Monday, December 5, 2011

CW Blog chain post: The Gift Given Year Round

(OK, I'm cheating a little bit and re-posting an article that was published last November in 31Ten Magazine. But it fit the theme for the month. Be sure to stop in and see all the other articles these fabulous writer have come up with!)

Christmastime. The mall is packed. You hustle from store to store, searching for that perfect gift for that hard-to-please person on your shopping list. Music blares over the roar of the crowd--some hip artist is torturing "White Christmas" for the umpteenth time since you set foot in the place. It seems the world has gone crazy.

Yet as Christians, we're enjoying the season of Christmas. W know how to laugh, love, and celebrate the birth of our King. We enjoy getting together with friends and family, singing carols, and general having fun. Maybe there's a special tradition we observe, or a special place we go every year. We exchange gifts with our friends and family.

And of course, we know truly what it is to give without expecting to receive. We give to older relatives who may not remember to get us something. We give to new friends who may not have expected something. Caroling is a way of giving with receiving, as is participating in something like an Angel Tree project.

Sometimes, thought, I think we tend to forget that giving without receiving is supposed to be a year-round pastime, not just one we reserve for Christmas. Why should we reserve it? So many of us as our own talents and gifts we can use year-round.

I was reminded of this one day as I sat at my brother's soccer practice. One of my younger friends, a 12-year-old, cam up to me and started chatting. She wants to be an author too. Eventually, as it always happens with authors, we started talking about story ideas. She shared a new story idea of her's with me and said it frustrated her that she didn't have a lo of people to talk with about her story ideas.

"I guess whenever I really want to have an author talk, I need to call you," she said.

"Go for it," I told her. "I'd love to have an author-buddy chat with yo sometime."

After she left, I remembered other times I'd urged friends to cal me if they needed to talk--my best friend called me at 11:30 p.m. once to talk about a hard decision she need to make, and my brother once woke me up to ask me some questions that had been bugging him. There have been other times I've listened to people who just needed to let off steam or ramble to get their thoughts straightened.

I loved helping people and comforting them, listening to their problems and praying with them. God has given me a heart to listen to my friends and my family. That's a gift I can give year 'round.

Even God didn't limit Himself to giving only at Christmastime. We celebrate His Son's birthday in December, yes, but years later in the spring God gave another great gift...His Son's life for our sins. "...But the gift of God is eternal lie in Jesus Christ our Lord." And even now god still extends that same gift of salvation and pureness to us--two thousand year later. There's no gift we can give that lasts that long!

So, I challenge you to not only focus on giving gifts at Christmas this year. Take some time to think about hat God could be calling you to give year 'round. What talents has He blessed you with, that you may bless His people?

Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others,
faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Peter
4:10, NIV)

12/1: Mike Johnson

12/2:Sheila Hollinghead

12/3: Samuel R. Choy

12/4: Keri Mae Lamar

12/5: Brian Jones
12/6: Chris Vonada
12/7: Cindee Snider Re
12/8: Tracy Krauss
12/10: Terrie Thorpe

12/11: Chris Henderson

12/12: Steve Olar

12/13: Nona King

12/14: Scott Fields
12/15: Tracy Krauss,
12/16: Pauline Creeden,

12/17: Israel Ikhinmwin,

12/18: Traci Bonney,

12/19: Michael Galloway,

12/20: Edward Lewis,

12/21: Carol Peterson,

12/21: Victor Travison,

12/22: Lynn Mosher,

12/24: Jacky Brown,

12/25: Keith Wallis,

12/26: Liberty Speidel,

12/27: David Pardoe,

12/27: Debra Ann Elliott,

12/28: Marilyn,

12/30: Michele Archer,

12/31: Suzette,

16 responses:

Mike said...

Thank you for reposting this, it was very thought provoking. There is a lot of good stuff out there that goes unnoticed, but it is buried in tons of garbage. It makes sense to repeat the good stuff. It lessens the work for the rest of us.

Mike

Sheila Hollinghead said...

What a great friend you are! Now, if I just had your number . . .

Debra Ann Elliott said...

I am glad you cheated. LOL. This is an excellent post and reminder of the wonderful gifts we were(are) given.

Christine Henderson said...

Definitely one of the best gifts is to find someone who has a listening ear and heart. With so many people thinking that it's all about them, it's nice to hear of someone who lets it be about someone else.

I'm not aware of the publication you mentioned at the beginning of your article. What is it?

From Carols Quill said...

Sheila and I will be calling you sometime after midnight tonight [big grin].

I really enjoyed this post and the reminder to give, give, give and enjoy the process.

Suzette said...

Finding a friend who will just listen and not judge is a rarity. Thanks for sharing I enjoyed reading this post. :)

M. L. Archer said...

This is quite a thought-provoking piece! I'm glad you posted it!

E. G. Lewis said...

Interesting post. I've always felt that whatever we learn in the field of writing should be shared with those a little further down the ladder...so to speak. That's the nice thing about writing, it's basically noncompetitive. At least until you both have books sitting side by side on a shelf. ;o)
Peace and Blessings

Tracy Krauss said...

Its why we have two ears and only one mouth. We should listen twice as much

Terrie said...

Thank you for sharing your heart with us. Of all the options available to give as a gift- the greatest is our time.

Samuel Choy said...

Great post. Sometimes just listening is the best gift we can give someone.

Traci B said...

Terrific post; thanks for sharing your article with us and congrats on getting it published. :)

Keri Mae said...

A true gift of the heart: someone willing to take your phone call and really listen. Without checking email at the same time. Blessed are your friends!

lynnmosher said...

Thank you for sharing this with us. Great reminder of that gift of the heart rather than the wallet!

Cindee Snider Re said...

To love one another deeply from the heart -- there could be no greater blessing among friends! Merry Christmas!

Deborah K. Anderson said...

There is no greater gift than love. This post reminds us of that.

Merry Christmas!

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