Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Defining Character- Thoughtfulness and Giving Update

The month is almost over, so I thought I would give you an update on how the Thoughtfulness and Giving thing went. I did something special for almost everyone on my list. They weren't all as meaningful as I might have wanted (baked goods are always thoughtful right?) I even sent the gift (along with a letter) to the Ex. I heard through a friend that still works with him that he got it and wasn't too weirded out by it. He didn't call and thank me or anything, but that's ok. Overall I did pretty darn good and I am pleased with myself.

I also managed to figure out a way to work in "giving" with my family's Christmas presents. In addition to some doggie treats, my mom's dog also received a donation to puppiesbehindbars.com in her name. In addition to a passport cover and other gifts, my uncle got a water bottle and a donation to charitywater.org in his name. For my mom, in addition to her cashmere sweater and other gifts, I got her the Willow Tree Angel of Health and donated 2 chickens in her name through worldvision.org and two insecticide-treated mosquito nets through malarianomore.org.

I plan to continue this throughout the new year. I am going to start giving at church more (I just cannot tithe 10% right now...still living paycheck to paycheck for this twenty-something!). When I give gifts, I am going to take the time to really think about what would make a difference to that person instead of getting something generic. I'm also going to try to write more thank you notes to take the time to recognize when someone has done something special for me. It really does make you feel good when you slow down and focus on thoughtfulness in your giving. Try it!

4 comments:

Jane said...

Those sound like excellent gifts! :-) They were very thoughtful, and not your average, run of the mill gifts.

Although I have to say, I absolutely love the Willow Tree angel figurines!

magda said...

Wooo two chickens! My sister loved hers : )

Good work finding creative and meaningful gifts. I wouldn't worry too much that the ex hasn't responded; I'm sure he was touched in his own way. Sometimes no response is just the best way to go.

And sometimes, you're so right, those notes out of nowhere are just the best things ever. Sounds like you're set to start the new year on the ground running!

Anonymous said...

Hey Suz, (ok, since I really don't know you but am just being a voyier calling you "Suz" is really weird) it is great that you are continuing on with your "List". Being focused and setting goals is awesome! It helps to ensure that you don't just wander through life. However I have to contradict you on your tithing comment. Tithing is not only a Biblical command it is also one of the few things that God actually "dares" us to do. I was once in your position where I said "I can't afford to tithe 10%" but once my wife finally convinced me and we started tithing fully on a steady basis God really did increase the 90% to cover all of our bills. In fact financial blessings started pouring in that we could never have imagined. Now we tithe and give sacrificially and we have more money and "things" in our lives than we could ever have imagined. So my advice for 2009 is trust God, tithe the whole 10% and see if He doesn't fill your coffers to overflowing. After all, that is what He asks us to do right, Trust and Obey! Hope your new year is full of God's blessings!
Brian

Wani said...

I love combining some conventional gifts with some "giving" gifts too! This is a great idea!
Again this year I felt our boys were overwhelmed with alot of gifts from family (that we are thankful for... but still, its alot!). So, I'm thinking of not giving our boys gifts next year and instead starting a special family outing that we do around Christmas instead. We'll see how it goes. Its worth a try.