer sign-up or an announcement asking for helpers and teachers. This is your chance to speak up. VBS offers many different areas for any gifting you may have. If you love to teach, volunteer to teach a class, or team-teach with someone else. Teachers are often needed, or at least volunteer to be a helper in one of the classes.

If teachers and assistants aren’t needed, there are plenty other things you can do to help out with VBS. Offer to make or bring refreshments. Cookies, brownies, and Rice Krispie treats are always a big hit––and easy to make. Provide some drinks for snack time, and then volunteer to stay at the table to pour and serve.

Vacation Bible School often means several other activities also, so discuss your ideas with the person heading up your VBS this summer. Love crafts? Organize a special craft project to go with the theme of VBS. Enjoy acting? Do a Bible character puppet show or skit with some friends for the younger children. If your VBS ends the week with a fun night, you could volunteer to organize several games for the kids, or to set up a face painting table if you’re artistic. Whatever God has gifted you with, use it!

hh1Finally, if all else is taken care of, volunteer to do what everyone else will certainly want to avoid––cleanup. Sometimes these forgotten, mundane tasks are the ones that leave the biggest impressions on others. Offer to clean up after VBS is over. Gather trash, clean up the kitchen, vacuum crumbs and glitter. Even if no one else gives you credit, remember that you are doing it to glorify God (1 Peter 2:12) and ultimately, that’s all that matters.

Bible Class

No VBS? Ask some of the teachers if you could help them with Bible school classes. They may enjoy a break for the summer while you take over the class. Or they may appreciate something as simple as you helping them to prepare Bible memory games or crafts that go with the lesson each week.

It’s important that we don’t just sit back and wait for others to volunteer for things that need to be done in the body, or wait for someone to approach us for help. We need to take notice and offer to do the things which we are able to do, so that we can help the church grow by using the talents with which God has gifted us.

In addition to helping, also start noticing when others in the body are doing body-work, and acknowledge it. Let them know how much you appreciate that they took the initiative to get things done. “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up” (1 Thessalonians 5:11).

By Lisa Grimenstein

Working Your Own Carwash

hh1Ephesians 6:7 “Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men.”

We’re entering into summer, and it’s a great time for service, with the warmer weather offering us plenty of opportunities to serve outdoors. This month’s project idea can be done any time during the summer––a carwash!

After getting the okay from the elders of your church (if using the church grounds), you’re ready to begin the planning. Although many of our recent projects could have included the involvement of youth group friends, this is a great time to get them involved if you haven’t yet. You can also make it a church-wide service project, including some older people from your church who might be interested. Start with a date. Often, Saturdays are going to work best, since this is when school is out and people tend to be on weekend work breaks. Check the forecast as best you can, and plan on a sunny day carwash. One thing to remember––if it’s nearing exam time, don’t plan on doing it until after if many volunteers will need the weekend to study, or you may find yourself with a very small group of washers! Once you have your volunteers and scheduled date, it’s time to start preparing.

Be Prepared

The carwash is going to be a washout if you get there and realize things were not prepared in advance. Designate some artistic people in the group to make signs for the day of the carwash. Make sure the signs announce that the wash is free. You’ll need one large sign for the entrance to the wash, but also some smaller ones to post around the nearby community. It will definitely be beneficial to be located near a water spout for hoses. And you’ll need soap. Make sure you’re using something mild that won’t damage cars. Have plenty of rags and sponges on hand. This needs to all be collected well in advance so you’re not rushing around the day of the carwash trying to track stuff down as cars start pulling in. (Buckets and other supplies may be donated by those in the church, borrowed, or bought with some church finances.)

Be modest

hh2This is among the most important things to remember. Consider who you are representing––God and His church. It’s all too common to see carwashes where the young women and girls are dressed to turn heads. So it’s a little hot. Remember that you’re not doing this to impress everyone that drives or stops by. You’re doing this to serve others, and ultimately, God! Wear something comfortable that you don’t mind getting messy and wet, but don’t dress in anything that is going to be inappropriate––before or after getting wet.

Be efficient

It may be fun to fool around with your friends and have a water fight mid-way through the day, but remember that people are waiting. Those who have stopped have come to have their cars washed––not to witness an afternoon water fight among friends. When someone stops by, be as quick as possible to get started on their car––and do a thorough job. You’re there to serve them, and they have other places they probably need to be.

Be clear

You are doing this as a service. If anyone asks about paying you, let them know that you are doing this to serve others and God, and that the service is free of charge. If they insist on giving a donation, suggest they donate the money to their favorite charity.

Washing Up

When the day is over, be sure to clean up any mess that has been made. Gather your supplies and make sure they are returned to wherever they need to be. Hopefully the day has gone smoothly and has been a success in making others feel the love from your service. And hopefully, those served will be encouraged to go out and serve others.

“If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 4:11

By Lisa Grimenstein

The Great Outdoors

hh1“God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” Genesis 1:31

Have you ever wondered what the Garden of Eden must have looked like? It was a place without sin, the perfect place God originally intended for us to have. It was cared for by God Himself. How beautiful! I can just imagine the quiet flowing waters, flowers of every kind and color and scent, birds with the most beautiful song. And then sin entered (Genesis 3). And since then, although God’s hand is still in every part of His creation, it has never again been so perfect, so ideal.

This column is called Helping Hands, and this month, rightfully so––we are going to put our hands to work! In many past articles, we’ve been using our talents to serve others; this month, we’re going to serve God by cleaning up His creation. “For the LORD your God will bless you in all your harvest and in all the work of your hands, and your joy will be complete” (Deut. 16:15).

This month’s project is simple––clean up. That’s it. It doesn’t require back-breaking labor, expensive tools, or money––it just involves what God has already given you––a little time and a little energy. And what better time to get outside and clean up His creation than spring, when the weather is warming and everything is coming alive again?

There aren’t any major procedures to go through for this task. One thing I will mention is that you be aware of your surroundings when setting off to work. Although I recommend gathering a group of friends to do this project with you, it is important that you work in an area in which you are familiar, and that is safe. Make sure you respect people’s property and stay out of restricted areas. Choose a local park, or your neighborhood or a friend’s, and set to work cleaning up during the daylight hours. Not only is this for safety, but also practicality––have you ever tried to clean up trash in the dark?

hh2Very few things are needed for this project, but what is needed is important. Gather several trash bags; if you’re taking a group, make sure each person has one. Also make sure that each person has several sets of disposable gloves. We may be using our hands to serve God, but that doesn’t mean we have to get them messy with stale drinks and chewing gum––gross! The gloves are important because there are a lot of germs and disease, and we need to protect ourselves in whatever ways we can. (Taking some hand sanitizer isn’t a bad idea, either.) If you want to carry a poking stick with you to pick up paper, that’s fine, but not necessary.

And now it’s time to get started. It’s as easy as taking a stroll in the park or a hike on a trail and picking up trash. You can be as picky as you want––any little bit helps. Remember that whether you work for only an hour or two or dedicate an entire day to it, you are doing something that wasn’t being done by someone else. And because this project is so simple, it can be done continuously, whenever you get the chance.

When you’re finished cleaning, or your gloves get too soiled to use anymore, you’ll need to keep your hands protected while taking them off. Here’s how:

Gently peel the glove off of one hand, starting with the wrist. Pull it down over your hand so that it ends up off your hand, inside out. Hold that glove in the other hand and use your bare hand to do the same with the opposite glove, pulling it down over the hand so that it ends up inside out, containing the first glove inside.

Remember that we’re not working to please man, but to glorify God who “…has seen my hardship and the toil of my hands” (Genesis 31:42).

Job well done! Now go treat yourself to an ice cream with your friends––just wash your hands first.

By Lisa Grimenstein

Dust Off Those Dresses!

www.modestbydesign.comIt’s that time of year again. We’ve started hearing of formal events in the halls and may have begun receiving invitations to weddings and banquets. And something starts to fill our minds––what to wear! We talk and plan and shop. For many of us, new clothes are exciting, and something as rare as getting to choose a new formal dress is even more so. But sadly, there are plenty of girls who approach this time with hesitation. Many do not get to enjoy the fun time of browsing with friends and shopping with Mom because they cannot afford to do so.

If you’re anything like me, spring also introduces another feeling––the desire to clean out my stuff! Without even thinking about it, I realize as spring approaches, that I have an urge to get rid of my stuff. Maybe it’s because I’ve been cooped up all winter looking at it. Or maybe it’s the freshness of the season that makes me want to simplify. Regardless, it coincides perfectly with a great project for this month––a dress drive!

There is nothing worse than having stuff in my closet that I know I’ll probably never wear again, but that I don’t know what to do with. This year, as you’re out looking at new dresses for your occasion, consider those who won’t be doing that same thing because of cost or other reasons. Start by letting your friends know that you’ll be organizing a dress drive to collect formal dresses for girls who need them. Research beforehand, or with friends, an organization you’d like to support. There are many to choose from, provided simply by going online and looking up “formal dress drive.” The options range from collecting for cancer patients to those who have lost homes and possessions in natural disasters. Whichever you choose to support, I recommend making sure it is a moral, upright organization.

Get the word out! Let your friends know your plan, and tell them to let their friends know. Ask if you can post or pass out flyers at school announcing your dress drive. Include specifics, such as the condition of dresses and dates when they must be delivered by. And then start collecting.

There are several things to remember about donating these dresses. First, make sure the dresses are in really good condition. Don’t give away dresses that have stains or marks on them or that are torn. (If there are tears, see if they can be sewn and repaired, and then donate them.) Just continue to keep in mind the question, “Would I want this dress in this condition, if it were me?” Some of us may have dresses that are somewhat outdated. Consider this when donating. Some styles do come back, and sometimes vintage is really cool, but if the dress has an obviously outdated look to it, consider donating it to a theater or your school’s drama department (while you’re in the mode of purging your closet).

hh1bI believe there is another thing that is equally important to consider when donating your old dresses, and this is modesty. Maybe you don’t have any immodest dresses in your closet, and so this isn’t an issue. But many people will be donating dresses that are questionable. Many dresses can be altered to be more modest, and while this isn’t your responsibility when hosting a dress drive, you don’t want to be sending others dresses that are going to be inappropriate (1 Corinthians 10:32, Matthew 5:28). Ask another adult, a parent or someone from your church, to help you decide what is appropriate to donate. Sometimes what one person sees as modest, another sees as inappropriate.

Please note

Most dress drives run from February to April, so don’t put off setting this up! If you’re too late for your chosen dress drive, contact them because they may still be accepting donations. If you can’t find a dress drive you want to donate your dresses to, consider taking the formal wear to a local women’s shelter. You could also sell the dresses at a consignment dress shop or online with your friends, then donate the money to your favorite charity.

Serving others and giving should not be new to us at this point. We’ve discussed both topics before, and we know how often serving and giving, although intended to glorify God and share His love with others, fills us with His love and joy in the process. God has freely blessed us so generously, and He commands us to share those blessings with others. “Freely you have received, freely give” (Matthew 10:8). So this spring, while you’re thinking of your own dress to buy, consider those who also would like to enjoy these events, and simplify your closet in the process.

By Lisa Grimenstein

Be My Valentine

helpinghands1Everyone loves to feel loved. And what better month to show others God’s love than the month of Valentine’s Day. After several busy months of larger projects, we’re going to spend February focusing on a simple gesture of love. Not toward your sweetheart, siblings, or even parents. Let’s share God’s love by sending Valentine’s to people who may have once received them, but may not anymore. I’m talking about widows, widowers, and older folks who often get lost in this holiday-of-love shuffle.

