“Give yourself entirely to those around you. Be generous with your blessings. A kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal.”
Dr. Steve Maraboli,
Christmas is always a time when I think of the way God has richly blessed my life. Things could have been so very different for me had I been born in poverty in a multitude of other countries. But I was blessed to be born in Canada and to have opportunities that I would not have had in many other countries because I was a girl child.
So Christmas is always an important time of year for me. A time to consider my blessed life and to see what I can do for others beyond my family or immediate circle of good friends.
There are many ways to be a blessing to others. If we look around in our circle of friends and acquaintances and review their circumstances we can probably think of a number of people who could use a kind gesture, a helping hand, a small blessing or material helps of some kind.
|Beautiful flowers remind me of God's blessings.|
This week I had a special blessing and I was also able to bless them in return.
It has been very cold here in my city with lots of cold air blowing through the vents in my home. A serviceman came to check on the ventilation in the building and concluded that my vents are not attached to the building vents. He concluded that he couldn't help me.
But it turned out that he is also a certified gas technician. He asked about my fire place and I told him I haven't been able to use it for a few years. A part needs replacing and I just never got around to dealing with it.
The nice young man offered to try and start it and after a few minutes, it started working! I was so excited. I blessed him by insisting he take a small tip. That way he could buy himself something that he likes. He didn't want to take it but I told him how much he had helped me and that I appreciated it very much. He was also a great blessing to me because he saved me a few hundred dollars. At this time of year that is a huge help.
|A hut in a Kenyan village. It belongs to my friend's Grandmother.|
I had the bright idea of putting together a small sewing kit for her. It included: a variety of buttons in different neutral colours, sewing thread, sewing needles, pins, a pin cushion, a small scissors, measuring tape and a tin can to hold it all. She was so happy with this small gift because though she has been in Canada for a year, she has not had the time to put a basic sewing kit together. I also put together separate, small gifts for her two children and her husband. I want them to feel that someone is thinking of them though they are far from their homeland. She had shared with me about two weeks ago that her son misses Christmas because last year (their first year in Canada), the only person that invited them to share Christmas with them was me! In their homeland they are used to family, extended family and friends being together at Christmas. That story touched me and showed me that our small gestures do not go unnoticed even by children.
Another friend was complaining of how he was so cold this week while working outside as he is employed in construction. He is from West Africa so you can imagine how very different the weather is here for him. He said he was so cold on Friday that he was almost crying. I know how cold it has been because the wind has ripped through me like an icy shard several days this week when I had to run errands. When I went out the other day I saw some hand warmers that can last for 12 hours or more. I bought some for him and will add it to another small gift I've purchased for him. I'm not sure he knows about the hand warmers so if I give him some samples, he can try them. At least they will warm up his hands for those few very cold days that we will get this winter.
There are so many other ways to bless people but these are just three small examples of lifting a person's spirit at this time of year. Sometimes people can feel low in spirit because they are far from family, don't have friends or family, or have family and friends from whom they are currently estranged. Let's look for ways to be a small blessing to someone this season.
|Two Kenyan women and their children. They were desperate for some help.|
I also want to continue to be a blessing and encourage others to be a blessing to Elvis in Kenya. Elvis is in his final year of medical studies in Kisumu, Kenya.
If you want to be a blessing to Elvis, Pay Pal donations can be sent to kerichojoy[at]gmail[dot]com
If you want to send Elvis or his mother (who is a single parent) a special word of encouragement, you can send them to the same email address. Thank you to those who respond :-)
I hope to share Elvis' graduation photos when he has finished his studies.
If you'd like to share your blessing stories, I'd love to hear them in the comments section.
Have a wonderful week!