giving differently

akwittafriendships, spiritLeave a Comment

To love is not to give of your riches  but to reveal to others their riches, their gifts, their value,  and to trust them and their capacity to grow.  -Jean Vanier, The Broken Body: Journey to Wholeness-   Giving to others can be tricky.  Especially when the ones you’re giving to are seen as poor or needy. There can be a weird power difference there.  An attitude of I’m doing a good thing by helping you.  You’re welcome.  And our guilt is relieved, so we move on. What if our actions of giving instead demonstrated genuine commitment to people? Yes, we have basic needs that need to be met- so I’m not proposing that we stop giving clothes, food, or money to each other. Please keep it up.  But if you stop there, you could miss something. It requires a radical kind of love to step out of your comfort zone and have a conversation with someone, especially if that someone is a part of a different social class.  And then continue to have conversations with them is even harder.  To let them be vulnerable with you and to be vulnerable with them is hardest. It is this kind of relationship that really empowers.  It is helpful and nice to be given things, but it is empowering to be known and told that you are strong and gifted.  And to know that those words have credibility because a person who knows you can point to times that you have demonstrated … Read More


the art of the compliment

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Most people love to receive compliments.  The world could use more of them. Some people might feel lost when trying to form the right words or maybe complimenting doesn’t come naturally to them.  Either way, these are things that I learned in class this semester that made sense to me and that I hope will help you. //  Be sincere.  (This seems like a no-brainer, but how many times have you told someone that you liked their shirt, hat, coat, etc. when really you were just looking for something to say?) //  Many small compliments are better than one big one. //  Be specific.  This can be hard to do, but the deep thought that may be required is part of what makes a compliment meaningful. It’s the thought that counts. (If you’re picking out a character trait, describe a time that person showed that trait.  If you’re saying you like something they’re wearing or made, tell what you like about it.  Etc.) //  Avoid intensifiers like really.  Surprisingly, taking out that one word often brings more power to the words that you do use. //  Don’t compliment when you’re asking for something (manipulation) or when you’re criticizing. And if you’re receiving a compliment, all you need to say is thank you. Compliments are like gifts.  All you need to do is accept them.  No disagreeing, downgrading, or rejecting allowed.  Saying thank you accepts the gift. Complimenting someone takes thought, humility, and courage.  Not easy.  But so worth it. May we … Read More


love yourself

akwittaspiritLeave a Comment

I’m processing through what I’ve assumed to be true about following Jesus and I’m finding that there might be more than I thought to some things. I’ve heard/read/listened to so many lessons about humility and self-sacrifice and putting others first.  I think these are great things! Jesus lived a life of service for sure.  But the way I’ve interpreted this before is that I should focus on other people.  Love them and do things for them until I can’t give any more.  That. is. exhausting. And then this week I read Matthew 22:37-39.  Jesus was talking to his disciples and told them, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (ESV emphasis mine) As yourself.  Love others the way that I love myself. I don’t need to only focus on other people.  God knows that I need attention too.  Not in an arrogant, narcissistic, me me me way, but in an intentional, refreshing, making me better way.   I’ve focused on loving myself by journaling and taking care of my body and taking pride in who I am.  There are some times in the past where I would have looked at this week and called myself self-centered because of how much I’ve thought about this.  Whatever. After investing in myself, I feel better equipped to love others. … Read More