When I was 16 my sister and I were in my car. We were pulling out of a parking spot when I stopped. We were watching the same thing. An elderly man was trying to cross over a large speed bump. Then, balance was compromised, he and the cart fell over spilling groceries and him into the road. It seemed to happen in slow motion but what happened next is what I’ve never been able to erase from my mind. I turned to my 14 year old sister (the younger of us mind you) and urgently asked, “should we help him?!”
I was alone in the car. There was nothing but a swinging door. She didn’t need anyone’s permission to help another human being – that’s just her! As my eyes darted up I found her in front of the car, already scooping the man up and helping him get to his feet. That day I knew, I wanted to be more like that… more like her!
One of my all-time favorite quotes is, “Never suppress a generous thought.” from Camilla E. Kimball. I think it means so much to me because I have suppressed those generous thoughts, afraid that I won’t do it right, or I could offend, or… I’m not even sure what I’m afraid of.
But somehow around the holidays and of course throughout the years with more and more practice, it’s gotten easier! And #LIGHTtheWORLD is my favorite excuse to be practice being generous!
I know I’m already 10 days late on this but I still want to share it! You might remember that last year was the 2nd annual #LighttheWorld campaign hosted by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. For 2017, it was 25 ways in 25 days and it was all about spreading light and love. Well, this year, it’s still about spreading that same light and love that is so needed in our world, but instead of daily tasks, there are 4 weekly themes.
Week 1: Light the WORLD
Week 2: Light Your COMMUNITY
Week 3: Light Your FAMILY
Week 4: Light Your FAITH
I love this because I’m constantly trying to figure out HOW to help my kids not just hear me talk about the real reason for the season, but what I really want, is for them to FEEL it.
They have their Amazon Wishlist’s, their tradition can’t-miss-list, and their Christmas movie bucket list. And while these are fun, I know that this will be shallow and short lived, that the greatest joy and happiness that we’ll feel during this season and everyday is going to be when we focus on what we can give instead of what we can get.
I have learned over the years that the very best way I can teach this is through real life experiences. So we’re having fun looking for all the ways we can light someone else’s world. We’re not perfect at it. And lots of what we do is small, very small! But my hope and dream is that I’m helping them cultivate a entire lifetime of giving.
How will you jump in and help brighten lives? I’ve seen so many incredible acts of service and even gotten to be part of some myself. From spending time with the lonely, to buying goats and chickens for families in far off lands.
Need ideas? Check out LighttheWorld.org
Here’s a few things we’ve done or are doing:
- Delivered baskets to friends and neighbors
- We adopted 3 elderly families to deliver goodies to and visit with throughout the month.
- Sent Great Grandma cards
- Made Care Bags for hopeless we meet so that when we pull up to someone we can hand them a Care Bag.
- Helped with Days for Girl’s (for Week 1: Light the WORLD)
- Helping at our local Food Bank next week (for Light Your COMMUNITY)
- We picked kids off of our local giving tree and will be shopping for them next week.
Have more ideas? What else could we do? What have been your favorite ways to serve and love others?
What I know is that this world is aching for more kindness and compassion. And that can start with me. I hope you’ll join me!