Skyline with Sculpture and Vintage Style

As a child my mother said “more can be bought” if the last candy bar went missing or my sister decorated my Barbie doll with an ink pen or I outgrew my favorite shoes. This didn’t mean we ran to the store and replaced everything damaged or eaten or unwearable, but the possibility existed and there was comfort in it.

Much of my married life, however, has been marked by an abundance of love and an absence of money, the later of which, if allowed, can foster a stinginess of spirit.

Not believing that more can be bought lead me to hoard things—perfume, make-up, candles, whatever—until often the items, unused, went to waste. Most things don’t have a shelf life of forever.

I’m ashamed to say I’ve also failed to support causes I believe in and help people in need because I feared there wouldn’t be enough left for me. But the thing is, giving involves your heart more than your pocketbook.

God tells us:

Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. ~Luke 6:38

Can I outgive God? It sure doesn’t sound like it.

Think about Jesus: He hung onto nothing—not even his life—and modeled a generosity of spirit we should strive to follow.

My One Word for 2014

You may have noticed people around the internet declaring their One Word for 2014. In 2010 my word was Inspire, in 2011 it was Create, and in 2012 it was Write. Those words impacted me mightily and reflected my state of mind going into a new year.

My word for 2014 is Give and I’m searching for new ways to do it.

Simple ways to give:

  • Pay sincere compliments—they encourage!
  • Tip generously in restaurants—you never know how much a little extra can mean to your server
  • Ethical shopping lets your dollar do more
  • Write to your Compassion International sponsored child (or sponsor one)
  • Invite a friend or neighbor over for tea and conversation—hospitality is a gift!
  • Donate excess clothes and household goods to a thrift store that supports a good cause
  • Sit down with your children and order life-changing gifts through World Vision’s catalog

How else can we give of ourselves and do you have a word for 2014?

by Dawn Camp, My Home Sweet Home

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  1. 1
    Bev Klaiber says:

    Dawn, thank you for this … the Lord has been impressing upon me recently that there is clearly a “hole in my gospel” (thank you, Rich Stearns), and that I need to give more. Not only out of my abundance, but until it hurts … Until I notice that what I gave is missing, so that I will be reminded that I am still richer than 75% (or more) of the world, and that God doesn’t give to us for us to keep. To whom much is given … God is requiring me to give, and live, generously. Thank you for reminding and confirming the voice of the Lord in my life. God bless.

  2. 3

    GIVE. A great goal. When my husband joined my church this past year, he took classes, one of which, of course, addressed titheing. A certain percentage sounded good to him, solid, easy to stick to. We do well financially and want for nothing. Unfortunately having both grown up poor, we never think we’ll “have enough” as the previous writer shared. Just as frightening as growing up POOR (poverty level), I am two years in remission from lymphoma. Illness and recovery took my job as a physician. I plan to hopefully work soon in the future, but even w/out that we still do quite well with our income & money saved. Your writing inspires me. “I pledge and pray that with the power of Gods grace and will, my husband and I will try not to fear medical bills and face our childhood histories with strength. We didn’t always have much, but when Much is Given….. I know it will come back to us a hundredfold in one way or another.

    • 4

      Terri, my husband just spent four days in the hospital and we’ve got that fear of medical bills, too. Yes, we know that our God is bigger than our fears.

  3. 5

    Dawn,
    My word for 2014 is “Intentional”…as in being more intentional with my thoughts, words and actions. I am a pretty giving person, but I am sometimes most stingy with my giving to those closest to me – my family. I will easily give to the homeless man with the tattered sign or a worthy cause, but I might withhold words of support, praise or encouragement to those nearest and dearest to me. I want to be more intentional with showing/giving support, solidarity and encouragement to those closest to me. Thank you for a very thought provoking post!
    Blessings,
    Bev

  4. 7

    :)
    What good advise. I’ll be using these this year to improve myself as well.
    :)

  5. 8

    I just started last year and my word was Better. This year it is Love.

  6. 9

    I love that your word, your desire, your goal is other-focused, Dawn!

    I wasn’t going to do the whole one word things, but then God sent a little video my way and I knew that I had no choice …
    http://creeksideministries.blogspot.com/2014/01/the-year-of-beautiful.html

    Be blessed …

  7. 10

    I wanted to tell you I love the ‘pay a compliment’ in your explanation of ‘give’. I raised my children, now share with grandchildren and the soldiers in my husbands BDE. If you can’t say anything nice, FIND something. I firmly believe the ‘if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all’, sends a very bad message. Not to mention what weeds grow in these ‘not nice thoughts’ you might harbor!

