Friday, April 2, 2010

29 Gifts

I knew it was coming.

It wasn't a surprise, and it’s not a mystery.

But I’m overwhelmed.

And I am feeling a just little bit broke.

And yes, I mean “broke” and not “broken”.

I’m feeling broke, as in
Out. Of. Cash.

OK, I’m not technically broke. I just got a paycheck yesterday, in fact. But I’m going through one of those seasons when I feel as if the motion of hand to wallet to debit card to the slidey thingie is set on auto replay, and I can’t seem to do anything about it. I’m stuck in a perpetual game of what The Practical One used to call "Check Slide Beep".

And I knew it was coming. In fact, it really isn’t a cash issue because I had been squirreling away money for this season since Christmas. But no matter how much money I squirrel, and no matter how much I prepare Little Debbie for all that check slide beeping, she still threatens to melt down when I’m in the middle of a compulsory spending season.

Because I’m a tightwad and a worry wart. And yes, I know that both are ungodly sin- natured qualities. And that, of course, adds feelings of guilt to the ever growing pile of misery.

Spring is generally a spending season for us. As a teacher, I “wisely planned” the birth of my daughters for this time of the year. (Well actually, I planned them for the summer, but God designed it differently.) So I have birthday expense, and Easter expense, and then the Prom mega expense, followed too quickly by graduation gift expenses, which will be significant this year since I have a graduate among them. And the price of EVERYTHING is so high these days…wok wok wok wok wokkkkkkkkkk…

I have thought a lot about my worrisome attitude in the past few days, and I know that it needs an adjustment.

So as I sit here on this Good Friday morning, my thoughts naturally turn to the concept of giving. And I have been thinking about another season in my life when I felt overwhelmed.

It was the fall of 2008, and we were among those riding the first tsunami of unemployment. The husband’s job had been eliminated earlier in the summer. I wanted to keep ten fingers clenched tightly on the clasp to my wallet and guard it unto death. I was looking ahead to Christmas and wondering just exactly HOW I was going to add “it” to the out box.

And I stumbled upon THIS.

It’s a wonderful concept of redirecting our focus to the honor of giving. It’s a commitment to give a gift each day for a period of 29 days, a challenge to give intentionally… and yet spontaneously at the same time.

Gifts need not be monetary. In fact, my gifts during those 29 days that fall could not be monetary. I simply didn’t have the cash to spare. But I did have my imagination, and I did have my time. And so I set out on a 29 day journey of intentional giving. And I returned with some wonderful souvenirs.

So today, I’m starting that journey again. I have dubbed the remaining days of April  29 Days of Intentional Giving. Lucky me, I have several gifts already purchased or planned, and I’m giving myself permission to count them. But I will also have many days when I’ll have to think outside the box and think more abstractly, creatively, and without spending a dime.

I’m ready…


Amy Kinser said...

Very cool! Let me know what you do.

Jennie said...

I'm so excited about this! I LOVE the premise. If I can psyche myself up, I'd love to participate (when my own self-centered April quest is complete...don't think I can bear two simultaneous quests)! Thanks for sharing this! Hope you have a fabulous Easter weekend and spring break next week!


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