Concept of Giving: Yourself, Your Time!

Meet my Guest:
Adelle from ready … GO! … get set …

I am so giddy to be featured on Reluctant Entertainer today! Don’t you just love Sandy? She is just about the cutest thing ever. Sweet, generous, talented, and her photos are to die for. I’m kind of embarrassed to even show my own photo…

I discoved Reluctant Entertainer through the highly-sophisticated means of a broken link. In checking a “Tiny URL” I just made, I found not my post, but one of hers. Immediately caught by the title, I started reading, and in her lovely photos and encouraging words I found a kindred spirit.

Anyhoo…Sandy asked me over here to share with you a challenge I accepted recently, to write about the concept of giving:

Give of yourself. Give of your time. Give something to someone else. Make it meaningful. Now write about it.

This challenge needled me for days. What does giving really mean? What does it to do the giver? To the one who’s been given? Over the course of one long night, I came up with a few thoughts:

Act of Giving
The first thing that came to mind was the act of giving graciously – unexpectedly – undeservedly. A few years ago, I wrote about how it felt to be the giver. The gracious giver. And, how it probably feels to God to give that way to us.

Receiving Grace
Second – how hard it is to be the recipient of such grace! It’s a true lesson in humility to allow that kind of grace, to accept it, revel in it, and rejoice in it. Acting in the role of recipient is really hard for me. I don’t deserve it, I can’t usually return the favor. My own personal experience with receiving grace: Lessons Learned.

Third (I think this one is Sandy’s favorite): one of the easiest ways to bless someone else is to invite them into your home. Hospitality is a dying art – we are so caught up in our supposed need for perfection we’re afraid to swing wide the door and welcome others in! On a recent Friday a friend I see far too little called and invited us to dinner. She hadn’t prepared a thing. The cheerios from breakfast were still on the floor. She stopped by good ol’ Trader Joe’s on the way home and we all arrived together. My kids were school-smelly. (I wasn’t at my dinner-guest best either.) Within minutes the wine was poured, the feast begun, and much joy and laughter were passed along with the dishes around the table.

It takes Courage
Friends, it took a lot of courage for her to extend that invitation. She is a recovering perfectionist, just like me. But my family and I were SO blessed by her hospitality. The tablecloth was wrinkled but did that matter to me? Not at all. What I will remember is the laughter and the communion. The fellowship and the sharing. The connection with others, in their own space, in their home.

I challenge you – just do it. It’s not that hard.

My Story
Lastly, with giving there is serving. 15 years ago I was a lost, lonely young woman, just out of college, living in a different country (ok, ok, different state). I had left my family, the world I knew, my friends and my home church behind. Everything was different. The church I found was different. I didn’t like their singing. The congregation was too small. I floated in and out on Sundays for a few months, like a ship without a rudder. Adrift. I knew I couldn’t keep on like that. Something had to change.

What did I do? I volunteered to serve. I jumped in, started teaching a class of middle school girls and began to have fun. I made friends. I belonged. I was part of a community once more, and suddenly all the things I didn’t like didn’t matter any more. I spent three years teaching, helping out in Children’s and Student Ministry at that church, and was richly blessed by the experience.

In serving, I was served. Giving my time gave me so much in return.

So, there you have it. I challenge you – give something back this week! And tell us about it…

Have you been blessed by gracious, undeserved giving?

How have you been able to bless someone else with unexpected hospitality?

How have you been blessed by the opportunity to serve others?

Note from Sandy:
I am honored to have Adelle’s beautiful writing on my blog today. The first time I read her blog, ready … GO! … get set …, I felt the kindred spirit connection. She is such a talented girl, and we definetly share the same heart when it comes to hospitality. A few months ago we almost met up in the Bay Area, when my daughter had a violin concert there, but it didn’t work out. I believe one day we will meet … That is what I love about blog-land. I’ve met some of the most wonderful people. It’s been a way to connect with like-minded women who share the same interests. So if you have the time, here are a few past “guest posts” from some of my dearest friends!

Fiona, What’s in your Hand?
Emily, Allowing the Present to be Imperfect
Kimba, Good Company and Chocolate Chip Cookies

And thank you, Adelle! You’ve blessed all of us today!

