In 2012, I had an idea. Something I was so passion about, I started a whole new blog for it. It started with a pull, that I listened to and followed.
It is called The Greatest Gift Project.
It didn’t really get very far. That’s okay. I was a lot smaller then so my reach was smaller.
I didn’t fully know what to do with it and it didn’t reach its potential.
I have still been keeping it running. Waiting for another pull.
I thought this past Christmas – I might feel a bit of a pull – but nothing. So I listened and let it wait.
Now, the pull is back.
I am feeling the pull to share this part of my heart.
The part of my heart that believes the greatest gift you can give anyone can not be bought in a store, or online or even cooked on a stove.
The greatest gift…
…is letting someone know they have made a difference.
…that they are important.
...that life wouldn’t be the same without them.
…that it is not just the bold gestures, but it the everyday ordinary parts of life that wouldn’t be the same without them.
It is the gift that George Bailey received in It’s A Wonderful Life. He got to actually see his town and the people he loved – if he had never been born to make a difference. That is what is amazing about that movie.
Did you know that that movie is actually based on a book called…
…you guessed it…
The Greatest Gift.
I am not sure what started the pull this time – but I know what part of it.
As I have been helping my youngest clean out her room, and by clean I mean an epic purge, I am aware of how much I am at fault for all of her “stuff”. I am faced with how often I have bought her things to feel better when she was facing a hard time. How many times I felt I had to buy her clothes so that they weren’t all hand-me-downs.
How, in the end, those are fleeting moments of happiness and she was left with a room full of "stuff" she didn't know how to manage.
I want to teach my kids more than that. The purge is complete, but now we need to work on how to navigate forward without making the same mistakes. That is is my time with her, my words with her, my laughs with her that she needs when facing a hard time. That is what will make the difference.
And I am lucky enough to read some amazing bloggers who are showing me the path to do better so that I can help them do better.
Or this advice - which, I have already tried, and it is kind of amazing. In fact, this whole blog is a great reminder.
They both have had me really thinking and trying new things and changing my words.
My pull is that maybe part of where I am suppose to make a difference is by encouraging others to give each other this gift.
And I am okay if it is one, two or a hundred people who are touched by this.
It is on my heart. And I know who is really directing me.
It can be simple, it can be more. It can be giving this or this as a Valentine's gift. It can be in private, it can be shared. It can be while washing the dishes or while on a fancy date. It can be while you are in the middle of diapering a tushy or alone in front of the fire.
It can be with your spouse, your child, your sibling, your parent, your friend, your co-worker, your boss or the lady at the grocery counter.
It can be in any of these ways with any of these people and it can be with all of these ways with all of these people.
Just taking the time to let them know they have made a difference.
If you would like to see some of the amazing stories already shared over at The Greatest Gift Project, you can visit here.
Not just for Christmas or Valentine's day, but a regular reminder. If there is anything the 42 years I have been around have taught me, this life goes so quick and you never know when it is going to take a drastic turn.
Take the moments in the everyday.
Do want to be part of it with me?
Maybe we can all inspire each other by using the hashtag #thegreatestgiftproject. I would love to spread this idea around - year round.
Wishing you an amazingly blessed day.
P.S. Thanks so much to everyone who shared ideas for my new chalkboard on Instagram and Twitter. In the end, I ended up going with my sister's idea of "I Love you because..." since it worked with was has been on my heart so well. (Although, I was extremely tempted by cousin's idea of Papa Smurf - unfortunately, he was not around to draw him for me!)
If you are looking for another idea, my other favorite was shared by Becky of Farmgirl Paints - Be Love.