My friend, Stephanie Jones, is a Christian speaker whose platform is to make a difference to people everyday. She challenges those who attend her classes or read her blog (1makingadifference.blogspot.com) to set a particular number of days and challenge yourself to make a difference to someone every day for those days.
I hadn’t seen Stephanie for years until we reconnected at a Christian women’s conference in which we were both speaking and sat together at the speakers dinner the night before. She told me about her talk and I was in awe how God had put us together again. I have wall words in my office that say “Make a difference to someone today”. I had been seriously thinking about trying to do something for someone everyday but it seemed overwhelming and then I would forget to write it down so I would just give up. But God placed Stephanie in my path to reignite that excitement in me and give me encouragement. I love doing things for other people.
After hearing Stephanie’s story and reading her blog, I decided to take her challenge. I took the 30-day challenge and then felt the Lord saying to me that I could do the 365-day challenge. Today is day 331. I will tell you that it isn’t always easy. You must be intentional because everyday life gets in the way. When we went on vacation last summer, I took 7 cards – already addressed and stamped with me. Each day I wrote out the particular card and sent it from the hotel desk. I wanted to keep going on this journey so I had to be intentional. I didn’t send all 7 cards while I was gone because God put other opportunities in my pathway.
But if you really want to help someone – not 365 days but just ONE day – ask the Lord to lead you to someone to whom you can make a difference. I have asked Him many times and He always leads me to the right person. Anonymous giving is fun, too!
These things don’t have to cost money. But when making a difference to someone, it requires a sacrifice of you. But if you feel led to do it, then ask for direction and you’ll have more opportunities than you can imagine.
Here are a few things that I have done on my journey to give you some ideas. Read Stephanie’s blog under the tab “500 Days of Giving” and you can find a list of ideas as well.
WILL YOU TAKE THE CHALLENGE? Not necessarily for 365 days or 500 days – but for ONE day or even ONE week? Will one week turn into one month and then it will become a way of life? If you don’t do it consecutive days, that’s okay too. Just try it and you will find that when you make a difference to someone else, it changes YOU. Happy Journey!
IDEAS OF WAYS TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE TO SOMEONE:
Cards – sympathy, get well or congratulations. Add to it – “thinking of you”, “you’re awesome” and “I admire you” cards.
Google “Everyday’s a Holiday” and you can find so many unique holidays to celebrate with people. Did you know there is National Social Worker’s Month? National Dentist Day? Tell people you appreciate what they do.
For International Polar Bear Day, I bought ice cream sandwiches for my department at work.
Open a door for someone. Compliment someone. Sit next to someone at church who is sitting alone. Break out of your normal routine and invite someone new to lunch.
Make a casserole for a new mom. Offer to keep the kids for a couple who needs a night out. Shovel snow for your neighbor. Make cookies for your family.
I made a countdown for a friend going through chemo treatments that included an encouraging scripture each day.
Invited my neighbor who is a widow over for dinner.
Since my girls couldn’t be home for Super Bowl last year I sent them a care package with chips, salsa, brownie mix and a gift card to Pizza Hut so they could celebrate with their friends.
Donate to a charity of your choice. Make-A-Wish(R) Foundation is my favorite!
Host a “Celebrate Life” luncheon with your friends and make them feel special.
Pack a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child.
And the list can go on and on………..Send me your ideas for ways to make a difference to someone!