(Friends, don’t forget to participate tomorrow in Home is ... and share what’s on the walls in your home! Art, family photos, you name it! Have fun … Grab my button and link up here at RE!)

12 comments on “Concept of Giving: Yourself, Your Time!”

  1. Adelle, thank you for being here on RE this week. Really thought-provoking and encouraging to all of us. Love you, girl!

  2. I love these examples you all! This exercise has been really helpful to me – I still fall back into the trap of crazy-cleaning-lady before people come over and I have to remember…they aren’t coming for my clean floors.

    TickledRed – you are so right – the little things can mean the most! Random acts of kindness…

    FarmGirl – what a beautiful example of service and hospitality! I’m sure he will never forget your family’s kindnesses.

    Thank you all for your wonderful comments!
    .-= Adelle @ ready…GO!…get set´s last blog ..What’s Not to Love: Olive & Maude =-.

  3. “Recovering perfectionist”…that’s a great term that I can completely relate to. It’s not easy trying to let go, and encouragement like this from Adelle is so welcome in my brain.

    I feel blessed by the older gentleman across the street from us. We’ve known him for about 5 years, and he just lost his wife last fall. We watched his wife steadily falter during those 5 years, until she ended up with in-home hospice care. He was so tender with his frail life mate through the common ambulance visits during the night, frequent doctor visits, etc. He has been a wonderful example of unfailing love to my family, and we have tried to bless him as he has blessed us. He loves fresh garden goodies, so we often take him raspberries and tomatoes from our garden, plus a plate of this or that dessert we’ve made. He is always so appreciative, and is sure to return his cleaned plate by the next day. :-)
    .-= afarmgirlsdabbles´s last blog ..Fettuccine with Peas, Asparagus, and Bacon =-.

  4. What a wonderfully inspiring post. I am working very hard on my perfectionism at home. Giving back can sometimes also be the small day to day gestures. Like including the new mom at swim team in your conversation making sure that she feels welcome. Thanks ladies for this :) It warmed my heart this morning.
    .-= Tickled Red´s last blog ..Busted! =-.

  5. Such beautiful words. I was especially touched by the hospitality section. I know that I need to take more time to invite people into my home. Too often I focus on having to make sure things are perfect rather than just enjoying time spent together.

  6. Thanks, Adelle, for sharing this very needed post. I agree. Hospitality is a dying art. I’m guilty. I need to do as you say, “just do it.”
    .-= Dayle´s last blog ..God’s Message in the Sky =-.

  7. This post is amazing. I cannot tell you how important it was for me to read this. The perfectionist thing? It’s suffocating me. The church thing – I so need to serve. Thank You.
    .-= Suzann from The Olive Cottage´s last blog ..Room With A View … =-.

  8. What a great community you have created here, Sandy! Thanks for all the kind words, gals! And thank you to Sandy for this great opportunity.
    .-= Adelle @ ready…GO!…get set´s last blog ..What’s Not to Love: Olive & Maude =-.

  9. Over this past Mother’s Day I decided to visit a women’s shelter with some fancy cupcakes from a cupcake boutique. I was going to drop them and run. They ended up inviting me for lunch, which then turned into a program (along with my talented friend Mela singing!) What was going to be a “drop & run” turned into something more meaningful and special. There is nothing like sharing a meal together to bring people together, no matter what the life experience! It was a special day: beautiful women, stories to share, words to uplift, encouragement and smiles!….and the cupcakes were amazing!! ~Chris Ann
    .-= LoveFeast Table´s last blog ..Fancy Friday Pinkalicious! =-.

  10. Great post, and lots of great advise! Thanks Adelle!

  11. So glad to see more of Adelle’s writing! I met her through your Home Is. . . series–she’s delightful!

    Just look. . . you’re an online hostess as well as an in-person hostess. Introducing us to one another, making us all feel at home. . . .

    I’m looking forward to getting to know Adelle better. Thank you for featuring her!
    .-= Richella´s last blog ..Same old furniture, brand new space =-.

  12. What a fabulous post! I love your charge about hospitality. I’m in a fairly small apartment that I don’t think works well for entertaining. BUT when good friends, good food, and good wine come together, good times are in store! Thanks for encouraging me to step out and start opening my door!
    .-= Elizabeth@LongToLove´s last blog ..The Whole Truth =-.

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