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Give to People, Intentionally Issue 382
June 19, 2015
Hi there! ....

This week has been a bit of a somber week as our community grieves the deaths of two men. It is easy to think of the ripples that the passing of these men will have on our community but the thing that hurts my heart is that these were family men: they left behind wife, children, parents, siblings, friends. But on a personal level, it prompts me, and many others to think about the things that we prioritise in our day to day decisions. We don't know the length of our days - may we all use them to love our family, love others and glorify God. Another thought I've been thinking about is that it is the little decisions that we make that leave people feeling loved, the little decisions that makes memories, the little decisions that builds our family.

May you find time this weekend to think through the little decisions you are making, and little adjustments you may need to make along the way.

This week I'm sharing a blog post about giving to people - you can read it here on my newsletter or pop over to my blog: Give to People, Intentionally

Live life with your Kids!

Give to People, Intentionally

This year my focus word has been ‘give’. It seems easy to make a decision at the beginning of the year and say – this year I am going to give. Great idea! But how to do that? How to do it consistently throughout the year? These are the things that I’ve been thinking about, as much as doing the actual giving. In order to make ‘giving’ a part of your life, not only for a year, but for life – you need to be intentional.

I’ve been pondering four questions:

  • Why give?
  • What stops me from giving?
  • Who do I give to?
  • What can I give?

Why give?

These are my reasons:
  • God asks us to give
  • Giving is a part of gratefulness for what I have been given
  • Giving gets me involved with people – and I recognise I am not an island
Knowing why we do something helps us to stay true to the things that we believe. When it gets hard to ‘give’ I can look at this short list and affirm that it is important to me to keep on giving.

What stops me from giving?

These are my excuses, yours may be different:
  • When I’m Hurt
  • When I’m in doubt – don’t know what to give
  • When I’m tired
  • When I’m busy
By identifying the things that hinder me, I can intentionally work on them. If giving is important to me – and it is – then I need to find forgiveness, healing and peace when I’ve been hurt, so I can give to others. I need to be brave enough to ask people what they need if I can’t see it for myself. I need to look after myself, get enough food, water, exercise and sleep so that I can give to others. I need to manage my time, so that I am working on the things that are important. By identifying these things I can deal with them, giving me the ability to do what is important – giving to others.

Who do I give to?

Knowing who you are to give to is important; otherwise we run around doing good, but not doing right. Just because something is a good idea – doesn’t mean it is a God idea. Ask yourself who does God want me to give to right now – in this season of my life? I have identified different spheres of relationships (and specific people who are in those spheres). Each of those relationships require different types of giving. Some relationships are mutual and yet are maintained by giving to each other, others are more geared towards me giving to meet a need.

How can I give?

I can give with:
  • my time
  • my emotions
  • my energies
  • my resources
  • my abilities
These things vary in abundance for different seasons of life – and that is okay, and they will vary and change from person to person. We need to learn to give from what we have been given, not give because someone else is giving. When we can accept this is what I have in my hand then we can give from contentment and delight rather than giving from a sense of duty or guilt.

After answering these questions I have brainstormed ideas that connect the who with the how: How can I give to this person? And I’ve listed the different ways. For some of these I have also made reminders on my calendar/to-do so that I’ve specified a particular date to give to a particular person in a particular way. By thinking through these different questions I have found both a reminder of my purpose, and an ability to be specific in my efforts. This is intentional living. There are so many needs around us, in our town, in our nation, in our world, and I can’t give to them all. I can give to the specific needs that are on my heart though. By being intentional I also look after myself. I am not carrying guilt by not meeting every need in the world, neither am I running myself ragged trying to meet every need that I see. Both those scenarios are physically impossible for one person to do – but I can meet the needs that I need to meet. I can give to the people that I need to give to.

I am reminded of Jesus and his time here on earth. He was a very busy man, he had lots going on in his life – and yet he always did the will of the Father. He didn’t meet every need every person had – he did that by dying on the cross, yes – but not during his 3 years of earthly ministry. But he did do everything that his Father asked of him. This is what I want to be able to say – to be confident that I am doing what my heavenly Father is asking of me.

In this day and age of so much self-focus – what I need to be happy, it is important that we process ways to be intentionally other’s focused – to be intentionally giving to others.

Read more:
The word Give is my 'one word' for 2015 - if you are interested in reading more of my journey so far:

Other blog posts I've written recently:
The World is your Oyster, Looking at this common phrase, I'm not sure it says what we think it says!

Conversation Starters around the Table here's a list to help you thinking of different things you can bring to the table to help stimulate family conversation.

My Bookshop

Blending Life with Lessons e-book - Does your everyday life challenge your homeschool ideas? This is my journey as I discover that it is possible to disciple my children in today's busy lifestyle.

Heart Focus Parenting book/e-book - A heart focused parent will keep their attention on their child's heart for God, instead of on external behaviours.

Restoring the Heart, Mind and Soul of Christmas Do your Christmas celebrations line up with what you believe? Do your celebrations help your children learn more about Jesus?

This e-book is based on a workshop I held for a couple of years to help families see that Christmas can be a significant tradition in our family life. If we are intentional about how our family celebrates we have the opportunity to use this time to teach our children about Jesus, and his love for each one of us.

My Sitemap is a quick reference to all you will find on Lifestyle-Homeschool. I encourage you to have a browse around!

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Until next week

Belinda Letchford
Living life with her kids in Australia!

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Live life with your Kids newsletter is about being a deliberate parent, about enjoying family life and using the opportunities that happen to teach and train your children in righteousness (right living with God). I hope that you will find regular encouragement as you live life with your kids!

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