Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Joy of Choices

We all love choices don't we? We love having our choice in music, food, drinks, reading material, worship etc. When we are looking for ways of spreading joy, there are literally limitless possibilities in the ways we can make a difference. There are free ways - such as phone calls, emails, hugs and smiles and then there are ways that cost us a little - such as gift cards, small toys, flowers. Don't forget the sacrificial ways of spreading joy. The gift to the Missionary when you aren't sure where gas money will come from, the money for the Women's shelter etc. There are no wrong ways of spreading joy, no wrong recipients of joy and the greatest thing of all is the joy that YOU receive from making a difference. Nothing can take away the everlasting joy that comes from doing something for someone else.

I wanted to share with you some ways that others are Spreading Joy. I hope that checking out these other blogs will encourage and motivate you to start looking for ways of spreading joy. They are right there in front of you. You just have to get yourself into the habit of looking for the opportunities.

  • Blog Action Day - where thousands of "Professional Bloggers" blogged about poverty and what can be done about it. A great way of Spreading Joy while working to end hunger.

  • 1000 Mitzvahs - I came across this website and just fell in love with it. Linda is working her way towards 1000 Mitzvahs (acts of kindness) and is at number 785! What an exciting adventure! I can't wait until she hits 1000!
  • 25 Days to Make a Difference - Laura, a young lady (not sure of her age) decided to take the pain of the loss of her Grandfather and turn it into something that would have made him proud. She is making a difference for an organization each month. "I decided to honor my grandfather’s memory by trying to make a difference every day for twenty five days. I wanted to be able to do little things, like kids my age typically do, instead of HUGE things that are sometimes hard for kids like me." Check her out, she is really inspiring.

  • Author Squad - in Huntersville NC will have a Giving Tree in their store beginning November 1st. The tree will be full of tags with ages of boys and girls that you can make a difference for this Christmas. They are gracious enough to give a 20% discount on a purchase made for the Giving Tree. All of the items collected will be giving to Christmas Joy for Spreading Joy.

  • Spreading Joy's Calendar of ideas - This is where you can find ideas for ways of spreading joy and making a difference. Most are low cost or even free while others range in cost. Keep in mind that even when you feel you can't afford to give anything that you have "time" you can give. When it comes to time, no one is more wealthy than another - we all have the same amount.

These are just a few links to some of the many, many choices you have for Spreading Joy. Thanksgiving is right around the corner and Christmas is only 60 days away. You could help at a shelter or is there a family that you know is struggling? Why not get together a box of food and leave it on their porch? Or even take it to them and let them know you are thinking of them.

When we just concentrate on giving without focusing on how much, how big and will it change the world right now - we can (and will) make a difference. Focusing on the right here and now will allow you to see your giving as the true gift that it is. Everyone has something to give.

Right now, I simply can't give big (I'm talking Oprah big), but I can give of what I do have and do so happily. I can notice the opportunities and take the time to make a difference until I can actually give on a HUGE level!

How about you? Is your heart feeling a little empty? Do you feel like your joy is nowhere to be found? What are you doing to get it back? How are you spreading joy? The choices are endless and the decision is up to you. There's no joy like spreading joy!

~"I have found that there is a tremendous joy in giving. It is a very important part of the joy of living." William Black, president of Chock Full O' Nuts Corp.~

~Cup of Joy~

The Joy of Giving ~John Greenleaf Whittier~

Somehow, not only for Christmas,

But all the long year through,

The joy that you give to others

Is the joy that comes back to you;

And the more you spend in blessing

The poor and lonely and sad,

The more of your heart's possessing

Returns to make you glad.

Photo: Todd Wikle -Trinidad Mission Trip 2008


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