Giving some thought to the 12 Days of Giving, my mind somehow wandered to the Book "The Five Love Languages" by Gary Chapman. I suppose this happened because of some conversations that Bethany and I have had about the 12 Days of Giving. She wants to inspire us to give- not just to give money, but giving of ourselves. She wants us to be challenged, as she is challenging herself to find new ways to give.
The Five Love Languages are Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Gift Giving, Acts of Service and Physical Touch. I would venture to say that I have two main expressive love languages instead of one~ Gift Giving and Acts of Service. Since gift giving and acts of service come most naturally to me, I have decided to take the challenge in a different direction. To force myself out of my comfort zone, I am going to be exploring the other 3 Love Languages; Words of Affirmation, Quality Time and Physical Touch.
One of the things I haven't been very good at lately is Quality Time- actually being present. You know, like not checking e-mail while trying to have a conversation with a family member. Actually listening. Giving undivided attention.
Tonight I limited myself to 30 minutes of internet time to be more present with my family. I'm not sure that this is a realistic goal for every night of the week, but it definitely needs to happen more often.
I feel like I'm off to a slow start here, but I'm thinking of this as a life challenge, not just a 12 day challenge.
As a side note, I gave away the dinner I had planned for tonight- a rotisserie chicken- to one of Lila's caregivers. She's a single parent and she works so hard to provide for her two sons. It makes me happy to do things for her- she is so appreciative and grateful.
It really is more blessed to give than to receive.
Thanks, Bethany, for this challenge. Not for all of us to brag about what we are doing for others, but to share our experiences. To motivate and inspire each other to pay it forward with spontaneous acts of kindness.
In the words of Albert Schweitzer:
"At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by the spark of another person."