You may already have someone in mind who has lost a spouse, or who may spend this holiday alone. There may be several people at church, someone on your street, or a teacher at school. Choose several people to make a card for. If you don’t know anyone personally, consider making several non-specific Valentine cards for several people at a local nursing home.

I can’t remember many times in childhood that were more fun than making my Valentine’s in preparation for this exciting holiday. Gather your art supplies—glitter, glue, scissors, markers, anything—and some colorful paper, and let your creativity flow! I remember cut-outs, pop-ups, glitter heart stickers—anything to make your card truly original. If you’re having trouble getting started, visit Love To Know or HGTV to spark your own creativity. And don’t forget to check out our card-making article.

Although you may have more fun making the cards than you could have imagined, the real fun comes when you are helpinghands2finished and you get to deliver the cards to their recipients. I think there is a special feeling in seeing older people realize that on a holiday when so many are thinking about young love, someone was thinking about them. You may want to include a simple, single flower—or inexpensive bouquet—or some homemade cookies or bread (remember to consider possible dietary restrictions). Although they will be blessed to receive a card, you will be the one who is truly blessed in sharing God’s love with others.

– Lisa Grimenstein

Helping to De-clutter

hh1Proverbs 31:20 “She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.”

It’s the New Year. A time of simplifying. However, this can mean a very stressful time for many people. Although I love to organize, I know that there are many who do not have that “talent.” This time of year offers a great opportunity to help someone else by helping them to de-clutter their stuff. It may be a room in their house, or just a closet or box. Whatever it is, it may be something that has been hanging over their heads, something they’ve been dreading to do, or are unable to do themselves. If you also want to take this time to de-clutter your own space, check out our June 2008 issue, Closet Clean-up. This article offers great ideas for simplifying your own life this time of year, while at the same time giving to others.

Begin by considering who you can help. Pray about it. Is there a widow at church who could use help cleaning her basement? Is there a mom of four who needs a help getting started on that closet or box of pictures she’s been dreading? Sometimes all it takes is someone else’s presence to motivate us to do things we’ve been putting off. Approach the person you’ve chosen and offer to help them simplify and organize as a way for you to serve them. You may actually get turned down by several people before you find someone willing to accept your help. We are often too prideful to admit that we could use the help of others. It is important, however, to be careful in how you approach someone. Even if you are aware that they are not organized or are untidy, try not to mention that in your approach. Remember, your primary reason for doing this is to serve, and glorify God. I suggest asking the person you’ve considered that you want to serve them by helping them with a project that they’ve been putting off. If she is a busy mom, tell her that you know she may not have time for her own projects and organizing, and you’d like to help her.

After finding someone you can serve, set a date and time that’s convenient for them. You may even set several dates and times in order to get through a larger job. Come prepared with some organizing and de-cluttering tips, which you can find online if you are not an organizational person. Then let them take the lead. Encourage them to make decisions of what to do with their clutter, but allow them to make the decisions on what goes and what stays. Some things have value to a person that we would never understand, so let them have control of that. As I mentioned before, your job may simply be to motivate them to begin their project and get through it. You can gently encourage them to consider why they have been holding onto something. They may not even know anymore, and only have it out of familiarity.

hh2For other people, they may not need help deciding at all! You may choose to serve someone who simply needs assistance moving stuff or taking it to a donation center. Depending on the size of the job, you may need to enlist the help of someone with a truck. Try not to leave the person with the bigger job of cleaning up after the organizational overhaul. Allow yourselves enough time to complete the task, even if it means returning a little later to finish.

Helping people simplify their space and lives can be such a blessing to them. It can often help them to feel more peaceful about other aspects of their lives. But far more important in helping someone is showing them God’s love through our service to them.

Lisa Grimenstein