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Friday, March 30, 2012

SOL 30 Giving Up and Giving More


For many years, I used to "give things up" during Lent. I grew up in a home where my parents usually gave up alcoholic beverages and married into a family that typically gave up dessert (except on Sundays when it was OK to have cake) in preparation of Easter. I just followed without thinking critically about my practices.  One day, a sermon changed this and I stopped giving things up and started consciously giving more during this season of preparation. Some extra change shared here or a little extra into the envelope. Paying for the next person's coffee. The gift of happiness or even a goodie for someone. 

Last night, I walked out of the university where I work as an adjunct invigorated as always by the students, their energy and their questions.  I taught all day, attended CSE meetings, pondered APPR, mentored teachers, taught grad school, modeled how to make any text a readers theater, and then talked to students.  I should have been tired...but I wasn't.  In the past, teachers have asked how I find the energy to teach grad school at night, and I really didn't  have an answer.  Through some miracle that happens every week, I seem to get energized by giving more

While I might still go out of my way to donate a bit more during this season (eg. change into the March of Dimes container), giving happens every day all year through.  Maybe the message all along has been...as it should be...that giving up and giving more are both ways to reflect and ultimately get more

7 comments:

Wanda Brown said...

What a unique idea to give more instead of giving something up. During these trying times in our nation, giving more seems like the right thing to do. I like the way you changed course a bit and showed how giving more does not have to be monetary.

Lori said...

One of my favorite quotes is the slain missionary Jim Elliot who said, "He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose."
Blessings as you prepare for Easter all year long.

Nanc said...

I love this idea too. I work at night also and find the the wonderful people in my classes really give me energy...their ideas.. their passion for students and learning. xo Happy Easter...soon

Jen said...

What an interesting twist! I think when we are giving in ways that we are called, you are exactly right, there's an unexplainable energy we have for it that seeps into the rest of our life. You make me think about what it really means to sacrifice.

Terje (grade4wizard) said...

You have found what gives you energy and fulfills you. You follow not what others say you should do but what you know is right for you. By doing this you make people happier around you.

Jaana said...

Wonderful story, and so true! This year my daughter gave up chocolate. I decided to add something: I have been trying to pray more for those around me; students, collegues etc. Some days I have been better, other days not so much. But I still feel that I have gained from teh experience!

Jama said...

Anita, I love your take on Lent and life. I have been learning to be more giving, and your advice encourages me. Thank you.