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Monday, July 21, 2014

A simple gesture

Throughout the years I have been blessed to know so many generous souls.
Generosity, in my eyes has nothing to do with money or possessions or how much you have to give. But in how willing you are to share what you do have and in making people feel valued. 
There are people who have been immensely generous to me in opening their homes and giving me old cars and helping a silly young girl stay on her feet. For those times and people, my life has been forever altered for the better. 

But it's also in those small gestures where I felt supremely cared for. For some reason lately I've been pondering those and remembering with gratitude those who took an extra minute or thought or $1 to tell me that they were thinking about me to brighten my day. Some were as long as 15 years ago. But I remember the feeling like it was yesterday. 

I just want to share a few. Perhaps you were on the giving end of one of those. And if you were, know that I still remember. And with great fondness. 

A few took place in the year I was working at Wheaton College. 

-a friend/ student stopped by my office to give me a small bouquet of flowers. Just because. No reason. They were just thinking of me. 
-another friend/student remembered my description of a song I heard on the radio and fell in love with. Though I could not remember it's name. A week later she handed me a recording of that song. 

when I was making a significant life move, taking a new job and moving to a new area and leaving some special people. 2 things I still have in my possession were given to me:

 - a scrapbook of memories from the previous few years 
- 2 framed pictures of my favorite place 

After I had had my son, and a few months later returned to work (which if you don't know... Is the single hardest thing in the world. And I was only working 2 days a week!) my coworker left me this on my desk:
- a "back to work survival kit ". Including 2 packs of tissue (that said worlds greatest mom), 2 packs of Reese's Peanut butter cups and done calming tea 

When I left the southern suburbs and my job of 5 years with students, they left me with 2 beautiful gifts:

- my guitar students learned and performed a sweet good bye song for me 
- a collection of letters of people telling me how much they loved me

I realize now that many of these things are physical "gifts". Which if you have ever read "the 5 love languages " it's probably pretty telling about me. 

What does that mean? That someone took time out of their day to consider me and put energy into making me smile. I think it's easier probably to do when someone is right in front of you. Telling a joke or story and making people laugh. But I guess it tells me that out of sight does not mean out of mind. And that feels good. 

So I guess in all of this , it inspired me to want to do the same for others. How can I go out of my way a little bit to let those around me know that I am thinking about them and care about them? That they are important. 
Gestures and gifts are one way
Just telling them is another
Performing some service or
Making time to be with them. 
Affection is another. 

Sometimes fear of imposing myself on others holds me back from doing this.
But it also then holds me back from loving. From creating connections.

It is my impetus to be more brave in this. 

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