Love with Abandon

This week I started working at Operation Christmas Child in the processing center. For the next three weeks I will be working to prepare shoe box gifts to go out to the hands of children all around the world.

My job is not the most labor intensive- but it’s the most hard labor I’ve had to do for a while – standing in a concrete warehouse, lifting heavy boxes, etc. However, every time a staff member speaks about the importance of each shoe box gift I get teary eyed. Each shoe box gift already has a name and a face to go with it in God’s eye. God has a plan for each of the MILLIONS of shoe boxes that the Charlotte processing center will go through.

In addition to this daily reminder that God is sovereign, I just finished the book Kisses from Katie. It is truly an amazing story for young lady my age that moves to Uganda and adopts 14 little girls. Here are some excerpts that challenged me:

“Mediocrity and abundance, comfort and ease, do seem to be safe choices for many people…In stark contrast, leaving our possesssions, following Jesus when we don’t have a weel-defined plan and entertaining strangers-well that does sound a little scary. But what if, just beyond that risk, just beyond the fear is a life better than anything we have ever imagined: life to the fullest.”

“Every day we hav ea choice. We can stay nestled in our safe comfortable palces. We can let fear of something that really is small compared ot the greatness of God cripple us. Or we can take a risk, do something to help someone else, make a person smile, change someone’s world. Life to the fullest exists. It’s available. All we have ot do is decide to get up and embrace it.”

“We aren’t really called to save the world, not even to save one person, Jesus does that. We are just called to love with abandon.”

“Courage is not about knowing the path. It is about taking the first step. It is about Peter getting out of the boat, stepping out onto the water with complete faith that Jesus will not let him drown.”

These excerpts remind me how much I can choose to make a difference daily. I don’t need to be a missionary or live in Africa or go anywhere to make an impact. I can make an impact through my daily choices.

“choose to love…rather than hate
choose to laugh….rather than cry
choose to create….rather than destroy
choose to persevere…rather than quit
choose to praise…rather than gossip
choose to heal…rather than wound
choose to give…rather than steal
choose to act…rather than procrastinate
choose to grow…rather than rot
choose to pray…rather than curse
choose to live…rather than die.”
-The Greatest Miracle in the World by Og Mandino

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Be Generous

The last couple of weeks have been wonderful. I continue to learn and grow through Amway and just by living life.

At my church, we just completed a series on generosity and the importance of giving.  Although I believe it is important to give financially, I think it is just as important to give of yourself. Through Amway, I have seen the example of servant leadership. My mentor has not only gotten to know me and to understand what my love language is, but she has demonstrated it to me. It amazing how great it feels to know that someone cares enough about you to truly listen and take to hear what you share so that they can take action to show you.

Last weekend, I was able to surprise my roommate at her first marathon in D.C. Not only was planning the surprise trip to D.C. exciting, but it was wonderful because I knew how much it would be to her to know that I traveled the 7 hours just for her. Now, I was able to see some other friends along the way, but still. The purpose was to show my support for Riley as she ran 26.2 miles.

Psalm 16:11 says, ” You make known to me the path of life;  you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” Now, if that verse doesn’t make you happy – I can’t help you there. When giving, it has to be joyful and from the heart. For me, that joy comes from the Lord. Remembering that God loves me and He loves every single person on this Earth, so I should then show love to every person I encounter.

I found this on Pinterest and I absolutely love it. It is so simple, and yet you can make a positive impact in the world just by being kind.  Now, not all of these really apply to the topic of giving, but taking simple steps of being kind to people you meet throughout your day is a good first step.

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