Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Positive Project

I wasn't going to blog about my positive project--it seems too much like bragging.  But some amazing things have happened, which compel me to share God's goodness with you.  Let me be clear.  This is not about me.  When you build something, you don't say the hammer built it.  No, the one who swung the hammer built the house.

In January, one of my Facebook friends posted this status update:
I'm in to make this year one of kindness, thoughtfulness, and reminding people just how much they matter in this world. So here's a small challenge folks.....this first 5 friends that are in with me will be my mission throughout the year. They'll be reminded with small gestures of just how important and kind and loved they are. Who's ready???
I made the list, and a week or two later, I received a card in the mail from my friend.

It was a magic moment when I opened that card, my friends.  The card is really nothing special, but it touched me, and inspired me.  A couple of things really struck me about this project.  First, my friend wasn't asking for anything in return.  She just wants to bless others.  And second, she actually followed through on her mission.  So simple, but so amazing.

In that moment, I decided I would do the same.  Sort of.  While my friend is concentrating on the same few people all year, I would just look for opportunities to bless as many different people as I could this year.  

I was a little nervous about this undertaking, however.  I didn't want to spend a lot of money, and I didn't know what, exactly, I was going to do, but I couldn't not.  I decided not to look too far ahead, but to trust and jump.  So I did.  And I am so glad.

Before this happened, I made 6 freezer crock pot meals, two each of 3 different meals.  The idea is, you put all the ingredients for a crock pot meal together in a bag and freeze it.  To prepare the meal, all you have to do is thaw the meal and pop it in the crock pot.  And that makes me sound really lazy, I mean, how hard is it to put ingredients into a crock pot, that I would have to do it ahead of time?  But you and I both know there are mornings when that's all you can do.

Anyway, I made these six meals for my family and stuck them in the freezer.  I prepared one of the meals and it was delicious!  But my family didn't agree.  They ate it, but not enthusiastically, and we ended up with a lot of leftovers.  Which I ate for lunch.  And snacks.  For days and days.  I prepared another one of the meals.  Same thing happened.  I decided not to prepare any more of the meals for my family, but what to do with them?

Pretty much my first thought was to give them away, but I felt really weird about it.  I mean, what was I going to say?  My family hates this--here.  I thought about thawing them out, rinsing off the seasonings and using the chicken for something else.  I thought about throwing them away.  I thought about these 4 chicken dinners.  And I thought.  And thought.  

And finally I felt compelled to offer them up on Facebook.  Yes, I felt weird.  It was weird, but I didn't know what else to do.  Little did I know, it was all part of God's plan.

Two people responded, wanting meals.  One had started a new job and had spent 7 weeks away from home, in training, returning home only on weekends.  Her family had been living on cereal.  Not kidding.  The other's husband had been sick with an unidentified something that was requiring multiple trips to the hospital and scads of tests.

I knew these things were going on with these two women, but neither one of them is really a close friend, and it never occurred to me to offer meals.  

God prepared those meals for those 2 families weeks in advance.  Oh, He used my hands, but it was God preparing those meals.  And it didn't cost me anything.  Yes, I paid for the ingredients, but I wasn't going to use them.  Quite honestly, if God hadn't nudged me to offer them up, they would have sat in our freezer for months and months until I needed room for something else, and then they would have been thrown away, amid much angst and guilt.  Instead of going to waste, God used these unwanted  meals to bless those 2 families.

I was blown away.  Amazed at God's goodness, and humbled that He had chosen me to deliver grace to these 2 families.

My friends, God is amazing.  Amazing.  That's just one example of how God has used my imperfect, anxiety-ridden self to deliver supernatural hugs in the past few weeks.  Every week, I am in awe of what God does, using me as His tool.  And all it requires is for me to be open to God's prompting, and to follow through.

I invite you to join me.  Start your own positive project.  Just as my positive project looks different from my friend's, yours will look different from mine.  Just look around, be open, and act.  God will show you what to do.  And remember, it's not about me, or you, or us, or even the people you touch.  It's about God's goodness, God's grace, God's love.  God's mercy.  It's about God.

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