It’s our 6th year of Advent Acts of Kindness: Six years of doing one kind act each day from December 1-25. Six years of brainstorming ideas and asking others for theirs; six years of planning and plotting that culminates in December. Six years of feeling the joy of helping another; six years of failing miserably, too. Six years of trying to change our children’s hearts from focusing on “me, me, me”–only to realize that we ourselves are just as much in need of a heart change. Six years of realizing our own weaknesses and vulnerabilities, the issues or people we might shy from; six years of finding the courage to overcome those challenges. Six years of praying for strangers and crying over random parking-lot encounters; six years of children tugging at our hands to ask questions about love and kindness that tug at our hearts and leave us forever changed.

Each year has been a new adventure, and again, this year, we’d love for you to join us. We’ll be posting the things we do each day on our social media platforms (Facebook or Instagram), and some of our favorite moments are when people come alongside us and say–“here’s what I did today!”

Looking for ideas? Here’s what we’ve done each year, complete with handy photos and links: 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016.

All too often, we see hard things in the world and we feel paralyzed, like the problem is simply too big or that our small efforts won’t amount to anything. But as a mom, I want to show my kids that that’s not true, that kindness matters and that we can feel empowered to do something or to help others. This Christmas season, that’s my prayer for you, too–that you feel empowered and loved by a God who sees and knows you, and who wants to make his love and kindness known to the world, too–through you.