Saturday, December 31, 2011

2012 - The Year of Giving!

In my previous post I declared I had no resolutions, and at the moment I was correct.  However, upon reading the ongoing news stories about the movement started by one person who paid off the layaway accounts at a Walmart, I have been inspired.  For those who have not been tracking this story, there have been dozens of other folks who have now gone in to Walmarts and KMarts all across the US and paid off layaways for others.  I love how this has gained momentum organically, particularly during a time in our country's history when so many are in dire need.  I read a comment on one of the news stories in which someone wrote about many ways to do "little giving" and make a difference in the world, and the light bulb went on for me.

I hereby declare 2012 to be The Year of Giving for the LaJoy family!

I have no idea yet what shape or form this will take, but it will be our family motto for the year and we will encourage one another to look for ways in which we can do "little givings" all around us.  While we have always tried in the past to do things where we can, this is going to take on an intentionality that we have never had before, and will involve all of us looking for an opportunity or two every single day to give.  Maybe it will be as simple as giving up a parking space to someone else, paying for a Happy Meal for someone at McDonald's, or leaving a note for someone.  Maybe it will be bigger giving of our time at our local food bank, or reminding ourselves to always pick up a little something extra while shopping so we can share with others every single week. 

I think this could be profound for our family, as we need to be reminded as we walk through one of the tougher times we have had in our lives, that indeed we have plenty and always have something to give.  It may just transform this lean period for us into a profound year of recognizing our true wealth!!!  We need to realize all the ways we have of giving, all we have to offer, and that even if we have less at times we always have something we can share...even if it is a single can of corn.  I am excited even typing this!  In fact, I think we will keep a journal as a family and document our "little givings" each morning during our school Morning Meeting, as it will be a way of engaging the kids and having them get jazzed about adding something as often as possible.  Then, when we hit a rocky time ourselves, we can read our journal and reflect on ways we have more than enough to share.

Our family is continually showered with blessings, both big and small.  We have been recipients time and time again of "little givings" and of course BIG GIVINGS.  Sometimes we all feel overwhelmed when we look around us and think we can't make a difference because the need is so great.  And yet I don't know how many times we have all recalled the time we sat at Applebee's for a celebratory late night dinner as the boys broke their first board in TaeKwonDo...and a lovely couple across from us left having paid our bill.  I also remember the love shown us by complete strangers...all of you blog I was "showered" before the girls came home with gift cards all mailed here to our house.  Or how a long time Kazakhstan adoption buddy used her Disney pass to drive over an hour to give our family a super special treat of entrance into Disneyland...not once, but twice...and fed us at her house to boot!  Or even the simplest "little giving" of five boxes of Lemonheads when someone recently heard that those were my favorites :-)  It doesn't take much to make a difference, or to move someone from feeling anxious in their heart to cared for.

In the spirit of "little givings", I want to share what your "little givings" accomplished this year with your donations in the name of our family to John Wright's Pie in the Face Challenge.  Go to his blog and read the past several days entries, check out the photos and smiles.  There are literally thousands of children and families being impacted by your "little givings" and our giggles and pies in the face.  You need to see this, don't delay, go on over right now to start off your 2012 in a very special way.  John is there with his wife Julie, and his daughters Emma and Bekah right now and participating in bringing Christmas to Kyrgyzstan's orphans.  More importantly, John is always working to see to it that poverty doesn't cause families to be separated and even more children to be placed in the orphanage system.  You want to know poverty?  You think life is bad because you can't afford your daily Starbucks as easily?  What John and his family witness and try to prevent every single day in Kyrgyzstan is a level of poverty none of us can fathom.  Go on, take a look at your "little givings" and then make a commitment along with us to make 2012 your own personal Year of Giving.

I wonder what collectively all of us could do if we each did just a little every day?


Anonymous said...

"Year of Giving"? How about lifetime of giving? "Pie in the Face Challenge" Building Team LaJoy out of two yearning people and five children stranded by life?

I have a jar,now full of dog treats. What if for every dog treat removed I could put one act of kindness in?

"I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me a drink, I was homeless and you gave me a room, I was shivering and you gave me clothes, I was sick and you stopped to visit, I was in prison and you came to me...I am telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me--you did it to me."
Matthew 25, The Message//Remix,The Bible in Contemporary Language

See you in "2012--The Year of Giving."

Karon and John said...

Cindy I love it. I used to live in Belize and Hondorus as a researcher. I would often find my slef in homes with a thatched roof and mud walls. Yet every time I entered one of these homes, I was offered a gift. Sometimes an orange, sometimes a coke, but ultimately the true gift was that these people who had so little, knew how important it was to give. It is a good lesson for all of us during these economic times. I can't wait to see how each of you will discover the gifts you have to share and uncover the very real needs that are out there.

Anonymous said...

I paid a girl's bill at the emergency vet the Saturday after Thanksgiving. I was in the lobby waiting for my dog, who had been bitten by our other dog, to get stitches and heard this girl on the phone crying and calling everyone she knew asking for help with paying her dog's bill. So when I went up to pay my dog's bill I asked if I could pay her bill and they said sure - and it was only $266. How awful to have your pet sick at the emergency vet and not be able to afford $266 or not know anyone who could help. I ran out before she was told that the bill was paid but then got a thank you card and a check from her in the mail last week. Now I feel so awkward - should I cash her check? I don't know.

Anonymous said...

Random acts of kindness... Pass it on....

Happy New Year

Thanks for the gift of this blog.

Peggy in Virginia

Anonymous said...

Beautiful thinking, Cindy, from a beautiful heart! May 2012 be a year of blessing for you all as well as a year of giving.