Finding Joy in 40: Giving It Forward Today {G.I.F.T}

Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. James 1:17

When your mom and husband surprise you with the gift of your sister, her husband, and their three young children (who traveled halfway across the county to celebrate with you), and your friends drive in from near and afar, life becomes a little overwhelming in a beautiful way.

My full heart welcomes today with an abundance of gratitude.

IMG_7295IMG_7270I’m grateful for my husband who worked so hard to get our house ready, so that it could overflow with the lives of those we love.

I’m grateful for my mom, step-father, and close friends who organized a sweet and beautiful surprise weekend with friends from near and afar.

I’m grateful for my own children who knew their cousins were coming, but kept it all so quiet.

IMG_7321My favorite author celebrated this same birthday two years ago and I noticed she did something different.

I payed close attention, because she lives life real.  I knew she would share something special.  Ann Voskamp’s writing from two years ago inspired me to be the G.I.F.T. on my own 40th birthday: Give It Forward Today.

So this month we began a list of 40 things we could do to be the G.I.F.T. right where we live. Our list contained a variety of ideas from mowing the neighbor’s lawn, picking up trash, delivering brownies or cookies, to taking the time to open a door for a stranger.

And when you go to do something good, you can bet opposition will come… it did, and we pressed on.

All of the ideas on our list were simple, until I got to the letters.

My daughter helped me make the sweet letters this summer and over the past few weeks I wrote 40 “thank you” letters.  Forty letters for 40 people to say “thank you.” 

Thank you for having a positive impact on my life throughout the past 40 years.

As I was writing them, I kept thinking of more and more people whom God strategically placed in my life, but time only allowed for me to write to forty.

However, if you are reading this today, please consider this your letter.

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Thank you.  Thank you for your friendship.  Thank you for your encouragement and support over the years.  Thank you for impacting my life in a positive way.  I am grateful God placed you into my life.

Over the past 40 years my heart has began to see clearly that, “Every good and perfect gift is from above…,” (James 1:17, NASB).

Life changes and it is difficult at times, however God does not change like shifting shadows. He remains the same.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8

God keeps placing people in my life to help me through the difficult times and to celebrate the good times.

Dear friend, You are a gift.  Won’t you celebrate with me today?

Be the G.I.F.T – Give It Forward Today.  You don’t have to write 40 cards, but you could open a door for someone or pay for someone’s coffee.  You could even begin by giving your children hugs as soon as they wake up today.

Every time we give, God does something to our hearts… they become full.  We begin to realize that joy is found in giving…. Yes, this is where joy is found.  God gave the greatest sacrifice and continues to give us gifts, so out of the fullness of our hearts, we give to others.

This is how we impact the world in a positive way – one life at a time.
This is where joy is found.

Basking in His Light

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  1. Mike Hamm

    September 29, 2015 at 8:09 am

    Happy birthday Mindy, you are 40 years of special

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