During the fall and winter holidays, we’re so surrounded by sweets that it can be overwhelming! But you can host a soup exchange—just like a cookie exchange—except it can be healthy and practical! It’s a great way for women to stock their freezers with healthy options for a quick meal. Plus, you can use this event to focus on renewal and refreshment in Jesus.
Everyone will want to know how a soup exchange works, so make sure to include the instructions on your invite. Here’s how it works.
For a small group: Invite six to eight women to your soup exchange. Each woman brings six to eight disposable containers of her favorite soup. Each woman gets to take home soup from each guest.
For a large group: Have each woman bring six disposable containers of her favorite soup. Have women also bring one small sample container of the soup so others can try each soup. During the gathering, you’ll have women draw numbers to choose soups. In each round, have women choose one soup container until they are all gone.
- Have women bring the soup pre-frozen so that it travels easily without a mess.
- Ask that each container of soup has about four to six servings.
- Soup can be brought in disposable plastic containers or in heavy-duty zip-sealed bags.
Decide if you’d like to eat some of the soup for a meal together or if you just want to have light snacks for this gathering and save all the soup for the exchange. If you want to have a meal together, have women bring one container to be eaten that night. Complement the soups with baguettes and salad. Even if you decide not to have dinner together, it’s fun to have the soups to sample.
If you decide to just have a few snacks for guests, try to include healthy, refreshing snacks, as that will be your focus for the event. Think veggies with hummus, berries and yogurt, and various types of salad.
Time to Renew
After enjoying snacks or soup together, have a short time with women to discuss the idea of renewal.
Talk about the idea that the holidays can often be a time of regret. “I wish I hadn’t snapped at my sister.” “I wish I hadn’t eaten that entire plate of cookies.” But remind the women that God offers us renewal. Focus on these ways in which God can renew us:
- He renews our strength. (Psalm 23:3)
- He renews a spirit that is loyal to him. (Psalm 51:10)
- He renews our hope and cheer. (Psalm 94:19)
- He renews our youth. (Psalm 103:5)
- He renews our lives with his goodness. (Psalm 119:40)
- He renews us daily—just like the morning dew. (Psalm 110:3)
Discuss that, although the world focuses so much on renewing our bodies, the most important renewal is that of our spirits: “Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day” (2 Corinthians 4:16).
Talk about how it’s not our efforts that renew us, but as we meditate on Scripture and pray to God, his Holy Spirit renews our minds and spirits (Ephesians 4:23, Colossians 3:10). Make sure to spend time praying together for God to graciously renew each of you with his Spirit.