Monday, December 24, 2012

52 Weeks of Giving: Week One

So it started with this ...

I stumbled across that video while I was looking for something Christmasy to show my Sunday School class. About 10 seconds into the video I was all in. This 'conspiracy' resonated with me so deeply, it was exactly along the lines of conversations Mr. Awesome and I were having about our family and the values we were imparting.

That night Mr. Awesome and I decided to do 24 Days of Giving. Instead of giving our kids advent calendars with treats or toys we gave them a calendar that had daily challenges to give. Some things were as easy (or as difficult) as an attitude adjustment, like the days the kids were asked to give their attention or cooperation. Other days had the kids doing random acts of service or blessing like handing out candy canes to friends and teachers or choosing one chore to do well without being asked. Still others were giving something tangible to those in need, like taking groceries to the food bank or donating winter wear to a shelter. Each day we challenged our kids (and ourselves) to remember what this season is really about. Each day we challenged our kids to look beyond themselves.

Honestly, it was a slow start. They missed their Lego and chocolates but within a few days they began to look forward to their new challenge. They loved finding ways to help others and they loved telling us about how they executed their advent each day.

That's when Mr. Awesome and I decided to kick this up a notch.

We support the ideals and the campaigns of Free the Children and we are trying to shift our family's focus from Me to We. We feel very strongly that the answer to less bullying, less teen depression and less societal angst is not a bunch of 'anti' campaigns but a shift of focus, a return to a village mentality. We feel that if we empower our children (and ourselves) to recognize a need and to fill it where they are with what they have they will develop a healthy sense of self and their place in the Bigger Picture. It was with all this in mind that we decided to give our children less this Christmas so that we could give them more.

We intentionally spent much less on gifts this year so we could plan to support them as they step into a year of giving, 52 Weeks of Giving, to be exact. We came up with 52 different challenges that we will be tackling this year as a family. Each Sunday we will open another challenge and work together to complete it. And just like our advent, some tasks are a change of heart, some are small acts of kindness and others are huge things that we're going to need help to pull off.

And now, I invite you to join this conspiracy. Join us as we change the world, change ourselves with one deliberate choice of kindness each week.

Each Monday I will give a recap of how our previous week's challenge went and give you the challenge for the coming week. For those who are interested, I will also include the Bible verse for the week that ties into the challenge and a couple of discussion questions about the theme. If you choose to participate in one during the year, one a month or each one with us please let me know. Let me know how its going and how its changing your family's world view.

I am excited for this year, for the lessons we'll learn as a family and for the changes and growth that will happen in each one of us. Follow me on Instagram to track our progress and don't forget to leave comments here, too!  Let's change our world with kindness!

Week One: Give Peace.

This week walk away. Walk away from arguments, walk away from meanness. Compromise. Don't get mad, don't get even. Be a maker of peace.

John 13:27 "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hears be troubled and do not be afraid.

Let's Chat:

1. What does 'peace' mean? What does it look like or feel like?
2. Why is it so hard to walk away? Why do we always feel like we have to prove that we're right?
3. What is the opposite of peace? How do you feel when you're not peaceful?
4. How can we make peace? Make a list of 5 intentional ways you can be a bringer of peace this week.

If we have no peace it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.
~Mother Teresa

No comments: