Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Generosity.. get ready. It's my fave!

Ok, one of my favorite subjects in the book (for instance, I did NOT look forward to talking about my "weakness", HEALTH, I looked very much toward my "strength" GENEROSITY!) came on day 3. John Maxwell feels that generosity is also one of his strengths and a "love language" of his (and mine).   And so, as we discussed Generosity, we got out the scrapbook materials and went to work.
It was free reign in the art room... all the ink pads, sticker letters, markers, pop dots, tape, etc that a little heart could hope for. 
In John's book, Make Today Count, he says, "greatness is not defined by what a person receives, but by what that person gives.  True generosity isnt' a function of income-it begins with the heart.  It's about serivn gothers and looking for ways to add value to them."  Ooohh weee.  I like that!
And I especially like this... "the way people handle money colors their attitude about many other spects of their lives.  Wherever your money is, taht's where your attention goes."  For instance, if you give a lot to the church, you are going to attend the meetings where they discuss the budget.  If you invest in the stock market, you are probably more apt to follow its upward and downward swings.  And if you give to a particular charity, you care how the money is used and whether the organization succeeds. 

The Bible even tells us, "There your treasure is, there your heart is also."
The great philanthopist, Andrew Carnegie, said, "No man becomes rich unless he enriches others."
And giving doesnt' only mean your money.  It also means of yourself... as in your time.  What takes greater effort, writing a check or giving your time? I promise you, the people closest to you would rather have you than your money.  A child would rather have a parent's undivided attention than anything money could buy.

Can you think of a particular person who poured into your life?  Someone you'd consider a mentor?  It may be a special aunt or uncle who made you feel loved and valued. 
Rabbi Harold Kushner said, "The purpose of life is not to win.  The purppose of life is to grown and to share. ... "

"When you invest in another perosn just for hte sake of seeing that person blossom, with no though to any benefit you might receive, you will be the kind of generous person others want to be around."  WOW... JM. you really summed it up there!
And so as I tried to give of my time and talents at this retreat, I also became acutely aware of how I was giving of my "stuff" as well.  I would whip out just about any old thing someone wanted to use.  And as you can tell in the above photos, the "stuff" runneth over!
Wanna hear another FAB-U-LOUS quote?! 
SIr Wilfred T. Grenfell siad, "The service we render to otehrs is really teh rent we pay for oru room on this earth.  It is obvious that man is himself a traveler; that the purpose of this world is not 'to have and to hold', but to 'give and to serve'. There can no other meaning."

JM talks a lot about adding value to people.  He really considers it his life's mission statment.  He says, "when you value people, you open the door to generosity."
Wow. I am pretty.
Another important takeaway from this chapter is this... dont' WAIT for prosperity to become generous.  "Some of the most generous people I know have nothing materially", said JM, and then, he says, "I know plenty of people who have a lot to give but no heart to give it."  SO sad!  Hey Mississippi, did you know you are the 2nd poorest state in the country, but are ranked 6th in charitable giving?  Way to go!!  And New Hampshire is ranked 6th in average personal income, but 45th in charitable giving.  It's all about the heart!
The US as a whole actually gives only2.5% of its income to charitable causes, whereas it was 2.9% during the Great Depression.  Hey America... wake up!!  It won't come to you unless you let it flow THROUGH you!!
Per JM, 80% of AMericans who earn at least $1 million a year leave nothing to charity in their wills.  :(
So, have you thought yet about to whom or what organization you could be giving?  Your time, talents, or energy?!
Look for a compelling cause.
Find an urgent need.
Look for a group that is making an impact.
Seek out leaders you know and believe in.
GIve to organizations you respect and trust.
And then start giving.  The purpose of this art project was to make as many tags as our little fingers could make while staying on our agenda!  And jennifer made SURE I was on time to start and end each project.  After all, we had a LOT to do! 
And then, with each tag, go home and give someone something.  It could be a word of encouragement written on a tag.  It could be an actual gift, with the tag as lagniappe.
And because we had Emery present who is totally proficient in the Mac, she made some relly great photos for us in "tag size" so we could incorporate those as well.
We tried to incorporate all kinds of stickers and overlays and things that had been in my artroom for far too long into this project.  Thus, the "enjoy the simple things" saying.
And would ya look at those gorgeous girlies in these tags?  Look close now.  They are pretty great!
We had a ball.  And so, now it's your turn.   Make some tags.  Keep them stored in your wrapping area. They are so simple and a quick art projec to get your juices flowing.  Consider it an art warm up, if you will.
"To Whom Much is Given, Much is Required"
The Bible says that too!  And so, if you feel you have a rich, blessed life, giving to others is a requirement.  Jesus said so!
May you see the riches in your own life and share your blessings with others today! 



Mbeaty19 said...

Wow this post really got me thinking. Think I'll be pulling out my bins tomorrow and making some tags. Still loving all your post. I have been trying to get my hands on John Maxwell's book (no luck so far though :(
Thank you for sharing all these great thoughts and quotes with my. My inspiration wall is becoming quite full. Always room for more though.
Thinking I'm going to print out your posts about each 'part' of the retreat though. A lot of great information that I want to carry with me to inspire me in and outside my home.
Thanks and keep the posts coming!

Holly said...

Mel! I cannot tell you how much I have enjoyed reading all about this retreat and about John Maxwell! I just bought one of his books! Thank you so much for sharing. One of these days I hope to make one of your retreats, but right now because of family commitments, I don't know when that will be. So for now I have to live vicariously through your blog! Thanks for making me think about my life!

Holly & JakeDog

Unknown said...

How did you make the tags?

Lisa said...

Love the topic best too and what wonderful quotes. I'll carry these thoughts with me as today is my weekly volunteer day at our local hospital.

Sami and I would love to do a January workshop retreat as well!!!


Beverly said...

You've got me thinking of all the things I can do with those tags and I have a bunch of them ready for decoration. This is my favorite post so far. Again NC is just too far away from the retreat but you never know what will come your way if only you believe.

Sharidrew said...

Awesome post!! Thanks as always for sharing!!

Hugs from Missouri,

Sandy P said...

Love this. Since Beverly says NC is too far to come for a retreat, what do you think about doing an on location retreat. I don't have a BAH, but I would host one in Atlanta. It is closer to NC, and we will have our basement finished soon.

Zhohn said...

Oh my.... This may be my all time favorite post of yours!!
I am a giver, definitely, of time and money/gifts... Definitely how I express myself. I LOVE so many of the quote you've shared.
Thank you, Mo! I need to start giving more of myself to organizations.

snekcip said...

Hey!! I may make these since I STILL have the tags for the "365 word project" you started and NEVER finished with us!! Yeah I'm blasting ya!! *giggle-snort* :)

blessedmomof3 said...

Love this! I am guilty of thinking that I have nothing to give because I can't give monetarily. This post has inspired me to be more focused on ways that I can give of myself . Thank you!!!

Leigh Ann Perritt

Michelle said...

Love this! Thank you for sharing!