So, I've decided to make a quick change on #20: "Do something 5 times a year to meet a need for someone." I initially planned on just counting times that I helped somone meet a financial need, but then wanted it to be more than just that. Then the more I've tried to figure out how to measure or judge what qualifies as meeting someone's need, the more I've realized how ridiculous this goal is. Not in the sense that it's hard to do this 5 times a year- but just the opposite- if I'm only helping fill a need for someone every few months, there's something majorly wrong!! I started thinking about how often God places people in my life to meet my needs and help me through this journey, and I realized it's countless how many times a week, even a day, that others meet my needs! Whether it's letting me borrow something, fixing something I can't figure out, sending a message or calling to pass along encouragement, listening to me vent, giving me a hug- or even reprimanding me when I need it! There are millions of ways that friends, family, strangers touch my life everyday, and I realized that it's impossible to figure out a system to judge what constitutes meeting someone else's need.
A sweet friend sent me a book called "I'm Running to Win" that she found very encouraging and thought it would help me during my marathon training. I will say I've learned the lesson "Don't judge a book by it's cover" from this book b/c on the outside, it appears very cheesy and is definitely from the early '80's. But the woman is incredible. Basically, she's an author and inspirational speaker, and suddenly decides that she feels like she's been called to run a marathon and qualify for Boston- even though she's never run before. It's basically written in blog style and is totally random- but totally inspiring. The book goes back and forth between her daily spiritual and physical struggles she faces during her marathon training. She's definitely very over-the-top, and does things like singing Jesus songs to cab drivers, but her faith is so pure and genuine that you can't help but love her :) Here's one thing I read the other day that really struck me. It's not exactly an incredible epiphany, but I really enjoy how simply she writes:
"it is as important that i contribute to your life as it is that i let you add to mine.
the most beautiful part is that God provides me... you... with people to help us accomplish His will in our lives.
He finds them and puts them across our paths in the most unexpected needy moments.
He knows exactly what we need...
and who can supply it.
people are part of God's end of the bargain when we are faithful."
It may not be the most profound thought, but I love that last line. And how humbly and also affirming that He allows us to be used in His plan for others. That HE has faith in US- to help carry out His will. It amazes me when I look back on the times God has perfectly placed certain people in my life, in a time I needed Him and them so desperately.
So, to wrap this up, I'm changing #20 to "Organize a 10,000 Villages festival"- which I'm super excited about!!! I went to one of these festivals last year and it's an awesome organization that sells handmade things and then pays fair wages to the artisans in 3rd world countries. The festival is already scheduled for November 21-22 at First Presby, so I've got things started at least! That's it for now :)