Go Give Link Up #1

starbucks photoFor the past 7 years I’ve been the Vacation Bible School Director for my church. By the time the fifth and final day of our program rolls around, I am usually completely burned out due to tons of organizational, administrative hours and non-stop prayer spent from February through June.

Last year was no different. It was the final day of the program and time to hand out the awards to the group of children who raised the most money for our mission project. We always have a change contest throughout the week. The group which brings in the most donations receives a prize. All proceeds go towards a specific mission.

I always wait until the final day of VBS to purchase the prizes. This is because I never know ahead of time what group will end up winning, and I need to make sure I purchase enough. It was hot that day and after running to pick up my supplies to put together something special for the winning team, I decided to stop through the Starbucks drive thru line and treat myself.

I ordered a Venti Black Tea Lemonade and continued to the window to pay. When I arrived the young man working the drive thru line told me the car that was in front of me had already paid for my order.

This may seem silly, but at that moment I felt as if God had smiled on me. It wasn’t that I couldn’t afford my drink. It was the idea that someone thought to do something kind for me – Someone who didn’t know me.  It was a beautiful surprise that kept me smiling all evening.

After that moment, I couldn’t wait to do something kind for someone else. Giving is contagious and causes great joy. As 2013 was coming to a close, the memory of my blessing at Starbucks stayed strong in my mind. I wanted to do my part to inspire giving amongst others. And through that, Go Give was born.

I bet the person who so generously gave me that drink has no idea I still pray for them, or that they helped begin a giving campaign for the whole year of 2014. See what a little giving can do?

Throughout the month of January I’ve been giving away coffee. Every Monday evening I teach a Bible study.  As a group we decided to Go Give together. We went to Starbucks on a cold, snowy, Monday night and every woman who walked through the door was greeted and given a 5 dollar gift card for coffee. What followed were stunned, thankful, faces decorated with smiles. It was worth every moment and every dime spent!

Many of you have told me you were participating in Go Give. So, if you are a blogger, you can link up and tell your Go Give stories. And, even if you don’t have a blog, please share your stories in the comment box. As my kids would say, “Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy!” I want to hear from you!

GoGiveButtonBloggers, to link up, please use the Go Give button in your post and link back by using agirlonthedoorstep.com somewhere in your post as well.

February’s Go Give challenge is… Drum Roll Please….

Go Give an act of service. You won’t need any money to participate in this challenge. You can be creative!  Clean someone’s home, make a meal, bake a cake, etc…

I love to cook. Whenever someone is sick I usually will be the first volunteer to make a meal. It’s a simple way to show them I care. But this month, I’m not waiting for someone to be ill for me to decide to cook for them. I’m going to show up on an unsuspecting friend’s doorstep with dinner. I’m doing it for no other reason than to say, “I care about you!”

Remember, February 10th – 16th is Random Acts of Kindness week! What a great week to #GoGive!

Have a beautiful day, sweet friends!

PS: Have you heard about The Mercy Retreat?

 

Go Give (Introduction)

Go Give Graphic

Today, I would like to share one of my dreams for 2014.

Christmas tends to be a time of thoughtfulness towards others. The spirit of togetherness and giving takes over and draws us inside.  However, come January 1st, we tend to settle into the commotion of lives well lived and forget the gifts.

None of us mean to forget each other. It just so happens that every year becomes more and more hectic. Life passes us by. And we, without even recognizing it, are saying goodbye to precious moments in the process.

Quickly, we move forward while breathing in and out our children’s sporting events, class parties, and homework. Yet, rarely do we hear the sound of our breathing. Life is noisy. The stillness is left behind in exchange for chaos. And though chaos can carry with it, its own strange sense of joy, it tends to be a double edged sword. We become caught up in our own lives; we forget to give gifts.

I’ve heard people refer to Christmas as “The season of giving.” In my opinion, there’s one small problem with this school of thought: Seasons end.

They come and go.

And so do the gifts of Christmas.

Well, all but the One True Gift: Jesus.

What if we gave for the sake of giving and not for the sake of “The season of giving?”

I should probably clarify: I understand we cannot continue shopping for our family and friends all year long like we do at Christmastime, but I know it’s more than possible to continue giving in some way.

So I began to ponder the thought of giving one gift a month. Maybe the recipient could be someone I don’t know well or even know at all.  And I don’t want to give for a birthday or any special reason. I just want to let the person know they are worth a gift.

I think it might even be life changing – One act of kindness a month to make a difference in another life.

Yes, I want to do it!

It doesn’t have to cost much. Actually, some months, it won’t cost anything.

I have a 2014 challenge for us. It’s called, “Go Give!”

It’s not about gifting people with fancy and expensive presents to wow them. It’s not about helping the needy. (Although that is important, it’s just not the idea of this particular challenge.) This is about showing people they have worth, they are thought about, and their life means something. It’s an expression of kindness to move us through 2014 with purpose.

Here’s how it works:

I have 12 challenges for us throughout 2014. Every month, on the first of the month, I will post the challenge. (Some months I will do it through a vlog and show you some ideas!) Each challenge will tell you what to “Go Give” and even suggest who you might give to.

I would love for you to participate and then show me the evidence of your  “Go Give project!”

If you are a blogger, you can link up to my blog at the end of the month to tell me the story behind your “Go Give project.” (For example, I will post the challenge on the first day of the month, and on the last day of that same month we will share as a group about what God did through our gifting projects.) I would love to see a picture included! If you are not a blogger, you can comment about it in the comment section of my blog, tweet, Facebook, or Instagram me your story or picture using the hashtag #GoGIve.

I want to reiterate that this will not cost much, or any, money. It’s about the thought.

Throughout the last several years I’ve been able to give in some way to people who need it, and 99% of the time I’ve been able to remain anonymous. To document the gifting project, it won’t always be possible to carry it out anonymously, but there will be times we will try. (More details about that later.)

When you give, you receive double. Not always monetarily, but there is a beautiful feeling and sense of purpose which accompanies a giving heart. Best of all, we can share the love of Christ through celebrating each other. And that is what I want this blog to represent.

In 2014 I want us to rise up a community of givers. I want our giving to become contagious. And, most of all, I want Christ to be glorified through it.

Let’s take it one step further!

I’m also going to introduce the “Go Give Community.” This is a community of people who commit to the project by taking part in gifting and then sharing about it with others. We will even start a Facebook group. Through this, we will encourage each other with stories of generosity and hope. If you are part of the community and choose to share a blog post, comment, or picture about your experience, with your permission, at the end of the year 2014, I will use some of your documentation in an upcoming writing project. But more than that, I just want us to share together in this process.

If you are interested in being part of the “Go Give Community”, send me an email or leave a comment in the comment section of this post.

Stay tuned for the first challenge coming on January 1st!

So, what do you think? Are you interested in “Go Give?”

Love,

Jennifer

 

January GoGive Challenge #1

January GoGive Challenge Link up #1