Sorry I've missed posting about the last couple of days - I've been a little sick so couldn't get up the energy to :( So even though I may be a couple of days behind, I'm enjoying catching up today! Sorry - this is probably going to be a long one!!!
Act # 5 - An attitude of gratitude
This thankfully is something that kind of comes with our job. We are missionaries and live by faith - that means that we rely on God prompting His people to help us and support us financially and prayerfully for our ministry to work. We have a fantastic team of people around us who do this every month and we truly thank God for each and every one of them. As well as this, we find ourselves in the very privileged position of being blessed by gifts throughout the year - whether it's a box of Christmas treats, some money that just happens to meet the amount we need for a bill or one of my hubby's flights, or someone who just wants to help us or bless us in a practical way. God is forever meeting our needs - at the exact time we need them met - by the people around us - and even by people we don't even know. It is an amazing and very humbling way to live - and so it helps to make us truly thankful of each and every thing we have.
Someone once challenged me by asking this question - "But if you are always being handed money in envelopes or having stuff appear out of nowhere, do you not get used to it and begin to expect it, or be annoyed if someone who has been giving you stuff forgets or stops altogether?" At the time I was quite annoyed and thought she had a cheek asking, especially as I didn't know her that well, but when I thought about it I was totally challenged
to review my attitude to make sure I didn't fall into this trap. Since this conversation happened I have been extra careful when we get gifts or money to make sure I am truly thankful because I do appreciate that others have sacrificed in order to obey God's prompting in their lives in order to meet a need in ours. It truly does have an impact every time you receive.
Another thing I would say is this - we are so careful to make sure that no matter what we get - be it a gift of money, groceries or someone's time - not only are we thankful for it, but we also make sure we tithe and give to someone else. This is the most important part of receiving - knowing that it's not yours but God's and making sure you bless others and give back to Him before anything else. This is honestly how we live, because without Him we can do nothing :)
Act #6 - Reach
We use this method in work to help people see that there are lots of people unique to their sphere of influence that they can share the gospel with. It's a fantastic tool to find out who you come in contact with on a daily and weekly basis. And it's a great way to see who let's you into their life. I love the way, in the devotional, they mention about who has trusted you with their phone number. There are lots of people I would love to be able to text, but I can't because I don't know them well enough and they haven't given me privilege yet. But I have more than enough people on my phone list that have trusted me with a direct link to their lives. I feel so blessed to know every single person on that list, and especially since I know that the majority of them will pray for me if I text and ask them, or would help me if I need it. All because I have let them into my life, and they have let me into theirs. It's a beautiful thing - doing life together - and I am so very thankful for every one of them.
Act #7 - Redial
I hate phone calls. I know - I'm weird - but I get very self-conscious on the phone for some reason and I feel awkward and strange. For that reason I love that I can text my best friends and have a great wee conversation over a period of time. But there are some times that a phone call is essential. Like when I rang my Granda to wish him a 'Happy Christmas' or when one of my oldest friends rang me to see how I was and we chatted for an hour! I know I need to get better at calling people so I'm excited about this challenge! Planning on calling someone tomorrow :)
Act #8 - OTT
I love this idea of just going over the top with blessing someone! Personally I love giving to others - it makes me happy :D - and I just wish I had more to give. Don't get me wrong - I love getting too ;) - but there is something so beautiful in being able to bless others - whether it's with a bunch of flowers, a meal when they aren't well or a spa day! Sometimes people need us to go OTT just for them, to pick them up when they feel as if they are having the worst day, week, month or year EVER, or when they have had some devastating news. When we go OTT to show them how much we care about them and how much they mean to us, it can make all the difference. We might feel uncomfortable, especially when they say thanks, but it can make the difference between believing that someone is there for them, and thinking that they are all alone in this world. I'm giving careful thought to who I'm going OTT on.... And since they may well read this I'm not saying a word!! :)
Well in the next day or two I'll be all caught up with the rest of you - so keep shining xx