photo by Livia Meneghin

hi there.

Welcome to my blog. I'm spending a year capturing happiness, and I invite you to come along as I journey toward a more joyful living. I also write about travel, food, and matters of the spirit. Hope you enjoy!

#GivingTuesday

#GivingTuesday

I wasn't sure how to manage today's Day of Giving, particularly after a busy weekend of spending spending spending (on the plus side: I'm almost done with my Christmas shopping and it's not even December!!! This has never happened to me before).

There are just so many causes. How do you choose?

Well, I was postponing decision making until I saw one of my friends on Facebook post a status saying he couldn't decide whom to give to, so he was going to donate $5 to the first 40 organizations that appeared on his friends' pages.

That got the ball rolling!

And then I went a little crazy. But afterwards I felt much better. Someone once said the way to free yourself from the hold money has on you is to give it away. It's paradoxical, but true.

The first Giving Tuesday I participated in (I didn't know it was "a thing" until I moved to Rhode Island), I stumbled upon these verses, and every time I'm feeling hesitant in generosity, I read this for encouragement. 2 Corinthians 9:6-15

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written:

“They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor;
    their righteousness endures forever.”

Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.

This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!

Short story: we give out of gratitude, and it's a beautiful thing. And God blesses those who are generous. As I've spent a year finding things to be grateful for every single day, I know that I have SO MUCH TO BE THANKFUL FOR that I probably should have just given all of my money away. I clearly have a lot of room to grow, but I'm working on it.

(In case you missed #GivingTuesday, it's not too late :) If you aren't sure who to give to, I'll offer a few suggestions.)

My mom's organization works with children in an after school program teaching them self-worth, works with families offering meals and advice with community professionals, gives backpacks to underprivileged kids, offers life-skills programs in the jails and juvenile detention center...basically an all around community project that is free of charge for all participants.

This organization is pretty rad. Not only can you donate money in the traditional sense, they also employ women in places like Kenya, which allows them to flourish as entrepreneurs while you can buy some really awesome jewelry--which in turn go to support causes like education, clean water, and food. 

This organization is one of the best in terms of where the money goes (93% to needs themselves), and they've been recommended by several people I know--helping people in high need areas.

If you like animals, this organization is doing amazing work with remarkable success. Watch their video!

I also have some info on my Outreach page. (if you didn't know that page existed, you should check it out before my Blog disappears in one month!)

Have a blessed rest of the week, my friends!

Ornaments

Ornaments

Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday