Opinions abound when it comes to the red-infused, hearts-covered, gift-buying day of February 14th. Some people cry, “Scam!” and refuse to be tricked into a made-up holiday. Others pile on the pink and purple and make elaborate plans for dates or parties, while still others just shrug and happily accept the chocolate readily available all week at work.

No matter the camp you claim, the truth is that this week, the world’s attention is on l-o-v-e — love. So why not, as people who know the truest love of all (1 John 4:10), take advantage? Because of God we know a love that saves us, changes us, redeems, revives and restores us — and it compels us to reach out.

What small things can you do this week? We’ve pulled together some suggestions to help you get started!

  1. Clean out your closets and donate clothes. Now is a great time to gather up the sweaters, scarves, gloves and coats you haven’t touched this winter and take them to a shelter. Or, keep them in your car for when you see someone standing by the side of the road on a cold, blustery day.
  2. Take a friend or coworker who’s going through a hard time out for coffee or lunch. Maybe you know someone who has lost a loved one, who’s struggling in their job, facing a scary diagnosis, constantly fighting with their spouse … or maybe they’re just tired and wrung out from life. Invite them out and spend some time together laughing and telling stories. Just the invitation will remind them that they’re not alone in whatever they’re facing.
  3. Watch the sun rise or set. Go hunting early in the morning or run along the river. Stop and feel the sun’s warmth on your skin. Remember that you are known and loved by the Creator of the universe, and say a prayer of thanks for these everyday, spectacular gifts.
  4. Buy a few $10 gifts cards. Pick a few places where you can get an inexpensive meal — Subway, Chick-fi-A, a grocery store — and purchase a few gift cards. You can keep them in your wallet or car to give away when you pass someone in need of a meal.
  5. Talk less, listen more. Ever get to the end of the day and replay a conversation only to realize you steamrolled over what someone was trying to tell you? Maybe you were checking your phone, scanning the room or waiting with your comeback comment. Whatever the reason, it’s not a great feeling. Whoever you interact with this week, stop and really listen to what they’re saying. Just that small act will make them feel understood and valued.
  6. Mail a card or care package. Kind words aside, just knowing someone took the time to locate a card, find my address, acquire a stamp and get the note in the mail is a not-so-small act of kindness. If you have a student away at school or know a friend far from home, you can mail them a care package! Include favorite things from their hometown or inside jokes between the two of you and you will absolutely make them feel known and loved.
  7. If snail mail isn’t your thing, pick up the phone and call someone this week. Pick a friend or family member who lives far away and call to catch up the old-fashioned way. Knowing someone is thinking of you is one of the best feelings. So, spread the joy and get dialing!
  8. Give the person you avoid at work your attention this week. Don’t deny it – there’s someone in your office or your extended group of acquaintances that drives you just a tad bit bananas. You’d rather rush out after meetings or not make eye contact in the elevator because you know they’re going to try and stop you. Maybe this week, you just stop and engage. Giving them your time and attention for even a couple minutes may mean way more to them than you could imagine.
  9. If you have little kids at home, celebrate things big and small that make them special. Try cutting out construction paper hearts and every day adding one to their bedroom door with something you love about them (they’re a great brother/sister, they know a crazy amount of facts about the Titanic, they have a heart full of questions about Jesus) written on it.
  10. Put your phone away when you get home and make the night all about the people under your roof. There is nothing like unrivaled attention. Pull out the board games, make dinner together, have a dance party in the living room, read books together – whatever you choose to do, make it all about the people you’re with.
  11. Help a friend solve a problem or ease a burden. Is your friend overwhelmed planning their wedding? Offer to come over and help them make headway with the details. Know a friend overwhelmed with work deadlines? Offer to pick up their kids from school, drop off dinner or swing by to help fold laundry.
  12. Pray. It may sound small and simple, but there is nothing small about talking to God about others. Whether it’s a friend, family member, coworker or stranger you just passed on the sidewalk, go to God on their behalf. Pray for them to know and love God, pray for their future, their spiritual life, the needs you know they’re facing.
  13. Text three friends and tell them one reason you’re grateful for their friendship. Who doesn’t love a “just because” text? Whether it’s a “Hey, remember the time we …?” or a “I’m really glad that …” or a simple “Love you,” words of love and thankfulness never fail to make an impact.
  14. Let someone else go first. Hold the door open for others. Tell someone to skip ahead of you in line at the store. Buy someone else’s coffee. Find a way to put someone else first.



Caitlin Rodgers



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West Campus: 9:30 and 11 a.m.
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