LEAP – generously (June 29th)

“Generously”

… that was one of the first adverbs I picked describing how I wanted to L.E.A.P. this year.

Ironically, I confess, I chose it selfishly; because I wanted to clean out my barn and basement.  (It’s one thing to clean; it’s another thing altogether to clean-out.)

This has certainly been a memorable Leap Year as I’m learning to L.E.A.P.

  • to LIVE (“just live”, abundantly abiding)
  • to ENJOY (slowing down to appreciate and take it all in, find joy in every day despite circumstances)
  • to ADD (share, contribute)
  • to PRAY (first, last, and continually in-between)

and to do it

  • attentively
  • beautifully
  • intentionally
  • naturally
  • and GENEROUSLY

june 01

But, I obvious still have a lot to learn.

I’ve recently had some time to soberly think about my motives, and regardless of how things come across to others, the LORD looks a my heart.  If the motivation for doing anything is proud or selfish, my actions are down right ugly to the LORD.  But, if my heart is humble and pure before Him, He is pleased with me, and that’s what matters… even more than cleaning out the excess stuff in my house.

This month of generosity has more to do with heart than material things

june 02

 

Each month’s theme has built upon the ones before, and this month is no different.

  • So, I want to GIVE “BEAUTIFULLY“, not just to others, but to bless the LORD as well!  And, I don’t want an ugly motive to taint my gift.  (Though Proverbs says a gift open a door for the giver, generosity is not about bribing,  making someone think better of me, or even making me feel better about myself.)
  • I want to ATTENTIVELY see the needs of others and see the blessing I’ve been entrusted with as a stewardship to meet those specific needs.  (From overexposure, I’m blind to much of the wasteful clutter that surrounds me; so I’m asking the LORD to give me a fresh vision of future potential and clear sight to see what needs to be passed along.)
  • I can’t do this “naturally”; because I know  my own lazy and self-indulgent nature.  But as I’ve seen this past month, stuff and excess stand in the way of living Supernaturally-NATURALLY .  With the LORD, I can do this!
  • And I need a plan.  So I will continue to L.E.A.P. INTENTIONALLY.

june 03

My older sister has been the inspiration for developing my strategy for this month.

A couple years ago, my sister and her husband moved from a huge four bedroom house in the suburbs of Raleigh, North Carolina to a high-in-the-sky two bedroom apartment in the heart of Chicago.

Almost every thing in her house needed to go, how did she do it?

— GENEROUSLY!

Everyday she left for work with at least three bags/boxes.   She tossed a bag of “throw-away”-stuff in the trash cart by the curb.  She dropped a bag of items off at Goodwill, and everyday she had something (or a lot of somethings!) to give away to friends.

She became the conduit of blessings from the LORD.

This past year when she moved to a one bedroom apartment a few blocks along the shore of the beautiful Windy City , she found she still had a lot to give away, like a vacuum cleaner and a crockpot to a lady that had never owned either.

My sister is one of the most thankful, generous, and contented people I know.  And, what’s most refreshing is she is genuinely a hilariously cheerful giver!

What about me?

No one has every accused me of having the Spiritual Gift of Giving.   Though I appreciate presents and treasure them as prayer reminders for the friends that have given to them to me, my love language is primarily words and secondarily quality time.  So, I can obviously stand to stretch my weaker spiritual muscles this month.

Now before I go much further into giving “things”, I feel compelled to linger a moment and mention that generosity is not just about money and stuff.  Like me, many people don’t hear love in that language.  Generosity involves every love language.  And, so this month I am going to intentionally make a point to give “things” away, but if you are fluent in the language of gift giving, maybe you should become bi-lingual and generously give another sort of gift this month.

Be generous with…

  • encouraging words, prayer, and wise counsel
  • acts of service, being a “secret servant” as opposed to a “secret santa”
  • quality time, lingering and listening  (If you’re known for talking a lot, you can be generous with your silence.)
  • meaningful touch, a hug and a kiss, a hand to hold, a shoulder to lean on

as wells as

  • thoughtful gifts

(If these are not familiar to you, check out The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman)

june 04a

june 04

My Goals for L.E.A.P.ing GENEROUSLY this month:

  1. to display the 5 “languages” to the members of my family everyday
  2. to toss 29 items of “trash” everyday
  3. to donate 29 bags/boxes of miscellaneous “stuff”
  4. to pass along 29 items (re-gift a few gifts from God)
Here are a couple charts I created for myself to use this month:

chart 01 chart 02

Feel free to download these and edit them to use generously bless your family and to meet your own goals.

