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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tips on Tuesday: One Little Word 2011

The past two years, I took the "One Little Word" challenge. If you'd like to see all the posts, click this link. The idea behind it is to meditate and pray and find what one little word God wants you to focus on this year. For me, the year 2009 brought the word Cherish. In 2010, I focused on Engaged (not as in getting married--as in being engaged in the moment). I've been thinking about 2011 for almost a month. I had inkling of what my word would be, no direction in how to find it, nada.

Yet, isn't it funny how God uses the smallest and most unusual things to speak to us sometimes? I did have an inkling and I had more than a little direction--I just didn't recognize it at the time. This past week, I was finally able to connect the dots and find my word.

Here were the dots I had to connect:
Sean and I are tithers. We believe in giving 10% of our income as the tithe. In the past few months, we've been listening to Ron Kenoly's song "Give and it will come back to you" (good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over). Love that song, always have. It's straight from the scriptures and we learned when we actually stick to the tithe, it does come back in good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over.

Have you seen the billboards? One of the plane in the Hudson that says "Cool Under Cabin Pressure--Preparation--Pass It On". One is of Edison with a light bulb and it says, "On the 10,000th try, there was light--Optimism--Pass it On". We love these billboards and as a family try to spot as many as we can. We talk about what they mean and have had fascinating conversations with our kids about the values promoted on a sign.

Then came the commercials. I've seen several, but the one that grabs me every time is the one called "The Race." I have yet to watch that commercial without tears. It gets me and I always say to myself, "I want to be that kid...I want to make a difference, too."

I went out to the website to see what The Foundation for a Better Life really stands for. I love their billboards, love the TV commercials, might as well see what it's all about. I suggest you take a look sometime, too.

From there, I went to You Tube to find the song "I believe there are angels among us". It's an Alabama song. I found their music video and the video is showing off ordinary people who are doing extraordinary things in their daily lives. A volunteer who teaches immigrants to read English, a person dedicated to stopping drug use in his neighborhood, a girl who saved her dad's life because she knew CPR. It was here that I finally connected the dots God had been placing before me. I want to give something back. I want to be a blessing to my friends, my family and to the world--but that's more than one word.

I've pondered and narrowed down to my one word. Give. That encompasses a lot. I want to give more to my family and friends. I want to give of my time, my energy and my possessions. I have been blessed by friends who hand down clothes to me and I'm becoming intentional about giving those things to the next person to use.

I saw one of those Clean Sweep shows where he really came down hard on the woman for trying to hang onto everything. He told her that when she keeps her hand fisted around her possessions, she can't receive the bigger blessing because her hand isn't open to accept it. The impact that statement had on me should have been another clue to me. I want to be better at blessing others. I don't give to get, but I get because I give.

All this boils down to my word, Give. I have the desire to do great things, but am seeing that the kindness of a moment often means more then a large act. I may not be able to change the world, but I can give from my heart and make my corner of the world a better place.

I'll let you know where this word takes me this year. I get excited each year to see where I'm going to end up.

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