Each year, I vow to make an attempt to live simply. I go through my clothes, household goods, clean up, move things around in an effort to declutter. Items are gathered up and donated to area non-profits. After all, someone will find these treasures useful, right? For a while, things go pretty good, but then, it's like something inside me snaps. Suddenly, out of the blue, when I least expect it, I need something new. I wrestle within myself this desire that I can easily rationalize. I've worked hard or I deserve it, are only a few of the reasons I can talk myself into giving into the craving. And, just like all the other times, satisfaction is only temporary. So maybe I should try something different.
This year, I am attempting to give more to others. Not just money through donations, although that is one way to give, but through acts of service. Each of us possess some skill or talent that can be used to benefit someone else. It doesn't have to even be anything complicated. Simply providing a meal or visiting a neighbor who is less mobile and doesn't get out much. Labors of love are not forgotten by the receiver and richly benefit both parties. One thing I love about living in the Shenandoah Valley, is people help each other out when life is turned upside down. People come out of no where providing all sorts of assistance.
Did you know takethemameal.com was created right here in the Shenandoah Valley? This website came about after the creator's friend suffered an illness and were trying to organize meals for the family. As a result, this site was created, not for personal gain, but in an effort to help others. Now, this useful tool is used all over the world so others can help someone in need of a meals.
Giving of ourselves focuses the attention away from ourselves. Isn't that what we are called to be, selfless? In this world of "it's all about me," that 's tough to do. Society is searching for happiness, but it will not be found seeking self gratification. Consider volunteering, checking on a neighbor, providing a meal for the sick. We all can make a difference. Benefits of service include: community involvement, connections with others, and can transform your life.
Many names come to mind as I reflect on those that might need some type of help. There are folks who are sick and ask for prayer. Others need help with watching the children while they are out. Another needs a ride to a doctor's appointment. Mostly, it's giving of time. Our lives are busy, but isn't it funny we always find the time to do the things we want to do?
Health-bite: acts of kindness benefits the giver and the receiver