I have really enjoyed reading Say Goodbye to Survival Mode. My favorite chapter has been one about being generous and giving of yourself. It pointed out there are so many different ways to share yourself, through your time, actions, or money, and that not everything has to be expensive or very time consuming.
One of our Advent activities last month was to bake cookies and give them to the neighbors. We paged through the cookbook and found a recipe for Orange Oatmeal cookies that we made, along with giving cranberry bread. (Disclosure: the bread I had made to take for Thanksgiving, but forgot to take it with us when we traveled, so it had sat in the freezer for a month. It was still yummy though.) Making the plates of cookies was easy enough, but the best part about it was the joy and excitement on my son’s face as we gave them out. Picasso was running and jumping from house to house, unable to contain his excitement–and he was so much fun to watch! It was also fun to get thanks from the neighbors, who were surprised and delighted to get the cookies!
There’s no competition when it comes to giving. What matters most is your heart.
— Crystal Paine
I forget that giving doesn’t have to be a grand measure. I am often so struck by the enormity of need in the community that I am paralyzed and unable to give as I would like to. I must not forget that simple acts are still acts of giving, and can make as much impact as a grand gesture. I cannot fix hunger by volunteering in a food pantry, and I cannot fix loneliness with a plate of cookies. But both make an impact, a dent, however small. And God can take these small actions and make much more out of them!