In 2009 and 2010, I made goals for myself instead of New Year's resolutions. Both years I made the goal to bless as many people as I possibly could with my gift, and I did just that. In 2009, I wrote a letter and made a baked good and delivered it them on Sundays to all those who had been a blessing to me. And In 2010, I wrote as many cards as I could, as often as I could. I learned to count my blessings through each letter I wrote, and gratitude flowed and ebbed out of my heart as a result.
However, I feel like I let go of my gift in 2011. I stopped writing cards and making baked goods, and I noticed that I felt less grateful over time. In essences, I felt like I was losing a part of myself and who God had made me to be. I stopped writing because I was in the amidst of changing jobs, of launching a business, and of shifting my life in an entirely different direction. However, in all that shift, I feel like I left a part of myself behind, and I made excuses as to why that was okay along the way. This past November, a friend suggested that I pray that my heart be open to opportunities where I could use my gifts to bless someone else. So in December, I decided that I wanted to pursue those opportunities with giving, and giving until it hurt. I blessed 25 strangers with cards, mittens, hugs, gift cards, clothes, and love. It served to remind me of my gift, and how I'm called to use it.
We are all hurting, we are all struggling, and fighting battles. No one ever promised that it would be an easy journey through life. Someone once told me, "you never know when your words will be exactly what they need to hear in order to get back up again." Therefore, I try to say as many kind things as often as I can, to as many people as I can. So I decided that this year I'm getting back on track. Yesterday, I had a change of pace, went to the library, and wrote 42 thank you notes. I wrote until I couldn't write anymore, and I walked away remembered how blessed I truly am.