Hi, I'm Andrea! Our little family of four lives in South Florida and leads worship. We are here to share the love of Christ and live life together. We're learning a lot here and enjoy looking for opportunities to grow. Thanks for listening and coming alongside us!

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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Reverse Trick-or-Treat

Today's post is a special one! My wonderful sister - Natalie - is GUEST POSTING for us today :) 
If you haven't met Natalie -- you're missing out! She lives in Northwest Arkansas along with her husband and darling little 1 year old daughter. She and Chad have been gearing up for a big craft show, struggling with being under-the-weather and still she took time to compose a post to inspire and share with you all her experience of thankfulness and giving!
Chad and Natalie are the artisans and owners of Open Door Traders! They make gorgeous handmade items that are perfect for Christmas -- and you should check them out! [#shamelessplug!]

Alrighty--now, take it away Natalie!!
Hey there beautiful Mitchael Journey readers!

So, Halloween, like Andrea so perfectly summed up, isn’t my favorite holiday either, by far. Typically it’s a time of avoidance and hope for my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving, but with our little lady, Eisley, (16mo) experiencing her first somewhat memorable holidays this season I was uncharacteristically excited for this specific Halloween. 

A bit of background ... I love Thanksgiving, it’s a time of being purely thankful, a time for family, and a time of relaxation & fellowship around the table. It’s never distracted with worries of, to trick or treat or to not, places to avoid, what to get whom as a gift, although fun in the right context, It’s just a time to BE in Him and around those you love. However, my church, Mosaic at Fellowship Bible Church in NW Arkansas, got me thinking as my playgroup, Mosaic Mama’s and their Munchkins, discussed what Halloween would be for our group. 

This Year
An invite was sent out within our group titled “Halloween Service Project: Mercy Hospital” stating::
Reverse "Trick-or-Treat" where we will hand out goodie bags to the children's floor at Mercy Hospital in Rogers. Bring up to 15 simple crafts, non-scary/non-ghost or witch toys, etc. We have bags, Nickelodeon bookmarks and pins, bunny ears from Energizer, etc. Dress your child up for the playgroup parade! We won't enter the sick children's rooms, but the nurses will open the doors so the kids can see us out in the hallway.
MJHalloween .jpg
Our little play packs to add to the goodie bags

Now, as a Mama this is two fold 1 || Your heart strings pull for those families spending way too much time in and out of hospitals with their precious little one and 2 || You are thrilled at the thought of any and every service project that can become a teachable moment in your child’s life, and lets be real ours too, in hopes that they understand the world does not revolve around them and to:

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31
Of course, our Eisley is still a bit young to fully understand what exactly was going on, but it’s never too young to start in connection to others. Children are always watching and learning so, I believe, these simple acts are important to embed in their lives at a young age. What a neat experience it was for me as well. Seeing the other children in our group actually hand the bags to the nurse and their families- not just taking, as our greedy holiday of Halloween typically is, but handing hope, giving smiles and the sweet little voices, “Happy Halloween, feel better soon” chime in the background. As we went door to door, I prayed a silent prayer for these families. It was humbling to see each precious child muster up a sweet smile even in a dark time. 
Reflections This service project reminded me that each and every moment in our lives matter and are precious through Christ as a ripple of His unconditional love. We are urged to extend ourselves in love to strangers no matter what the occasion or circumstance. This Halloween felt more like Thanksgiving and Christmas all mulled into one- being thankful no matter the circumstance, time around those in love, giving, and spreading a bit of cheer. What a neat season in our lives the holidays can be as we learn and grow as a family.

I appreciate the opportunity from Andrea to share of our experience and the blessing this Halloween was for us and ultimately the children and the families in the hospital. I hope we can continue this tradition for years to come and maybe you will be challenged to start a giving-Halloween in your home.



Our group and our little bumblebee

Comment below, because I'd like to know:: Have you ever thought of doing a reverse trick-or-treat or something similar?

p.s. don't forget to check out Open Door Traders: HERE
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  1. I LOVE this idea! Thank you for sharing, Natalie! What a way to use a typically icky holiday and use it for good! I have a hard time, even with Christian versions of Halloween celebrations, because from my perspective they don't look much different. It's just "cleaner" and "safer." We usually avoid the celebrations and I was grateful this year we had a wedding rehearsal to be at on Halloween night. But having a little one, it might get more difficult, and I just love this servant-minded twist. Thanks again! Blessings!

  2. Yep, cleaner & safer, but not necessarily more enjoyable and not something to look forward to- good points! Thanks for your comment Brittany-This was the first Halloween I actually looked forward to- Blessings to you too! :D

  3. SO wonderful! And Brittany -- did you see that Fellowship made a video? Super sweet, and ties into Operation Christmas Child as well! <3 much love


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