Monday, February 4, 2013

Be Generous

Last year I followed Megan over at SortaCrunchy pick "one word" to guide her year instead of a traditional new years resolution. She is doing it again this year with the word "serve", and so is my friend Alyssa over at All Things Beautiful picking the word "seek".

If you haven't heard of picking a word for 2013  but want to, you still have time! It's actually something that quite a few people are doing. And by now you might have given up on those resolutions you made a month ago anyway, so join with me! It's a wonderful way to focus on one positive thing you want to be this year. Their website ( says it best:

"Forget New Year’s Resolutions. Scrap that long list of goals you won’t remember three weeks from now anyway. Choose just one word. One word that sums up who you want to be or how you want to live. One word that you can focus on every day, all year long.
It will take intentionality and commitment, but if you let it, your word will shape you and your year. It will guide your decisions and help you grow. Discover the big impact one word can make.
One word. 365 days. A changed life."

Now look, I know it's February, but I spent most of December and January thinking about what word I wanted to use and nothing felt right! Then all of the sudden it came like a gentle whisper:  "Be generous".

I desperately want to be more generous, but it's going to have to be a conscious decision each day. I know this is a problem area for me, as I hold so tightly to money. Money sucks, okay?! It comes with anxiety and depression. People often judge you on how you spend your money.  I KNOW it's hard for me, and I tend to beat myself up saying "Stop being so controlling." and "Stop being so consumed with money." But I think I need to stop telling myself what NOT to do, and start saying the positive:  "Be generous". It's so much more freeing to see the beauty of what can be, rather than the ugly of what has been done.

I just don't want money to rule me anymore. I want to see a need and feel freedom in faith that if I meet the need of someone else, I will still be taken care of too. I guess that's what it comes down to. I'm afraid I won't be taken care of. I've put my own well being over someone else, without faith that God won't let me fall.

What would my life look like if I just stopped being so afraid?

I'm not saying be frivolous with money. No, we still need to be responsible adults! But what would it look like if we started actually budgeting and allowed a "generous" fund? Putting aside a fraction a month and seeing where it takes us.

Now, when I say I want to be generous, I'm not just talking monetarily, but that's a big one for me. I want to be generous by being intentional. Being generous with my time when I notice my neighbor is having a bad day and just needs to talk. Generous with my food, by making a meal for a friend whose having a hard week. I just want to have a giving heart. An open heart. A seeking heart.

I use to pray a prayer almost every day in high school that went like this:

"Open my eyes, my ears and my heart to the needs of those around me, and may I meet those needs as best as I can. "

What if I started praying this again each day when I woke up? Would it change the way I saw the events of my day? Probably! I can't see how it would make it worse. When we center ourselves each day and point ourselves in a certain direction, it will subconsciously guide us. Our hearts will be more aware of the opportunities to carry out what we want to do and be.

Trust me, this is not easy! I've literally had to say to myself "Be more generous" in situations where I would normally clutch tightly to my wallet or my watch. But I want to try. I want to try to be generous this year. Will you join me in this journey?


Going Forward

1) Pray the "needs" prayer when I wake up in the morning. "Open my eyes, my ears and my heart to the needs of those around me, and may I meet those needs as best as I can. "

2) Write the word "generous" all over my house! As many reminders as possible (Mirror, fridge, door).

3) Start budgeting in envelopes, Dave Ramsey style, and have an envelope titled "be generous."

4) Listen to the prayer requests at church each Sunday and pick one that I feel drawn to and imagine how it would look to be generous in that situation.

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