29 Gifts Challenge-The First Week

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The first week of the 29 gifts challenge has come and gone. What have I learned this week? I’m not very intentional in my giving. I like to do things for others each day, but I don’t really think about it and how much a gift of time, money or work could really help out. Reading 29 Gifts has provided gentle reminder of the importance it is to be intentional of gifts. Check out some of the experiences from the first week:

Tuesday, December 4- This was the first day my prayer group started the 29 gifts. Gave thanks to God for the day, the people in my life and an opportunity to explore some new opportunities. I’ve been trying to say thanks to him for all of the blessings in my life multiple times each day, and placing my trust in him along with his plans for my life. Wait-hold the phone…is it right to count my thanks to God as a gift, since he’s the one that’s in charge of it all? Yes, I think devoting time to Him is just as important as giving yourself to help someone else. From experience, it’s a MUST for a good life balance.

Wednesday, December 5- Called my sister to catch up about life and my new nephew. Growing up, she and I used to be super close though there’s quite an age gap between us. While I’ve always loved my sister dearly, I’m sorry to say that we haven’t been good about chatting since I graduated high school. However, we are getting better about calling, confiding and visiting each other lately. Today was one of those days.

Thursday, December 6- Money is tight for me right now, and I’m anal about having to drive my vehicle more than needed. It’s such a selfish and embarassing thing to admit this struggle, but sometimes it just bugs me when I have to drive somewhere extra and I didn’t HAVE to. Prayers that I will overcome this struggle. There is a bigger picture to this as the friend is such a dear and is always giving to me. Today, my gift is my gasoline to meet a friend.

Friday, December 7- Time is the gift of the day today. I chatted with a friend from college who is living in my area. He’s having a difficult time adjusting and having a good work/life/faith balance. I can totally relate. I’ve been there and some days I have the same struggles. It’s much harder to meet folks after college, and the friends that we do have from college are 1. Either still in college or 2. Live far away from us, so far in fact, that we don’t ever get to see each other. Plus when you get home from a hard day at work, it’s so hard to make another phone call or shoot an e-mail. I invited him to church, and am saying some prayers for this friend. Please say some prayers for him, too.

Saturday, December 8- Today’s the day-the big game! Mizzou is playing Auburn and I’m baking some goodies to take to the Labelle’s house where I’ll watch the big game. I forget how happy  and carefree it feels to bake-check out my Tiger colored masterpieces. Hopefully, they will serve as a good luck charm for the big game today and we get a W-I-N.

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Sunday, December 9- We didn’t win the game yesterday-so bummed. Mizzou will still  get to play in a bowl game, which is exciting, but we don’t know which one. Will find out later tonight, I’m sure. Gave a phone call to Mom and took time to register for my church’s women’s retreat. A good friend of mine from core group and I are going to room together, plus have coffee later this week. Blessed to have a good group in STL.

After church, we loaded up donated toys for the Kingdom House’s annual Christmas Shop. The Christmas Shop helps low income families in the St. Louis area to provide Christmas gifts to their children and family members. A large group helped bag up the items and take them to the location-it didn’t take too long. They are looking for volunteers for the Christmas Shop later this week, I might just try and see how I can help out.

Monday, December  10- Volunteered myself for some time at the Christmas Shop on Wednesday. One of the gifts and blessings I’ve received from above is the desire and ability to want to help people on site and in person, so I hope that all will go well. Plus it just feels right. It would be neat to start volunteering on a more permanent basis, but I’ve never pursued it. We will see how Wednesday goes.

Starting a new giving week tomorrow. I want to be a little more intentional in my giving moving forward, and try to give more than once each day. Gasoline is the gift given today, and support in helping a friend develop a cover letter for a job. Prayers for friends in the job search, and safe travels in the week ahead.

That concludes the first week of giving through the 29 Gifts project. Stay tuned for the next week update coming to you very soon.

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