This year my focus word has been ‘give’. It seems easy to make a decision at the beginning of the year and say – this year I am going to give. Great idea! But how to do that? How to do it consistently throughout the year? These are the things that I’ve been thinking about, as much as doing the actual giving. In order to make ‘giving’ a part of your life, not only for a year, but for life – you need to be intentional.
I’ve been pondering four questions:
- Why give?
- What stops me from giving?
- Who do I give to?
- What can I give?
These are my reasons:
- God asks us to give
- Giving is a part of gratefulness for what I have been given
- Giving gets me involved with people – and I recognise I am not an island
Knowing why we do something helps us to stay true to the things that we believe. When it gets hard to ‘give’ I can look at this short list and affirm that it is important to me to keep on giving.
What stops me from giving?
These are my excuses, yours may be different:
- When I’m Hurt
- When I’m in doubt – don’t know what to give
- When I’m tired
- When I’m busy
By identifying the things that hinder me, I can intentionally work on them. If giving is important to me – and it is – then I need to find forgiveness, healing and peace when I’ve been hurt, so I can give to others. I need to be brave enough to ask people what they need if I can’t see it for myself. I need to look after myself, get enough food, water, exercise and sleep so that I can give to others. I need to manage my time, so that I am working on the things that are important. By identifying these things I can deal with them, giving me the ability to do what is important – giving to others.
Who do I give to?
Knowing who you are to give to is important; otherwise we run around doing good, but not doing right. Just because something is a good idea – doesn’t mean it is a God idea. Ask yourself who does God want me to give to right now – in this season of my life? I have identified different spheres of relationships (and specific people who are in those spheres). Each of those relationships require different types of giving. Some relationships are mutual and yet are maintained by giving to each other, others are more geared towards me giving to meet a need.
How can I give?
I can give with:
- my time
- my emotions
- my energies
- my resources
- my abilities
These things vary in abundance for different seasons of life – and that is okay, and they will vary and change from person to person. We need to learn to give from what we have been given, not give because someone else is giving. When we can accept this is what I have in my hand then we can give from contentment and delight rather than giving from a sense of duty or guilt.
After answering these questions I have brainstormed ideas that connect the who with the how: How can I give to this person? And I’ve listed the different ways. For some of these I have also made reminders on my calendar/to-do so that I’ve specified a particular date to give to a particular person in a particular way. By thinking through these different questions I have found both a reminder of my purpose, and an ability to be specific in my efforts. This is intentional living. There are so many needs around us, in our town, in our nation, in our world, and I can’t give to them all. I can give to the specific needs that are on my heart though. By being intentional I also look after myself. I am not carrying guilt by not meeting every need in the world, neither am I running myself ragged trying to meet every need that I see. Both those scenarios are physically impossible for one person to do – but I can meet the needs that I need to meet. I can give to the people that I need to give to.
I am reminded of Jesus and his time here on earth. He was a very busy man, he had lots going on in his life – and yet he always did the will of the Father. He didn’t meet every need every person had – he did that by dying on the cross, yes – but not during his 3 years of earthly ministry. But he did do everything that his Father asked of him. This is what I want to be able to say – to be confident that I am doing what my heavenly Father is asking of me.
In this day and age of so much self-focus – what I need to be happy, it is important that we process ways to be intentionally other’s focused – to be intentionally giving to others.
This is part of my One Word 2015 series. My one word is: Give. My journey so far:
Also sharing and linking with others: Throughout the week I share with one, or more of these blogs (see more details on my Link Parties page) Monday’s Musings, Thoughtful Spot, Mama Monday Musings, Hip Homeschool Moms Blog Hop, Titus 2 Tuesdays, Coffee and Conversation, Finishing Strong (Middle & Highschool years), Capture your Journey, Thriving Thursdays, Hearts for Home, Shine Blog Hop, All things with Purpose, A Little R & R, From House to Home, Fellowship Fridays, Homeschooling Highschool Linkup,Weekly Wrap-up, Collage Fridays, My Week in Review, Tip Tuesday with Debbie in Shape