I think every person on the planet is familiar with the phrase “going green.” The green movement is famous for their slogan of “reduce, re-use, recycle” and those are pretty good ideas! I’m going to add two more R-words to it: redistribute and redecorate!
Challenge #1 is about redistributing blessings to specific people you know who are in need of a smile, a lift, or a shift in their load. Earlier this week I issued a challenge to find some room in your budget or schedule to bless someone you know with a little bit extra time or money during this season of giving. Now, I know that your middle of the week was busy, so I’m taking this opportunity to remind you that there’s still time to do this! Choosing to pass along some of your good fortune is just pure fun! Don’t miss out on this opportunity to bring even more blessing into your own life! I PROMISE that you won’t be able to bless others without some of that blessing sticking to you! It’s a guaranteed smile producer…try it! As God’s own funny little way of reminding me about this, He sent the following quote into my email this morning:
“God has given us two hands: one to receive with and the other to give with. We are not cisterns made for hoarding; we are channels made for giving.” — Billy Graham
Challenge #2 is about another of my personal favorites: redecorating! I love to move things around and find new uses for them. Almost everyone I know has already started decorating for the holidays–and if they haven’t started, then they’ve at least started thinking about it. Several years ago, I went through our Christmas decorations and did a MAJOR down-sizing. Everything “Christmas” fits into one single large Rubbermaid tub–except for the tree, a tree stand and the box with the big nativity in it…and the nativity box and tree stand fit on top of the Rubbermaid container! Now, I did this for two reasons: 1–we had WAY too much stuff and 2–I had just been to one of our area charity shops and overheard people asking for decorations because they couldn’t afford to purchase them elsewhere. It would have been unspeakably selfish to hoard my plenty–and not even put it all out!–when there were others who were in need of some Christmas cheer! I can’t tell you how happy the in-take workers were when all of my boxes of ornaments, lights, etc. arrived…they didn’t even take time to really catalog them, just took them straight out to the floor because there was such a ‘need’ for those items.
SO…Challenge #2 has 2 parts: 1–Go through your Christmas decorations and see what you can part with this year as a donation to a charity shop in your location. Make a listing for your tax purposes and their convenience in case they’re in the same state of need our group was and have some fun thinking about how items that have brought your family joy will now do that same thing for others. This is a separate challenge from #1–THIS one is for giving to people you do not know. (smile)
2–Once you’ve reduced your abundance, look through what you have left and pick one item to use in a different way this year. This is the ‘redecorating’ part of your challenge. As a part of the purge process, I donated all of our beautiful glass ball ornaments…except for one. It belonged to my husband’s grandmother. I found it years ago at the bottom of a box of household items…no box…no protection, just this really fragile-looking ball of glass from the 1950’s or 1960’s. It’s been through the ringer a bit. It has some scuffs, but it survived. (Kind of like us, so I think that’s one of the reasons I saved it!) I never hang this ball on a tree. I always look for a way to use it differently. Example: for the past year, it’s been part of the guest room decor! I turned it upside down and placed it in a tiny Wedgwood vase and placed it on a table in the guest room. It’s protected, it’s quirky, it has great sentimental value and it looks like a miniature gazing ball, which entertains me greatly!
Whatever you choose doesn’t have to stay out for a whole year! Just find a new use for it this season. Perhaps a small wreath becomes the table centerpiece with candles placed inside the ring. Maybe your pretty Christmas napkins get draped across the back of your kitchen chairs or (This is another thing I’ve done for years!) your table runners get hung over the top of the bedroom doors for a festive banner look as you go down the hall. One caveat…USE WHAT YOU ALREADY HAVE! Don’t use this challenge as another reason to shopping!
Going Green for the season has never been such fun!
See you back here on Monday!
Grace & Peace! (now, go get busy blessing somebody today!)
*Photos by Becky Childs