Day #18: Give Intentionally (and make a list)

When Stephanie and I first decided we would “give” something every day we thought it might take some effort, but we didn’t realize just how much.

We thought we gave often already (maybe not every day, but often…) so it wouldn’t be a big deal.

As it turns out, giving each day takes way more intentionality then we ever expected. It has taken us a little by surprise.

If you own a car, have a job, and live in America there is a good chance you have enough resources to sustain life and you associate with people in the same socioeconomic category. The needs around you are likely difficult to see – hidden.

This has been a topic of increased discussion for us: How does one give in the middle of LIFE?

We are keenly aware that making giving part of our lifestyle has to be more than projects with non-profits. In a lot of ways, our scheduled days with organizations are easier. They figure it out for us. We show up, learn, and help.

Tonight, Stephanie and I sat down together after the girls were in bed for a brainstorming session. We wrote down 30 more ideas for what we will do on the days when we are not partnering with organizations. We are finding that we need to plan ahead for the “real life” days when we are grocery shopping, meal making, house cleaning, working on business projects, etc.

Have you ever felt like you would like to give more, but you’re just not sure WHAT to do?

Have you taken the time to write down ways that your family can give regularly?

Comments

  1. I would love to see that list. We are not in a place financially to give more than we already are, but I am a stay at home mom and would LOVE to give more of my time and energy!!

  2. I often wish I could help the mamas I see waiting at the bus stop with their arms full of groceries and kids. Maybe you could get some of your corporate sponsors to give you things to give away in those types of settings. An Ergo would be life changing for some!

    I love the idea of making a list! I already know what will be on the top of it. There is a man who lives in my neighborhood who has a terribly deformed spine. I often see him walking to/from home and I’ve been trying to get the courage to offer him a ride. Your post reminded me of him. Thank you!

  3. I love the idea of writing a list….I think that it would definitely help brainstorm more ideas! I am going to bring it up to my family today!

    Garrett said that when he gets older, he wants to make a bunch of sack lunches and drive around town to give them to the homeless people. We told him that he doesn’t need to wait unti he gets older, that we can do it this weekend!

  4. I would think on the days you are doing the real life thing your giving can be smaller. Such as when Stephanie and the girls gave the cashier at Wal-mart a small suprise. Or if you are eating out give a bigger tip, offer to help someone take their groceries to their car, offer to watch the kids camping out in the RV next to you, etc…

  5. Yes, WHAT to do is a struggle. It’s difficult to fit in time to go to an organization and give time (we’re in a rural area so that means at least 45 minutes of driving to get to the closest place – not including the time to be there). How to live a giving life is a great topic! I’d love to see the ideas you have.

    It also reminds me of a book that I haven’t read in about 15 years – Jesus Christ, CEO. If I recall correctly, that book is about how to live your everyday life in a Christ-like and giving way. It’s a great read and I think I’m going to have to find it and read it again!

  6. Maman A Droit says

    I think my husband and I definitely need to be more intentional in our giving. I have a tendency to feel like there’s nothing I can do-I’m too “busy” with my one toddler, and your blog helps remind me that’s a bunch of bologna & I have plenty of time to help others if I’m creative about it.

    I love the idea another commenter had of giving away baby carriers-do you know how many times I’ve wished I could do that as I watched a fellow mom struggle with a baby or toddler in the store??? Lol.

    Anyway, I also definitely think there’s a tendency for us American Christians to see the needs for food and shelter & medical care in third world nations but feel like everything is perfect where we are, like we have to “go” somewhere exotic to do good instead of doing it right here in our own backyards when really there’s so much good we can do wherever we are.

  7. You are so right about needing to be intentional. It seems like so many good ideas will be “easy” to do & then life takes over & the things don’t get done. It takes discipline & purposing. I need to write a list myself…

  8. Tim to Me: "Maybe we should buy the domain GiveEveryWeek.com instead." http://bit.ly/e2uJG1 #quotesfromyesterday #funny

  9. It seems like most things go better with a list – getting all the chores done, buying all the groceries you need, not forgetting an important errand and of course – how to give to another on a daily basis. That is one reason I’m enjoying your journey so much – it isn’t just about the projects and the big gives – you remind us of the little ways we can give on a daily basis.

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