Back in March, I posted about reading the book, 29 Gifts: How a Month of Giving Can Change Your Life and how I had decided to accept the author’s challenge to give at least one gift every day for 29 Days. Day 29 of my personal giving challenge was Tuesday of this past week and I’m smiling as I write this because this has certainly been a month that has changed both mine and Dave’s life. And the changes are only just beginning!
Over the course of the month, each day as I began my day, I would think about what I could give throughout the day. Each night, I wrote in my Giving Journal the gift(s) I had given and how I’d felt about each gift. Sometimes they were small gifts of money or items donated. Often I gave of my time. Some days I gave only one gift, other days I found several ways to give.
I learned some important lessons during the challenge. One was that I find it much easier to give to others than to allow others to give to me. So for me the challenge came to be about learning to receive as much as learning to give mindfully each day.
Another lesson was that on the days I gave a monetary gift, I felt I had given more than on days when I’d given a non-monetary gift. But as the days passed, I began to value and to recognize all the many gifts I gave. I also learned to be more creative in the things that I found to give.
As I’m a planner by nature, I found it easier to plan ahead the gifts I would give. But again as the days passed, I learned to embrace the urge to give spontaneously, in the moment and it wasn’t very long before I realized that those were actually the ones that turned out to be the most fun to give.
Those are the personal, internal changes that took place over the course of the month. We also had some amazing things happen in our life, one of which I’d like to share with you now.
I haven’t talked a lot on my blog about the trials we’ve gone through for the past 3 years but I’m sure that long time readers have been able to read between the lines and know that work contracts for Dave have all been short term contracts spaced out over the course of the spring/summer/fall seasons. For all of the last three years, we’ve been hoping and praying for another long term contract for Dave so that we can once again live a more settled life.
On the very second day of the giving challenge, Dave got a phone call from a company that he’d applied to last August asking if he was available to come to work for them. Within a week and many phone calls and e-mails back and forth, he had signed a new long term contract. He starts work on April 21st.
I wasn’t able to share our good news earlier because then we had to wait while the company that hired him drew up the paperwork to apply for a US work visa. We went through the border on Thursday and Dave now has a three year visa to work in the US.
As I write this we’re in a hotel room in Cedar Rapids, IA. Tomorrow we’ll be traveling on as Dave will be working at the company headquarters for a week before we then head to the location of the new contract.
Needless to say we are really looking forward to this new, exciting adventure! I’ll write more once we arrive at our final destination.
The car is packed so full that not a single thing more will fit in the trunk and the back seat is stacked so high that there’s only a narrow band at the top to see out the rear window. No post is complete without at least one photo but our camera is on the floor behind the driver’s seat with suitcases and other bags stacked over top of it. I can’t get at it without moving everything out but as tomorrow is Easter Sunday, I’ll share our Easter Tree from a few years ago and wish all my readers who celebrate the holiday a very Happy Easter.
Happy Easter from Our House to Yours
By next Easter, we’ll be settled into a new home and I’ll be able to decorate a new Easter tree.
And in case anyone is wondering, this giving challenge has made such a huge difference in my life that I’ve decided to continue to give at least one gift each day and to record it in my Giving Journal. Once I’ve filled that journal, giving mindfully each day should have become a way of life rather than a month long challenge.