Thursday, October 29, 2009

29 Gifts in 29 Days

Coincidentally, I started reading this book about 2 weeks ago. Then a friend told me the author was on the Today Show this week, so here's the clip, below.

First's a book about a woman who was diagnosed with MS just a month after getting married. It progressed quickly to where she could hardly get out of bed or walk or do much of anything and was understandably, extremely depressed.

Her "spiritual adviser" told her she needed to give a gift a day...usually a small act of service, and it would change her life.

What I find this is what the Gospel of Jesus Christ is all about. It's what we are taught every day of our lives through scripture study, through gospel study, through lessons taught at church and home. Yet, this book brings to me the knowledge that not everyone is taught this...not everyone knows this.

Having said that, on the other side of this thought...My grandmother was an atheist, yet she lived a very Christ like life. She just didn't know it. Her life was all about service and helping and giving to others.

But not everyone gets this. I found it interesting reading how the author discovered the joy of giving. My conclusion is this: We are all created in God's image, whether we realize it or not. If we do as He taught, whether we realize it or not, we will be happy.

I enjoy books with good messages and this book qualifies. However, I have to say that I've had a difficult time processing out some of her language. I've never understood why some people have to use such language. To me, it definitely takes from what they are saying. Perhaps that is why I'm slow at finishing it.


Tom and Karen Mortensen said...

Thank you so much for this. It has really helped me. I guess this is something that I have always known but have some times forgot. Thanks for reminding me. You are wonderful.

Mary said...

I'm so bad about getting wrapped up in my problems and letting that negative energy bring me down. Then someone will come along who needs me and by helping them I lift myself out of the hole. This is a great message and a reminder that the best way to find our true selves is to lose ourselves in service to others, as Christ said.

Jill said...

I don't know if you remember this Mary...but back in 1974 when Bill and I had only been married 3 months he came down with meningitis. I was so afraid of loosing him and one night in particular it looked as though he might not make it. I called a friend that I had great respect for and asked if I could talk to her. I was scared and asked her what I could do to cope with it all. She told me to do something for someone else. At first I thought...she doesn't understand. My husband's in the hospital and I'm not sure he's coming home, and I'm suppose to be thinking about other people right now? I have always remembered that, and I think of it often when I am not coping very well in life...because it works. I think it not only brings the positive energy back, but it's also a feeling of relief to escape my own problems by worrying about someone else.

Eileen said...

Jill, this is beautiful and something I needed to hear right now. Thank you so much!
It reminds me a little of that movie about the firefighter whose marriage was falling apart and his father gave him a challenge with The Dare book, doing something kind each day for his wife, it ended up saving the marriage.

As far as the 'colorful' language, I have many, many people in my life that speak in that manner, I've just learned to tune it out, they are just words to me. Could these people be a little more innovative with their choice of vocabulary? YES! Do I let it change the way I feel about them? Not in the least. It's their heart and intent I try to see. They are really good people who live really good lives.

And I agree with my brother-in-law who said that bad language bothers him so much less than when he hears the Lord's Name taken in vain.

And I agree with you about how a person lives their life is so much more important than the words that come out of their mouth. I believe if you lead a Christian life, if you live a life of service, you are a Christian no matter what you profess.

Beautiful post, Jill.
All the best,

darlene said...

Good post. My husband has always told me that the way he gets out of a funk is to help someone else with their problems. He says it's tried and true. I agree.

Kathy's Red Door Welcome said...

Thanks for sharing this Jill. I think this is definitely a universal principle. You've made me want to read this story. I have a friend with M.S. and I will consider telling her about this book too.

Mar~ said...

There is real power in giving of oneself!

grandmapeg said...

Thanks Jill for sharing this book. I hope I remember to look for this at the library. This is such a true message in forgetting about one's own problems and giving to others. I look forward to reading this book.