LEAP June – Generously

The first chart gives me a square to check off each day for each “love language” for each member of my family and the second is a simple bookmark sized paper to post and check off those 29 things I want to toss/give/donate.

june 05

Living GENEROUSLY should be a way of life for us.  So, what can you Add to someone’s life this month?  Make it a matter of Prayer.   I know the LORD will direct you and bless you.  Not only will you Enjoy it, but it will certainly be a source of joy to someone else, too.

Dear Seeker, 

If you're reading this, I pray that YOU...
Live, Enjoy, Add, and Pray 
more attentively, beautifully, intentionally, naturally, and generously 
this month.

Give something secretly (Matthew 6:2-4) and sacrificially (1 Chronicles 21:24; 2 Samuel 24:24).  It's a beautiful thing to the LORD!  

You do have something to give.


LORD, You've blessed us to be a blessing.  We want to be good stewards and to be free of all idols.   We give ourselves and this month to You.  Show us what to give, when, and to who for Your glory.  Amen.

Thank the LORD for this Beautiful Day (supernaturally natural, in 29 pictures)

“He awakens me morning by morning;  He awakens my ear to listen…” Isaiah 50:4

When I meet Him in the morning, He has my attention throughout the day, and He speaks and leaves me speechless.

nature 10 alone with God

This has been a most remarkable month.

It began with the pleasant discovery that the  Leap Year theme for this month was to L.E.A.P. (live, enjoy, add, and pray) naturally and then immediately writing a quick post before walking out the door to go camping.  — 29 sovereignly and gloriously ordained days later, I am logging in for the first time in a month, to look up next month’s theme and write yet another post to schedule for publishing as I prepare to head out the door again on an outdoor adventure. —  Ending just as I began.

Thank You, LORD, for overseeing my calendar this way and filing in all the beautiful details in between.    As I trust in You, indeed, You direct my path.  (Proverbs 3:5-6)

nature 01 path

early mornings, afternoons, and evenings:

  • sunrise, sunset
  • a thunderstorm
  • dew on the grass
  • steam rising from a lake
  • a forest alive with songs and chatter of birds
  • fawns prancing around their mothers in the field
  • a sail boat flying past under the silent power of an invisible wind

nature 02 - mrocks

nature 05 farm fence

nature 18 sunset

nature 28 lighthouse

nature 06 tree

nature 20 horses

nature 29 sunlight water

nature 41 daisy

nature 24 swans

nature 32 dinner fire

nature 25 bay dock

I am torn with wanting to brag on God, to share what the LORD has done for me, but also to avoid all appearance of pretense of boasting in anything other than in knowing Christ. So, I will share just one story and will ponder the other treasures in my heart.

One evening this month while sitting by a campfire, Handsome and I heard the sound of bagpipes.  We walked down to the lake and took in a most spectacular sunset.  And, just as the sun was slipping over the horizon, the piper played "Amazing Grace".

All was still in the calm evening light with only the quiet lapping of water rhythmically brushing the shore and the random soft splashes of fish seemingly jumping in praise to God.

As he turned to go, I broke the silence. "Thank you for playing for us.  You gave us a wonderful gift."

He replied, "It's the way I thank the LORD for a beautiful day.  I play for Him, and I know He hears me." 

nature 17 bagpipes

How do you thank the LORD for a beautiful day?

nature 03 - farm country

nature 16 swimming lake
So far out on that the horizon is only water and sky.  For a moment I had the strangest sensation of what it might be like to be an astronaut flying so high as to reach the heavens and see the curvature of the earth.
nature 17 clouds
I love looking for pictures in the sky. This “bird” on a “branch” was my favorite this month.

 

nature 13 tress light
I wish you could see the light shimmering in this tree from underneath as the early morning light reflects of the rippling water… magical! It was the most relaxing thing to watch.

nature 31 lake houses

nature 27 fishing

Every day is miracle of heavenly art and living science.  Don’t miss the heavens declaring the glory of God or the earth displaying the wonder of our Creator’s spoken word.

nature 23 flower heart petals
heart shaped petals from my mother-in-law’s rose bush  (Oh, how we miss her!)

nature 34 roses

nature 14 sunshine in a cup
OJ – “sunshine in a cup”.

Today is an opportunity…

to “taste and see that the LORD is good” (Psalm 34:8),

…. and He is

oooooh

sooooo

goooooood!

nature 09 sunrise lake

nature 19 campfire

nature 21 summer snow petals
I felt like a princess every time I walked from the car to the house this past week as the LORD showered me with tiny petals from our flowering trees.

nature 42 flowers tree

I hope this year you’ll set aside a month to take notice and in your heart to L.E.A.P naturally!  I will leave it to the Holy Spirit to persuade you, but I know that you will be so blessed and thankful if you Seek Him this way.

natute 03 - tree rocks

As much as possible this year, LIVE IT OUTSIDE!

nature 43 table sit