Thankful for Friends Who Make Me Think

Wednesday November 17, 2010

Photo credit: Flicker Creative Commons

Come along with me and meet a friend I’m thankful for – one who makes me think. Her name is Amy Sullivan, and her first question sets my mind awhirl. At the top of her blog is the query, “What consumes you?”

Amy asks in her sidebar, “What fills your head when you have a couple minutes of precious silence in the car? What is the first thing you think about in the quiet of the morning? If you are like me, life demands your attention, and the idea of others is often an afterthought. Sick of the me, mine, must- have-mentality, I’ve decided to blog about my family’s journey toward GRACIOUS GIVING.”

See what I mean? She makes you think! And that’s a good thing. Stay a minute and eavesdrop on our conversation, and then read what Amy has written just for outnumbered moms.

Amy, tell us about your family.
I’ve been married to my biggest encourager, travel buddy, and frozen-pizza-devouring husband for twelve years. Together we have two girls who are so sweet their veins actually pulse with honey instead of blood. True fact, sort of.

What’s your passion?
God, giving, and writing. Yes, in that order. Although at times I forget the order and stick one in front of the other, not good.

Why did you begin blogging?
Almost a year ago, I had a post Christmas experience that shook my world, and made me realize how consumed I was with just about everything EXCEPT God and giving. Not knowing what to do with the weight I felt under, I came up with a small way for our family to serve locally. However, when I filled my family in on my grand serving idea, my husband was only mildly interested, and my daughter’s response was “But I don’t even know any poor people!” Life in the Sullivan household needed to change and change in a big way. I knew I wasn’t alone in my struggle to move away from self-centeredness. There had to be other moms who felt that life and material objects were filling the hole that only God was meant to fill. I thought by blogging I could connect with others fighting the battle against consumption, and maybe learn a little about myself along the way. This past May I hit that little “publish post” button for the first time.

When I asked Amy what she’d like to say to moms who visit my blog, this is what she sent me. What a heart!

Two Easy Steps to Growing a Giving Heart

Dear Moms,

I know you are exhausted and worn out from the routine of it all. You may be feeling as if you cannot possibly clean up one more mess, find another lost Polly Pocket shoe, cart a child to practice, or pour out more of yourself.

Your days are filled. Your hands are juggling, and you are tired. You don’t have time for yourself. You certainly don’t have time for others.

The world is telling you to buy more and eat there and have you seen those new shoes? The world is screaming take care of yourself first, make those home improvements, and is that the car you really drive?

You don’t have time to chair that board or start a nonprofit or do all the big ideas that are floating around your head. So instead, you sit and wait for something to fit your schedule or fit your life. You wait for something more convenient.

You wait and you miss out.

But here’s the thing. You don’t have to miss out. You can get involved today.
Right now, in those snowman pajamas without any make-up. Right now, without even leaving the room. Yes, even you can start growing your giving heart.

How?

Step 1: Pray for that cause that spins around your head at night. That’s it. Find your cause (come on now, you know what bothers you - human trafficking, poverty, AIDS, the homeless…). Now pray for that ONE cause.

Step 2: Repeat step one daily.

See, giving takes on many forms, but the first step to meaningful giving is always prayer, and prayer is something you can start right now.

So get to it. Start growing that giving heart of yours.

Go visit Amy! As you cultivate gratitude this November, you’re preparing the ground for a giving crop. Once we begin to realize our blessings, our hearts warm to sharing them with others.

What one thing can you – and your family – do to grow a giving heart?

14 comments:

Jean Wise said...

Yes I do enjoy Amy's blog too. I love her prayer in step one. I have heard the prayer: Lord, break my heart with the things that break Your heart.

Thanks Laura for connecting me with Amy.

Faith said...

oh yay...another blog I get to visit! thank you so much for this! It was great....and....I can so relate to what she is writing about! Blessings to you Laura and if I don't get back on here before Thanksgiving Day, have a blessed one with your family, friends, and a fine day in the Lord!

Heidiopia said...

She is so right! Prayer is the first step to giving and is so easy to do... sometimes it's even ALL we can do, and that's okay. Thanks for sharing, Amy and Laura!

alicia said...

I do love reading Amy's blog! This letter is so great- you're right, she always makes you think and I just love that!

Amy Sullivan said...

Laura,
Thanks so much for inviting you over to your place. I always love to stop by and read your words, and I'm thrilled to be a part of your blog today!

Jen said...

The thing with Amy's blog for me is every time I read her posts, she inspires me. She's real. She's centered on what really matters. She makes me want to serve Jesus better. I'm so glad that you are featuring her!

Victoria said...

Great stuff. :)

lori said...

It is so funny that while I read this I looked down to see my workout clothes that have yet to produce a workout today, and in the distance a child is calling for me. Ugh. It's hard sometimes, but I know I can pray. I can pray when I am doing if nothing else, but there are always moments of silence and solitude even if they are few and far between. Thank you for the words of encouragement that come from among us and not above us. You are inspirational, dear Amy! And, thanks for introducing me to Outnumbered Mom :)

Susan DiMickele said...

Thanks so much Laura and Amy for your partnership here! (Two great ladies in action.) My heart is so full as I read this. It's just where I'm at. The exciting thing is that I am finally going to do something about it. Starting with prayer.

SuzyQ said...

What a great post! So inspiring. Thank you for introducing me to Amy's writing. I'll be pondering that first question for quite some time I think. "What consumes me?"

Graceful said...

Love Amy! Love you, too, Laura!

Rose said...

amy has a great blog. so loving and caring. we all need to reachout to our neighbors. god bless rose

Natalie said...

True and wise words, Amy. Thank you for speaking to a mother who has her hands full yet could still be doing so much more. Thank you for reminding me to remember to remember who He is and what He wants from us.

Natalie at Mommy on Fire
http://www.mommyonfire.com

My Captivating Images said...

Very well said!! Abortion and poor parenting is what truly gets to me. So I started volunteering at a crisis prenancy center a few months ago. I only go two days a month for a few hours but it's the best I can do for now. We educate people about abortion and other choices because most of them choose abortion out of fear and as a last resort. They see it as the only way out so we try to fix the tunnel vision. We also have parenting classes an bible studies. We witness to them as much as possible as well which is even more important. With that all else will fall into place. I am suppose to start counseling my own clients in January. I've been doing counselor traning for 6 months but to be honest I'm still slightly nervous about it. This was an excellent post!

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