Joy in Service – Day 2

December 2, 2011
These are some of the things you did yesterday to make the world a better place.
Greeting the elderly with a smile and a hug, upgrading a buildings energy efficiency, donating clothing, shoes, and warm winter coats.
macrame snowflakes made by my mother,  Lynn Montgomery
Leaving $5 with the cashier at Starbucks as a surprise gift for a stranger in line, donating to a food bank, making quilts for a charity, dinner for a friend, using your skills and talents to help a school choir hem dresses, sending a surprise gift. Reaching out to difficult family members.

You are amazing people

“Some people choose not to donate their services because they believe that it somehow devalues them by ‘giving them away.’ In truth, there is nothing that demonstrates the value of your skills more than putting them to good use for a cause you believe in.” ~Scott Allen

Yesterday I remembered to greet him at the door with a big smile and a hug and an “I love you” instead of launching straight into the “get out your homework and stop fighting me” speech. Then I managed to keep my patience with this recalcitrant child who is brilliant but hates homework.
Tell me what you are going to do today.
I think reading these comments is going to be the highlight of every day this month.
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  • Reply
    December 3, 2011 at 11:28 pm

    After reading your post about sharing what we have, I've been doing some sharing. Yesterday I saw an older woman wearing a hat that matched the handmade scarf I was wearing. I took it off and gave it to her. She didn't quite know what to do. I bought some yarn yesterday to make two scarves for two girls in our Good New Club. They had admired mine, and so they will get one for Christmas. Each of their parents are choosing drugs over caring for them. And today a friend of my daughter's was telling me about her new sewing machine, and so I loaded her up with things to help her sew. The Lord has given me so many things and I am blessed and I'm so happy to follow His example and give to them!
    Thanks for the encouragement and your blog. I so appreciate your generosity!

  • Reply
    Tracy Verdugo
    December 3, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    Lyric I LOVE the way you walk in this world and I LOVE this thread! Last month my husband and I had the privilege to attend the Awards ceremony for the Sydney Peace Prize and got to meet and speak with this years recipient Noam Chomsky…what an honour! The day after the ceremony we attended a beautiful day at a Sydney high school where Noam spoke to the children about their responsibility to the planet and humanity. Many of the children at this particular school are refugees from war torn countries around the world. Some of their families have suffered in refugee camps and detention centres for many years before coming to Australia. After the event I was talking to my husband about how blessed we are to live the life we do in a beautiful house in a safe and supportive community right by the beach. I have since contacted the school Principal and we are working on opening our home over the holidays to invite some of those families to come for a holiday by the beach….we also have a recording studio on our property and my husband has offered to mentor some of the young musicians from the school and record them for free. We are looking forward to lovely unfoldings! ?

  • Reply
    December 3, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    Today I'm working on a quilt that will be raffled in March to raise scholarship money for students at Joyful Noise Community Music & Arts Center.

    I'm also going to my employer's Christmas party where we have a big silent auction & raffle – all funds going into our charity account which we use to help people with their heating bills in the winter.

  • Reply
    December 3, 2011 at 1:44 am

    I've taught adult literacy, ESL etc in the past; its soooo worthwhile! I can't do it now, I do not have the compulsory indemnity insurance thats needed here, nor do I have the health to be reliable, but I can and do stop and chat with the people in the pensioner cottages up the road, and say "hi" to neighbours who live alone. I also chat to women on their own at bus stops. Often all thats needed is 5 minutes of your time to let someone know that somebody else cares about them.
    Things are very bad when no-one notices a neighbour is not around anymore, so fostering the sense of local community is very important in a place where people normally do not talk to each other, and are scared to make new friends.

  • Reply
    December 2, 2011 at 11:06 pm

    Today I was in my local quilt shop and a young lady (20's) came in and wanted to know if they made things for people. She said she wanted a liner for a basket she had did not know how to make it. She said she wasn't creative. I told her sure you are, you can do it and then proceeded to explain how to turn her basket upside down, draw around it, add 1/2" for a seam, turn it under, run ribbon through it and pull it to fit the basket. I also suggested she bring the basket back into the quilt shop and the ladies would help her pick out some fabric and help her decide how much to buy. I always try to encourage someone to do it themselves, because you never know what hidden talents are waiting to spring forth.

  • Reply
    Colleen Kole
    December 2, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    I spent the morning packing my friend's kitchen in anticipation of her move this weekend. She had her third child just four weeks ago and was overwhelmed with this task. Kitchen is packed and I got to hold a newborn -which is a highly cherished thing once you are 50! And see relief on her face once her kitchen was packed. A simple gift of time for a dear friend.

  • Reply
    December 2, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    I know how you feel Deb – we should "give our alms in secret". But – I'm moved so greatly with every post – and am getting so many ideas.

    I am SO doing the flower thing! I love to simply tell someone that they look beautiful – that color compliments their hair, anything specific. I love to see them smile.

    Krisitn – years ago I volunteered with immigrants at a language learning center. You will meet the most amazing people. I know I gained a great appreciation for the simple luxury of living in a safe place where I can live as I choose and get an education.

  • Reply
    December 2, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    My office is sponsoring a family in need this year. I love doing this as it warms my heart with the holiday spirit. It truly is better to give than receive. My co-workers are on board and we've already filled the family's wish list of very simple items such as hats, gloves, boots, etc. We have encouraged the mother to let us know the "wants" now, and are excited to take care of those as well.

    On a somewhat regular basis throughout the year, I buy flowers at the grocery store and then randomly give them to someone waiting in line as I'm leaving. The look on the person's face is priceless. Someone did this to me the day after we buried my mother, and I will never forget that caring gesture of one stranger to another.

    I'm quite shy about posting this because one thing my grandmother taught me is that if you "brag" about it, it doesn't count! Thanks for sharing. This is very inspiring!

  • Reply
    December 2, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    I had a jade plant that got way too big for its pot and I waited too long to repot it. A month or so ago I decided to take cuttings and propagate them. I knew I would be giving most of them away, but wasn't sure who I was going to give them to. Our quilt guild's social was last night, and I decided to bring 10 of the potted plants to give to members.

    On a different note: last month I attended a training class at our local literacy association to teach English as a second language. I had previously observed a class, and will be observing another class that I will co-teach with someone. I am somewhat nervous as I have never taught before! I will start in January (this is a volunteer position). I have a new appreciation for immigrants who come to this country and do not know the language.

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