… 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
- and GENEROUSLY
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!
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.
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?
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)
My Goals for L.E.A.P.ing GENEROUSLY this month:
- to display the 5 “languages” to the members of my family everyday
- to toss 29 items of “trash” everyday
- to donate 29 bags/boxes of miscellaneous “stuff”
- 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:
Feel free to download these and edit them to use generously bless your family and to meet your own goals.
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.
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.