The word giving is defined via wikipedia as: the transfer of something without the expectation of receiving something in return. Have you given anything today? Think hard, but I bet you have. Maybe you smiled at a stranger at the grocery today or held the door open for a classmate. In that case, you gave them love. Giving can take many forms; it can be a tangible or intangible gift. The most important thing to remember about giving, though, is that both the giver and receiver acquire a gift.
I was in 4th grade and it was the Christmas season. Our girl scout troop had collected and wrapped gifts for a local orphanage. One Saturday morning we delivered those gifts and watched the children open them. It was a room packed full of kids my age. I can remember where I sat in the room and more specifically the feeling that I had in my heart that day. It was a feeling that I had never experienced. I was giving something and expecting nothing in return. I did receive a gift though. I received the gift of a full heart. That is why God calls us to help. Jesus’ love is demonstrated in our action and we leave the situation with a yearning to continue giving.
I will never forget the feeling I had that December of 1982 and I recognize it every time I give one of my gifts. May God bless each of us with a giving heart so that no only do we bless the receiver, but we are left with a yearning to do it again.
Do you wake up in the morning wanting to do anything but go to work? Do you dread the work week ahead of you? Do you feel like a character from the movie “Office Space”? Does the preparation of another TPS report make you want to toss your cookies (Office Space fans will get this :-)) ? Do you wake up every morning with a new pile of toys to clean up off of the living room floor? Do you feel under appreciated by your spouse for the hours of time you spend on laundry and cooking? You are not alone in this struggle! Sometimes the drudgery of everyday life can sink our motivation like an anchor plummeting to the bottom of the sea!
I have good new my friends! It can be found in Colossians.
I challenge you to wake up tomorrow morning with a renewed attitude. Others may question why you can be so cheerful and positive in light of a not-so-ideal work environment. Colossians 3:23-34 says in “WHATEVER we do….”. It doesn’t say, “While at your paying job” or “while doing household chores”, but “WHATEVER you do”. In any and all situations where you are performing work, work for the Lord. Having a cheerful heart while you work can serve as part of your testimony. It may be an opportunity to open a conversation about your reasons (Jesus!) for such a happy heart!
We pray that you would transform our hearts into humble, happy workers in all things we do. May we do ALL things (even boring household chores 🙂 with a cheerful attitude, referencing our promised reward as our eternal inheritance!
This past week my 9-year old went away to church camp for three nights. I was terrified. He has only stayed the night with family, he takes medication, he has anxiety and he is terrified of bugs. Despite this, we felt like camp would be a great opportunity for personal and spiritual growth (for him and us!).
Before he left we had a talk. I told him that it was okay to be homesick. I reminded him that missing your home is only normal and that camp is a temporary situation. I encouraged him to make the most of his time away and to be joyful in everything that he does. I sure hope that some of what I said sunk in :-).
After listening to a sermon today on my way to work, it left me thinking of our conversation. My conversation with my son could easily be one that God would have with us. This Earth is not our permanent home. Even though we may be homesick for our permanent home, we should be joyful in all that we do. We know that our heavenly home awaits us.
When we picked up our son on Sunday he burst into tears upon seeing us (it was so sweet:)). I imagine that when I see God for the first time, I will have a similar reaction. It’s just too much emotion to verbalize. Such sweet relief to be in my forever home. Don’t get me wrong, I do not want to hurry my way through this life. I cherish every opportunity God is giving me to share his love, fulfill my calling and to love on my sweet, sweet family.
I pray today that you would take heart in this promise. You are a child of God. This earth is not your forever home. Make the most of every situation while you are here. Be joyful in the little things. Smile at strangers. Laugh at yourself. Laugh at others (just kidding!). Share His love.
Today was the day for assembling our blessing blitz packets. It was very important to me that this summer my kids and I do something to give back to the community as a demonstration of the love of Jesus. We were overwhelmed by the generosity of our community in supplying exactly what was needed to fill the packets. It was a hot and sweaty day, but we now have > 50 packets assembled! Each family that participated also received 2 packets to keep in their cars to hand out to anyone who may be in need.
Our packets contained:
travel size toothpaste
travel size sunscreen
protein (non-chocolate for the summer)
travel size tissues
single-size tuna packets
The kids also colored photos that we printed from the internet that we could include in the packet
It took 4 families about 45 minutes to assemble ~55 packets. What a quick process with such eager helpers! Here is what our assembly table looked like:
Today was our collection day for the remainder of donations for Monday’s #BlessingBlitzforHomelessness. I was very humbled by the generosity and willingness of friends and family who volunteered to help. Our assembly day is Monday. My children will be serving lemonade and chocolate chip cookies to our volunteers (and to themselves, no doubt!) who are helping to assemble packets. Here are a few photos from today (a few friends wished not to be photographed in their PJ’s when we picked up their donations!).
Please help me to see others without the glasses of discrimination. Help me to see everyone as a child of yours. Help me to not judge others, but instead love them for their unique set of gifts and skill sets. I pray this for each of us; that we would approach others with an accepting heart and that our first reaction would be one of love and not judgement.
Lord, I pray this for my fellow readers, that we would be mindful of all those we come in contact with, either online or in-person. We each are walking a different journey, some of us are in a valley today and others on the mountain. God, please meet us wherever we are!
Today we received yet another donation for our #BlessingBlitzforHomelessness and my son is super pumped (as displayed in the photo below!) Monday, July 20th, is our day to assemble packets. So far we have 3 families joining us and we are well on our way to having more than enough supplies. I am very humbled by the generosity of others and hope my children will be able to appreciate, through this journey, that not everyone is as fortunate as we are. I pray that they would become adults with hearts that are overflowing with love for everyone. I pray that their hearts would be color-blind, nonjudgemental and fully trusting to the one that created them. Thanks for joining us on our journey!
As I sat down to write something today regarding homelessness, I prayed for God to lead my heart. He lead me to “Give Back Films” on youtube and a video where a guy goes around giving homeless folks $100. He not only gave them $100, but he gave them hope in humanity and hope in a God who loves them.
It’s a short video. I encourage you to watch it and share. What if we designated “$100 Day” where we all gave one homeless person $100 in the name of God and the hope that we have in him? Imagine the message we would send?! Could be my next project……hmmm…….