Planet Ark

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Our last summer service play group took place this past Tuesday! We had such a great time for all five weeks. I’m so thankful.

We read the story Planet Ark about how we can all be modern-day Noah’s through caring for our environment.

We were able to support seven families in Bangladesh in receiving a fruit tree seedling that will provide food and income through World Renew.

The kids made leaf creatures and were awesome at the nature scavenger hunt!

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Next week I would like share about the groups more personally, but for today I’m so thankful they became a reality, for all the participants, support, and amazing difference makers! And… there will be more. Hopefully forever and forever.

About Proximity formed some wonderful partnerships and we will be moving to hold more events throughout the year with Jodi Baron of Grace Episcopal Church in Holland.

Please, join our facebook service play group page for details and opportunities!

We’d love your ideas and to partner with you. I really mean that! Partnerships are what make a difference in our world. Every story and everything we did was better because we worked together as a community!  aboutproximity@gmail.com

 

 

 

Summer!

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We are on an eleven and a half day countdown until the end of school! June 10 (pending survival on field day.)

Exciting opportunities are coming this summer…

 

Questions about the Holland Summer Serve Play Groups? Click here! 

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About Proximity is joining kindness experts and host Sheila of Pennies of Time for Virtual Kindness Summer Camp.

This is a Facebook Group where great conversation will take place and lots of ideas will be shared about serving with our kids. About Proximity is sharing Talk Justice Play Groups.

We’d love to have you join in. Click here and request to be a part of the group.

 

I love that summer changes speed, and the space it makes for friends and family.

I love the bike riding, beach hanging, ice cream, and the kids Nerf squirt gun fights.

(The only thing I don’t love is our neighborhoods love affair with fireworks. All DAY and ALL NIGHT, yet only legal the day before, of, and after the ten federal holidays.)

I love being able to sit at my desk in my office/guest bedroom/kids creation zone and write. I will be working on two big projects this summer. They have been wake up at 4:00 a.m. freak-out projects, but I know that God is bigger then my fears.

  • Finishing up Changed for Life, a curriculum about entering into short-term missions as a long-term partnership, with respect and humility for the work already occurring in the host community. (I’ve been a co-writer on this project for some time, and I am so excited to see it moving to completion.)
  • 88 Playgroups that Make a Difference: Helping Children Engage Justice Issues that Really Matter. You can pray with me that this project might become more than a document on my laptop.

Also, I should clean my house.

Mostly, I share these things because I want to know what you are doing this summer! What are your plans, fun activities, the ways you are going to slow down, projects? What you are most excited about? 

 

 

 

#TalkJustice: Creation Care

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Kids #TalkJustice Creation Care

Recycling, using energy efficient light bulbs, saving endangered species. Kids are pretty good at protecting the environment. How can our families dig deeper, see the big picture of caring for God’s creation, and strengthen our impact? It is important for our kids to know our consumption habits effect the world around us. The environment is a facet of our lives that really connects us globally to the rest of the world. We have a responsibility to care for what God created.

Creation Care Discussion Starters:

creation care conversation starters

Help your family go deeper: 

  • Could you add a new habit each month this year?
  • What about the drought in California? How could we be proactive even if we don’t live there?
  • If we don’t care for the environment now, how might that effect our future?
  • Could your habits effect someone in China?
  • How can we reuse things?
  • What things do we buy local? Is there anything we could add?
  • Do our efforts make a difference? How could we share what we do to help others contribute too?
  • Does our church have any green habits? Could we begin any?
  • Does our school have any green habits? Could we begin any?
  • Are there any local projects we could get involved in?
  • Do we support our local farmer’s market?
  • Are there any global projects that protect the environment we can be involved in?

Kids Books about Creation Care:

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The Curious Garden, Compost Stew, Curious George Plants a Tree, Michael Recycle, The Magic School Bus Climate Challenge, Fancy Nancy Earth Day is Everyday, Biscuits Earth Day Celebration, and Gabby and Grandma Go Green.  

 

 

 

19 Ways to take Action: 

 

A creation care twitter list to follow.

Follow our About Proximity #TalkJustice Pinterest Board.

#TalkJustice Summer Serve Play Groups! Come over to our Facebook Event Page to learn more. Invite friends! We will be exploring topics and making a difference in community, using a series of books donated to us from CitizenKid. Hosted by About Proximity (that’s me) and my Mom, a public school family advocate for two decades.

What is your family’s best green tip? We’d love to hear about it! 

 

 

 

#TalkJustice: Clean Water

talkjustice #TalkJustice: Clean Water  Last week we talked Hunger. Clean water is another great justice topic to start with for kids. They understand thirst. Beyond, thirst we can teach them that unclean water makes people sick. We can talk about water scarcity and how that affects everyone on the planet.

Whenever we talk to our kids about justice issues we can be positive, because there are so many ways we can help! Even though the topics can be heavy, we can make a difference, and that’s something to be excited about. cleanwater conversation starters Help your family go deeper:

  • Do we use more than our share of water?
  • Imagine using unclean water for laundry, showers, drinking, cleaning dishes.
  • What dangers might occur trying to transport clean water to your home? Might it make you vulnerable? Would you have time to attend school?
  • Without water could anything survive?
  • More and more people face water scarcity. How could that affect everyone on the planet?
  • If you had to walk thirty minutes to get clean water, how would you use water differently?

clean water booksKids Books About Clean Water: 

Clean Water for Elirose: by Ariah Fine 

A Long Walk to Water: by Linda Sue Parker

Ryan and Jimmy: by Herb Shoveller

One Well: by Rochelle Strauss

Mimi’s Village: by Katie Smith Milway

19 Ways to Take Action!

A Clean Water Twitter List to Follow.

Follow our About Proximity #TalkJustice Pinterest Board.

Introducing #TalkJustice Summer Serve Play Groups! Come over to our Facebook Event Page to learn more. We will be exploring topics and making a difference in community, using a series of books donated to us from CitizenKid. Hosted by About Proximity (that’s me) and my Mom, a public school family advocate for two decades.

I LOVE to hear from you! Did you try any hunger or clean water activities? What conversations came up in your family? 

Next Up: Education

When More is Not Enough

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When More is Not Enough! This is Amy’s big day!

Have you ever dreamed of giving your gifts away. If I ever make enough money, I’d love to… well Amy didn’t wait. ALL proceeds of her book are going to Transformation Village, a housing ministry for women and children founded by Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministries. That extravagant generosity is Amy, and you will love her book.

 

She empowers us all to be givers and to raise givers with her smart, compassionate and funny voice. She gives birth on the side of the road, converses with imaginary critics and struggles through her daughters first years on permanent oxygen. Her journey to generosity is transparent, honest and down-to-earth.

God wanted more. He expected it. God desired to take what we saw as ours and turn it into his.”

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Amy encourages us to leave behind the term youth entitlement. She offers practical ideas for our world, our community and in our home. I especially love the dinner table dialogue sections.

She also goes beyond the most often shared service ideas and challenges our hearts to serve through forgiveness, prayer and rest. What a beautiful invitation, that in order to serve we must rest. We must pray. And we must be ready to offer forgiveness. Providing rest, service and prayer for others is also an act of service.

 

This kind of heart shaping, deeply loving, extravagantly generous service shapes a beautiful life. We know this from the voice and life of Amy.

 

I’ll be giving away TWO copies of the book!

Just comment below to be entered. What is your biggest giving dream? What is your families best giving ideas?

Lets give Amy lots of proximity love! You can share her book, follow her journey on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and subscribe to her blog by email! We love you Amy and so beyond proud of you and difference your book will make!

AmySullivan

How to Make Fighting Poverty a Family Activity

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Live 58 Fast. Forward. The End of Poverty

(I can’t wait to share more about this organization in a future post.)

World Renew (where my husband works) is an alliance partner of Live 58.  I work with their Mom and Dad Content Team. Kris and I used to work side-by-side in ministry. Now we work in separate places, but its been really fun to see how God continually overlaps what we love to do.

 

Kris and I had the opportunity to write about making fighting poverty a family activity!

Please click over today and join the conversation!

Give Back over the Spring Season!

spring giving

Spring is coming. (Not as fast as I hoped it would.) Dirty gray snow please melt away…

10 Easy Ways to Give Back over the Spring Season! 

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1. My Family’s Favorite Spring Treat: Bird’s Nests, make them together and double the batch to share. Here is the recipe:

  • One 7 oz. jar of marshmallow creme  
  • 1/4 cup of creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons of melted butter
  • 1 can of chow mein noodles (3 cups)
  • 1 cup of chopped M&M’s Plain
  • Peanut M&M’s or other candy to fill the nest.

Combine the marshmallow creme, peanut butter and butter. Mix well. Add noodles and plain M&M’s. Fill the nests!

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2. Spring Craft: Purchase some small, plain terra cotta flower pots. Get out paints and help your kids hand decorate the pots. Deliver them with a packet of seeds as gifts to others.

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3. Try Composting: Read this guest article by my sister-in-law Jen for ideas of how to get started.

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4. Family Recycling Activity:  Explore Recycle City with the whole family. Make a list of ideas you can implement into your home.

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Image courtesy of [Just2Happy], freedigitalphoto.net 

5. Plant: Take time to plant something new this spring a tree, bush, strawberry plant, seeds, a small flower.

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6. Garden Donations: If you garden and have excess consider donating some of your crops. Sometimes churches allow members to offer their excess to other members. When you visit the farmer’s market this summer, consider dropping a gift off to someone who might need a little extra.

IMG_22727. Family Time is Important: Get outdoors together as a family: take a bike ride, a hike, a nature scavenger hunt, play in the beach sand, visit a new playground. Whatever you choose, do it together!

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8. Did you know you could recycle this stuff? Spring clean with purpose. 

  • Paint. Habitat for Humanity Restores take latex paint to remix and resell. Find a location near you. 
  • Crayons. They can be recycled into new crayons. Learn more here.
  • Batteries. Visit Call2Recycle for a location near you.
  • Visit Earth911.com and type in any search for an object and see if there is a place to recycle near you.

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9. Family Raking: Head out on a Saturday morning and clean up your yard as a family. While you have your work clothes on, help a neighbor or someone who needs assistance do spring clean up.

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10. Deliver: Drop off a bouquet of spring flowers to a shut-in or someone who is ill. Set aside time to visit too.

How do you give back during the season of spring?