If you’re like me, your days are suddenly wide open. As a work from home mom before all of this I still have some routine in place, but time that would normally be spent running errands or visiting friends and family is now spent at home.

I kept feeling like I needed to do something more with this new found spare time. I found that I was looking at it as a burden more than a blessing, so I decided to come up with some ways to use it for good!

Make Extra Time for Prayer or Reading Your Bible

At regular intervals throughout the day when I find I have time I will stop and pray for someone or something. If you don’t have anything specific in mind to pray for I know plenty of nurses, doctors, first responders, and essential employees would love to feel wrapped in the arms of God with your prayer. I have also tried to move my quiet time outside. Not only does it give me a change of scenery, it also allows my mind to close off from the new norm and enjoy God’s handiwork in nature. If you’re feeling antsy go for a prayer walk. Every few minutes of your walk focus on a new prayer.

Encourage the People in Your Life From a Distance

I have a friend who goes live on Facebook every few days to chat with all of us and share the Word. She picks a specific verse to focus on and has a live discussion with the people watching. Afterwards she asks for prayer requests and prays for them right then and there. What a wonderful way to connect with the people in your life!

Another thing I’ve been doing is sending out letters of encouragement to people who need it. My daughter has been drawing pictures for people we know in nursing homes and sending them mail to help them know they are loved even from afar. We also have been making sure to send birthday cards in the mail to people in our lives whose celebration might look a little different this year. It is a simple and inexpensive way to show all of these people in our lives that we are thinking, praying, and caring about them even though we can’t be near them.

Donate to a Good Cause

We have been regularly donating to our church’s food bank, as well as helping out neighbors in need. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate, but picking up a few extra pantry staples at the grocery store and dropping them off at church on my way home is a small yet tangible way to help my community.

If you can’t leave your house, maybe call up to a local restaurant and buy a gift card over the phone to let them use on someone they feel might need it. You can also have a meal delivered from a restaurant to a friend who you know is quarantined. That’s supporting local, small business and encouraging a friend at the same time!

Decorate the Outside of Your House

More people are out walking now! Decorate the outside of your house so people walking by can see. Maybe put a Bible verse on your driveway in chalk, add Easter decorations, or put teddy bears in your window for kids going on bear hunts. This little bit of extra attention could have a huge impact on brightening someone’s day.

Now more than ever we need to show some sunshine in a dark situation. With these simple suggestions you can do something with your extra spare time that will not only help you grow in your faith, but encourage others to as well!