And, why does it matter if I send out 250 Christmas cards? I told Gary last night that some year I may be brave enough to not feel I want/need to send them and be OK with that. Am I doing it to brag about my life, or is it to reach out to friends I haven't seen for years? A truly better option would be to send cards with a note of appreciation, but that sounds overwhelming. And the photo cards are a tradition, and I have a hard time letting go of tradition.
And why does it matter that I write on this blog? Well, I've decided it does matter to me. Because somehow I need to look inside myself and nudge myself and feel gratitude in a more concrete way.
So, now that I've shared a few of my feelings, I think I'll go to what I've missed with Light the World.
#Light the World: Offer a prayer of gratitude for Jesus Christ and his mercy. You know, it has taken me a lifetime to really understand what mercy is. And I'm still learning. The companion words for Mercy are compassion, forgiveness, grace, kindness, love. But when you pair those characteristics with Christ, it expands into much more. I have felt the mercy of Christ many times when I have been feeling dark and seeking light, when I have felt inadequate and He has enabled and strengthened me to do hard things. He can make up for what I can't. And I feel such gratitude for that unconditional love and enabling power.
#Light the World: Donate to a reputable global charity. I went to find the giving machine that is at the University Mall, but couldn't find where it was. I think I know where it is now, so I still plan to do that. But one thing that makes me feel some peace of mind when I read about and see disasters around the world, is that fact that each month we give a 10% tithing to the church and also donate fast offerings. The Church has a huge global network in place to deliver aid to those places, and I can feel that our donations are a part of that service.
#Perform an act of service for a family member. Gary and I have both been getting the Light the World reminder texts. This one was on Saturday, which had been the designated day for Gary to put up the outside Christmas lights. So in preparation for that, I got up early and went out to get the outside storage shed organized so it would be easier for him to get everything out. (But, if I'm being honest, it was also to make it so he didn't act disgusted by having to maneuver around so much stuff) So in a way, I was doing it for myself. At the same time he looked at the text and decided that he was going to do the lights without complaining, and he did. The funny thing was that I was so uptight about expecting resistance, which wasn't there, that I was the one with a bad attitude.
|Clean out process|
#Share a scripture with a loved one. 2 Timothy 1:7: "God does not give us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." This scripture speaks to me in so many ways. Not having fear, bringing God's power into my life, loving, and being able to deal with what life gives me with wisdom.
#Invite a friend or loved one to do an ornament swap. I didn't do an ornament swap, but we did have our annual gingerbread (graham cracker) houses on Sunday. We've grown into a very large group, and it is chaotic, but also such fun. I pull out the same candy that wasn't used the year before, and warn everyone not to eat it, but Gary is the worst offender.