Today it is actually 154 days since I started the Giving Challenge to give one gift each day but I missed some days now and then so it only totals up to 150 days.
I decided last week that I wanted to mark this with a special gift.. one that would be a gift of time and service in addition to whatever monetary value the gift might entail. Long time readers might remember that when we are traveling/staying in hotel, I collect all the courtesy shampoos, conditioners and soaps to donate to women’s and homeless shelters. I purchase toothpaste, toothbrushes, toothbrush holders and deodorants. Then last year, I also started sewing small bags to put them in as many people arrive at the shelters with nothing more than the clothes on their backs.
So over the weekend I sewed up 10 lined drawstring bags using some of the fat quarters I won recently paired with fat quarters bought during a fat quarter sale at my local quilt shop.
Each pair of fat quarters yields two drawstring bags.
Ten little gift bags all in a row:
And here they are stuffed as full with as much as I could fit into them.
I hope that the ladies who receive them will feel uplifted and know that even in the midst of struggle there is hope for a brighter future.
This giving challenge continues to bless and challenge me in ways that I could not have imagined. I do try to start out my day now by thinking about what I can give that day but as I mentioned above there are days when I’ve gotten to the end of the day and realized I had gotten so busy that I had forgotten to even think about giving. There are more days than I care to admit when it’s late afternoon or evening before I remember. Yet there are also times when I plan ahead to make sure I have gifts to give. And times too when the Universe conspires to give me the opportunity to open my heart a little more and give spontaneously.
On the days when me gifts are small gifts, I still struggle with “have I given enough.” I still tend to think that monetary gifts are somehow more important than my gifts of time or service.
And while I’m getting better at receiving, there are many times when I have to consciously say to myself, it’s okay to let others give to me.
I read a small inspirational book recently called The Butterfly Effect: Everything You Do Matters (ad) by Andy Andrews. It reminded me that even the small gifts could be the start of a butterfly effect in someone’s life just as the gifts I allow others to give me may well be the start of that butterfly effect in my life.
May you all be blessed this day wherever you may be, whatever you may be doing.
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