Light ‘Em Up – SUMMER STYLE 2013

Who is ready to impact their community for good? Have their heart explode with love? Fill their summer free time with purpose and passion? Bring a very easy program to your family, friends, neighborhood and churches?


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Let’s do this!!! If you are a longtime follower of this blog – you know we have done this before. Light ‘Em Up started as a Christmas random acts of kindness program. You can read it about here. Over 70,000 folks pinned it last year on Pinterest and thousands joined us to impact communities.



During the holidays, we wanted our kids to learn it’s about GIVING not GETTING.



Why can’t we do this all year? Do you know people in need all year long? Do you have kids looking for fun? Do your kids learn best through experience not lectures? Me too!


I just LOVE the opportunities SUMMER presents to love on others. (And, confession.. around week 2 of summer. I’m sort of out tricks. I need something to do with these people.)


If you’re already SOLD and a FAN – may I present to you Light ‘Em Up Summer Style.


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Download for FREE:

Family Planning Guide, 25 Ideas, Lollipop & Popsicle Tags, Drink Tags and Ice Cream Cone Wrappers.

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If you’re new, let me explain further …



You want this to be FUN and an adventure. As we make our common “bucket lists” for summer – just incorporate this into the list. The goal is that this becomes a “want to” not a “have to.” Think of things and groups of people they would WANT to serve. If it’s forced, the message is likely not going to stick as well. Print the Family Planning Guide and have a good ole fashion family meeting – be sure the meal is right – fries and ice cream approved. Also, bring the 25 IDEAS to get the juices flowing!



You can use plain paper or cardstock and PRINT LOLLIPOP TAGS or DRINK TAGS or ICE CREAM WRAPPERS. If you have a circle cutter – you can use that. Glue, scissors, tape and ribbon are always a must.



We took some free drinks by this morning for all the swim teachers at the local pool.


Then, we swung by a construction site because it is SO SO HOT in Florida and decided to “cool em off.”  I was really unprepared for how God would work so early. I was truly getting some “photo opps” for this post. That’s the thing – sometimes the moment is for YOU and sometimes its for the RECIPIENT and sometimes it’s for YOUR KIDS. It won’t always be amazing and sometimes the reception won’t be awesome.

Just walk in faith and God will move, and sometimes we get the amazing treat of watching.



Here’s the story, I just have to share. Consider #LightEmup13 kicked off. I want to hear yours too.

We (me, Larson and her bud Annalee) took 8 cold drinks with notes up to a site with 7 working men and what appeared to be the supervisor on the job. He immediately walked over with suspicion. I explained that we just had some summer cold treats for them just because they looked hot and thanked them. He said, “What do we owe you?” I said “NOTHING!” He asked again and really didn’t believe me. I told him I was just trying to teach the girls about kindness and we walked to the car. Next thing I know he is at the car window with $5 and asked me if he could pay it forward to my family. I said, “NO WAY! Really, we really just want to love on some people today.” He then explained, “This has NEVER happened to me in 54 years. Maybe from the owner of a site but NEVER from a stranger just because. The guys don’t believe I don’t know you.” He was so moved and so was I. I told him a little bit about the program of Light Em Up and what we were trying to teach our kids through the EXPERIENCE of kindness and love and generosity. He just beamed. And shared how touched he was and how crucial it was to teach kids to do life this way. And walked away. He walked away visibly touched – not by me – but by the love of God. I didn’t even have to utter his name. He felt it. I know he did.


We left and treated some police officers to some lollipops. Candy canes were our weapons of choice for Christmas. Let’s make lollipops and popsicicles are weapons of LOVE & KINDNESS for Summer.



The options are endless. There’s25 Ideas right here. That’s the fun. Summer still can be about relaxing and enjoying and being kids – but what if we weaved important lessons such as GENEROSITY and KINDNESS right in the middle of that fun?


As Bob Goff says so beautifully in his bestseller, LOVE DOES.


I want my love for Christ to show through my actions. I want my kids to have this kind of love down in their DNA. This is how we do live. This is how we do summers – not just the holiday times. This is how we do life, every year, every month. We love. We choose to notice the unnoticed. To serve those in need. To help a friend. To give to those less fortunate. TO ALWAYS THINK OF OTHERS BEFORE OURSELVES. To never expect one thing in return.


Because the one who created us and gave us this incredible life – did JUST THAT for us and so much more.





That means 1 lollipop or 10 ice cream parties. It doesn’t matter. No guilt. No Guilt. No Guilt. I pledge to only do this when and if I can. I am a great mom no matter what. Roger that?


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Do you LOVE the design? Me too. Thank you SARAH! Check out her blog. So grateful!

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  1. We participated in Light Em Up at Christmas and some of it has stuck. My kids now want to leave a snack for the garbage man every week. We don’t always leave a snack but now we know his name – Dwayne- and that he is a dad and that he is also trying to teach his kids to think of others. We have been planning to load up on cold drinks for summer and it feels like summer hit today in Georgia- 93 degrees. Thanks for encouraging our family!

  2. We’re in! Yay! Loved it at Christmas, did it for Lent, inspired by a summer of loving. Thanks so much.

  3. I was trying to find something age appropriate for my kiddos to do for loving and serving others this summer. Thanks for some awesome ideas and the cute printables. I

  4. This is the best idea! I Love Love Love it! We are So in!! God Bless you and your family!!

    1. thanks EVERYONE for your support. i love seeing all the “in” responses and your cities and countries. keep me posted on your stories and photos.

  5. We are IN from Vancouver, Canada! Such a great idea to add into our summer to do list! Thanks for sharing!

  6. We’re in! My kiddos really enjoyed the Christmas light em up & although it was hard to fit it in everyday in our busy schedules (with the adorable printables & our idea sheet) the kids started looking for other ways to light em up! I’m excited to get back into that!! Thanks again!

  7. Even the thought of doing some of these for others is refreshing! My son is now old enough to walk and hand things to people so I am really excited to do this. Printables are SO cute…thanks for doing all the work and sharing. The construction story made me tear up:0

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