Christmas-related activities…...listing, shopping, baking, decorating, anticipating the joy of getting and the joy of receiving, and, hopefully, serving. This year my launch into Christmas and its related activities was delayed. Tanah’s mission call, my wobbly knee, family health issues, and a boatload of other concerns diverted my attention. Aware of my late start and thinking of ways to simplify, I almost, almost decided to cut out the service aspect. “We serve all year long,” I self-justified. “In our congregation, for our neighbors, in our community, our family spends a fair amount of time serving others. In this holiday time, perhaps it would be best to focus on family and set aside the self-imposed requirement to include service to others. Simplify, right?”
Enter the LDS’s Church’s “25 Ways in 25 Days” initiative. https://www.mormon.org/ The initiative urges participants to “light the world” with small acts of service every day for 25 days leading up to Christmas. Each day has its own sweet and succinct video and short list of suggested service activities. December 1’s post asked “What can you sacrifice today to make someone’s life better?” and included a suggestion to put down the electronics and spend some quality time with family or a friend.
On December 1 I received a phone call from Grace asking me to come to an awards assembly that she had previously told me she did not plan on attending. She changed her mind so I changed my schedule. Turns out that her name had inadvertently been left off the program. She had legitimately earned an award but, due to human error, would not be receiving it that day. Understandable. Things like that happen. No need to stay at the school. I could return home and get back to work on my electronic computer.
“Put down electronics and spend quality time with family.” I decided to stay. And because I stayed I had a great chat with my Grace. Opportunities to chat with my busy teen come few and far between. I don’t know that she was blessed by my decision to stay but I know that I was.
On December 2 the question asked was “Want to make a difference on a local level?” and the suggestion was to donate a case of water to a local shelter. A case of water is only $2.50 but figuring out how to donate it to a local shelter seemed overwhelming. There are many local shelters with varying hours and various protocols. How to decide to whom, when and where? The difficulty of making the decision pushed me into inactivity and almost pushed the suggestion off my plate….until I heard Pam Deitsch, Church Woman United’s Treasurer and deliverer-of-donated materials, mention to another lady that the Children’s Justice Center needs bottled water.
My dilemma about decision making dissipated. To whom: Children’s Justice Center. When: Dec 2. Where: Take it to Pam’s house and she will deliver it with the other donations.
I went to Kent’s Market to buy food for Sunday’s dinner, picked up a case of water, dropped it off at Pam’s house, and went home feeling empowered and humbled by God’s goodness; humbled by His grace in letting me hear Pam’s comment that opened the door to service for me and empowered by the knowledge that He will open doors for me in my efforts to serve.
Today, December 3, the question is asked “Is there a family member you could do better at keeping in touch with?”. Yesterday my sweet cousin Elizabeth responded to a general Facebook invitation I posted, inviting one and all to join us for our Church Women United Christmas Advent Celebration. She came, she helped, she participated, she helped, and she helped some more. This is not the first time she has responded to a random Facebook invitation to support me in a cause I find worthy. I’d forgotten her previous support or I would have personally invited her. Seeing her yesterday also reminded me of a conversation she and I shared at the family gathering, a conversation I enjoyed very much and which left me with a determination to be better at keeping in touch with Elizabeth….a determination I’d forgotten.
Is there a family member you could do better at keeping in touch with? YES!!! Elizabeth Hugh, will you please have lunch with me? Soon?? Please.
Three days and three ways…..three days into the “25 Ways in 25 Days” Christmas service initiative and three ways I have been blessed in my attempts to bless others. Humbled and inspired, empowered and excited, I eagerly anticipate the 22 remaining days until Christmas, each and every one of them.
And to think that I almost simplified service out of the season. YIKES!
BTW: It is not too late. You too can light the world, Start your 25 Ways in 25 Ways today.