52 Weeks of Giving | 8

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In pursuit of nourishing a heart of giving [nourish is my One Little Word for 2017], I have been deliberately, purposefully, searching for ways to give more. Give of my time, give of my resources, give from my heart.  This is about giving generously, not reluctantly, but out of the full measure of giving from the gifts God has given to me. 

This week, I put together two blessing bags. I contacted Morgan, the director of The Dream Campaign, a non-profit organization here in the area who are coaching, speaking into the lives, changing underprivileged kids' dreams for the better. A 'side' ministry are blessing bags for teen girls who have nothing, who can barely afford to eat let alone purchase feminine type products (which we all know are not cheap!).

Putting these bags together did my heart so good! Thank you Lord for the opportunity and the gifts You give first!

 


52 Weeks of Giving | 5

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I realized some might wonder why I'm recording 52 Weeks of Giving because when acts of service are done in secret, then my Heavenly Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you (Matthew 6:4).

I guess I'm not looking for a reward. Do I want the blessing of the Lord? Yes.

But, I believe the Lord placed my One Little Word on my heart - NOURISH - for 2017. I also believe His Spirit spoke into me that I needed to nourish a heart of giving. That's what I'm doing.

I'm nourishing a heart of giving.

I'm recording it because I'm also a storyteller.

Simple as that.

And, having a record of my giving will even more be a record of God's blessings! Because "every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows" (James 1:17). My gifts, my year of giving is first His gifts to me.

I'm recording His blessings on my life.

It is so good!

This week of giving is all about sponsoring a child through Compassion International. We received our packet for Karellys, who is from Ecuador. She's three right now, and beautiful. I can't wait to GIVE her more!

I needed to do something outside of the box. This could change someone's life. I can be apart of that change - for the good.

I chose a child from Ecuador because of our sons really. A few years ago, John and Jarrod, chose to spend a week on a short term mission trip to Ecuador, serving the people there, working for the Lord. So, Ecuador has a place in my heart. 


One Little Word 2017

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Class banner for Ali Edwards' One Little Word

 

one little word: NOURISH

to sustain with food or nutriment;

to supply what is necessary for life, health and growth.

to cherish, foster, keep alive.

to strengthen, build up or promote.

to comfort, cultivate, encourage, furnish, maintain, nurture, provide, support, tend

 

Almost every year for the past several years I have chosen one little word. One little word to focus on throughout the year because…”A single word can be a powerful thing. It can be the ripple in the pond that changes everything. It can be sharp and biting or rich and soft and slow.” (Ali Edwards)

As many years as I have, I also haven’t followed through with my word. This past year I didn’t even contemplate One Little Word. But. This year - I must. It is almost a necessity. It’s what my life, my body, my heart needs. I need nourishment. I am joining Ali Edwards’ One Little Word 2017 online class to guide me through my year of - NOURISH. I hope to embrace my word fully, completely, and live it out loud.

In 2017, I will

NOURISH a spiritual life. Because a near-non-existent prayer life means a near-non-existent relationship with my Savior I will nourish my relationship with Christ; nurture a habit of prayer; keep alive the studying of God’s word. I will finish studying 2 Timothy (with Beth Moore) and earnestly pursue another. I’m looking at a Jen Wilkin study or another Beth Moore or even both. In addition, I will receive nutrition, food that will sustain me, through memorizing scripture. More specifically I am memorizing the book of James this year. Nourishing a spiritual life is life blood. Just as we need blood running through our veins I need the Word of God coursing through my heart, mind, and soul.

NOURISH a physical life by moving more and eating well. I need to head back into the pool, regularly, every week, without fail - and walk. And then walk some more. I have been sedentary for far too long. My weight has suffered. My health has suffered. My heart has suffered. My well-being has suffered. I know from experience I cannot just move more I must also eat well. Fruits and vegetables, and vegetables and fruits, eat breakfast, drink lots of water, decrease my sugar intake - Just do it. I’ve joined an online FIT community, Cathy Zielske's FIT 2017, to help with the accountability. I’ve participated in Cathy’s Move More Eat Well class in the past and lost 20 pounds in a year. While I hope to lose way more than 20 pounds, it would be a small start.

NOURISH a heart of gratitude. I began one thousand gifts this past year. I have stuck with it almost weekly. I have seen many ways to cultivate a heart of gratitude: Besides my One Thousand Gifts journaling, my plan is to incorporate several ways of promoting my heart of gratitude. One of those is bringing back my 52 Gratitudes in 2017. I document one gratitude every week and create a mini-album of all of the gratitudes. The years I have recorded my gratitudes have been very rewarding and have worked to change my heart of discontent to a heart of peace and contentment. Hearts and minds and souls that are grateful are at peace. Content. Gentle. Kind. Loving.

NOURISH a heart of giving. God has blessed me with abundance. I experience that giddy feeling of pleasing God when I give. I want to know that feeling, have that feeling again and again. I am more blessed when I give. I grow when I give; it changes me in amazing ways. The last time I paid for the car behind me in the drive thru my sons told me I have a big heart. Having a heart that gives is setting the example for my children and grandchildren and how I want them to live. Giving does this body good.

NOURISH relationships. We have a small group that needs nourishing. It needs building up, strengthened, cherished, tended to, and cultivated. As an introvert it is easier to not have friends then to have friends thus, I have few friendships and zero really close friends or a best friends. I need to cultivate friendship. My husband and I make it a habit to go on dates every week. That being said these past couple of years have been very difficult. We haven't handled some life changes very well together thus our relationship has suffered greatly. So this year I need to nourish my relationship with my husband. We’ve tested out our 5 Love Languages so I need to work on meeting his particular love language(s), regularly. We need to nourish our relationship and keep it alive. Our home life and our relationship with our kids, depends on our relationship being healthy. One mammoth-sized relational nourishment is praying together. I would love this to be a recurring and frequent habit.

NOURISH learning. The years I homeschooled the boys reignited a love of learning. I want to nourish this passion, as complacency has set in since the boys graduated. I hope to foster learning through reading even more. My goal this year is to read 100 New Books in 2017. Coupled with reading I hope to cultivate writing. Taking time to put pen to paper, so to speak, and write a memoir. I also want to develop a from-scratch a homeschool curriculum for high school meteorology (for sale to the homeschool community). I will tend to these things this year, in addition, to promoting healthy learning habits such as: finding a topic of interest and learning more than just bits and pieces but learn enough to hold meaningful conversation. One subject comes to mind: The Solar System; and, read the same books Ella is reading for school so I can discuss them with her, nourishing our relationship.

NOURISH my creativity. I am subscribed to Ali Edwards Story Kits which provides a wealth of creativity fuel. I need to cherish, foster, and schedule time to create more and maintain a haven that encourages creativity. Clean the scrap office and find a place to work comfortably. I have so many ideas on the back burner that need to be brought out and completed. Continue telling stories and documenting them - regularly, purposefully.

NOURISH simplicity. Nourish seeing the details. Nourish cleanliness. Nourish good, healthy habits. Nourish a heart for service. Nourish contentment.

I can’t think of a better word: NOURISH.