In a group of friends that we gather with every other week, we recently talked about “being the gift.”  One of the friends asked, “Just what does that mean?”  We were discussing how we could show up at church, at work, in life, and at home as the gift for someone.  And we even talked about the characteristics that make a gift a good one!  If it’s something we need or wanted, it’s a great gift.  If the giver made it, we treasure it…things like that.

In a month where gifts are expected from those we love, tokens of love are hoped for, and gestures of adoration are longed for…it might be good to stop and realize that the greatest pleasure comes in not receiving…but in being…the gift!

To remind us all about being the gift to someone else, here are 10 tried and true ways to truly be a gift to someone else and reap all the joy, feels, and satisfaction of giving.  Giving away joy and expecting nothing in return is awesome, because HE sees our hearts and HE rewards us with all good things much better than a box of chocolates…

  • Be present – Make eye contact, listen, genuinely hear what your kids, your spouse, or your friends saying.  This requires hiding our phones…

  • Give anonymously – Maybe there’s someone that truly needs to know they are loved “out of the blue” – so pick up a candle and set it on her desk or have one delivered to her home.  Just sign it “From someone that loves you and prays for you often.”

  • Pray – and then let that person know that you thought of her and prayed.  Praying is awesome, but letting that person know that you prayed is even more awesome

  • Offer a scripture – Actually buy a box of cards and ask God to give you an encouraging verse for someone, writ it out, and place a stamp on the envelope and mail it.  Any age, any gender, any person LOVES receiving a personal note in the mail.

  • Affirm that person – This means just pray and ask Him to give you His eyes for that person and then encourage them with kind words.  Speak them out, leave your friend a voice mail, and lift her/his spirits.  You too, will be refreshed!

  • Volunteer – It doesn’t have to be a full weekend job where you build an entire house!  Just offer to run an errand for her if you’re already at Target.  If you have a free evening, see if that single mom might like a couple hours to herself and offer to watch her kids.  Just say “I’m here” and offer your time for any increment that works.  It doesn’t have to be an eternity…

  • Text – Use that phone you’re on constantly and when a thought of that friend and how nice she is, or how cute she looks, or even how tired she seemed, text her!  Tell her what you’re thinking and that she’s loved.

  • Show him – Maybe you tell him you love him daily, but show him by doing something unusual or out of the ordinary.  Surprise him with a mint on his pillow.  Hand him tickets to an event and take him out, instead of waiting on him to take you out.

  • Coffee - Do you have an hour that you could text her and see if she can also take an hour to catch up?  Just meet, sip, smile, and enjoy each other’s company. What a gift!

  • Email – This might be something a bit longer than a text, where you actually want to write out something to a particular person. Maybe you have an experience or story to share, one that will encourage them like it encouraged you!  An email like this, instead of a dozen junk ones, will bright up her inbox on a Monday morning!


What else can you think of to give away this month?  Proverbs says whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.  Sometimes, we think we have no energy or time to refresh anyone, and barely have time to refresh ourselves. However, little acts of kindness like one of the above only takes a few minutes and a redirection of a time, and we will actually find ourselves with a little skip in our steps as well!

Be the Gift
by Marcy Lytle

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