    Hats off, from someone who has practiced for years…….

    Love!

  8. 12

    Nicely said…giving generously is a matter of my heart attitude. I’m so thankful that God gives to us abundantly & he’s always worthy of my praise! My word for 2014 is trust.

  9. 14

    A beautiful word, Dawn, and one I could use to do more of. I’ve found some wonderful local missions that have allowed me to give back in some very sweet ways. It’s not high profile but I’ve found some great reward, even in that fact. Love to you as you give more of your heart and in other ways this year.

  10. 16

    My word: Brave

  11. 17

    One of the best posts I have ever read! These are things everyone can do. Just beautiful! Thank you.

  12. 19

    Everyone seems to have such inspiring words this year. For the year my word is “organized” because by organizing my home and removing the excess from my home I will be blessing others through donations and I will be blessing my family with a clean home and less frustration over things being on the floor that should have been tossed or donated long ago. I feel like being organized will definitely have a positive impact on me and my loved ones and in turn I will become a less frazzled mama who hopefully yells less and has a more peaceful content home.

  13. 21

    I’m still throwing around a few ideas for my word for 2014 but I love some of your ideas for giving. It can be hard to give when you’re worried about whether here will be enough for you. It took me a few years to realise that God has always provided for me and my family and I should

    • 22

      Oops it submitted before I finished but I wanted finish by saying that I give with my heart rather than my pocketbook these days… Just as you said Dawn. I do think though that I want to give more of me this year. Thanks for the post.

  14. 24

    My word is “quiet”. I need to listen more and give opinions or advice less. God has also shown me in the past week that I need to quiet gadgets like email beeps and FB updates so I can be totally present and focused.

  15. 25

    Hi. My word for 2014 is change. Change my spending ( time, money, resources) and my attitudes (judgments , what I choose to care about, half empty/half full, self preservation, superiority, self righteousness, etc.). I want to reflect Jesus’ attitude and be a reflection of His love.

  16. 26

    My one word for 2014 is Praise. So often it is mentioned in the Bible that we are to offer up our Praise to the Lord. This year I am going to be intentional about doing so. . . in the good times and in the bad.

  17. 28

    B…God will help you be BRAVE. Prayers for you to feel His love also.

  18. 29
    Beth WIlliams says:

    Dawn,

    I used to be stingy also. I gave what I thought I could, but like you was afraid of not having enough to pay bills. Over the years I have learned that the more you give the more God will give you.
    He has seen to bless me immensely these past few years, so I have decided to be a lot more generous with co-workers, family, friends. One thing I have done is the “drive-through difference”. I go to a drive through a pay for the person behind me giving the cashier a letter explaining what was done. I also give clothes & items to Salvation Army or other worthy causes.

    I also try to give of myself to others. If you need prayer, food, someone to talk to, a compliment then I do my best to accommodate and encourage you along your journey.

    I actually find it exhilarating to give to others. I know it help me show Christ to others and that is my ultimate goal for the year!

    God Bless! :)

  19. 31

    Thank you. At the end of last year The Lord spoke to me about going up a notch with my giving. Some of the stuff you shared were close to home. I have also thought about being generous with my time for God and others.

  20. 32

    ‘Think about Jesus: He hung onto nothing—not even his life..’ OH how beautiful!! Thank you for this insight. I used to be much more generous, and now I fear I’ve become a bit of a hoarder too, always looking to see if my ‘gifts’ are reciprocated, or if I’LL have enough. Time to let my heart open again and give without strings or worries that I’ll miss out. I don’t like that I can count the cost of gifts yet spend money on myself without counting the cost. I don’t like that and I want to change. Thank you for these words and your honesty!

    • 33

      Agnes, you’re right, it hurts our attitude when we’re waiting to see if our gifts are reciprocated. I understand all that you’re saying here and I hope that we both experience true heart change.

  21. 34

    I can so relate to this Dawn. I am a single woman who has been in ministry my whole life. So money has always been tight. But about 5 years ago I was working at a Bible College that got rid of my department. I was heartbroken, and very quickly became broke. The next five years were beyond lean. The Lord provided, in ways I could have never imagine, but there never seemed to be “enough”. Always struggling makes it hard to be generous. During these five years, I mainly supported myself with a part-time job and a full-time, living on faith comedy ministry. It was both the hardest and the most wonderful time of my life. (So far!)

    But my “word” for the last several years was “joy”. To be honest, until a few weeks ago, I didn’t know there was a “one-word” movement. I had just been choosing a word for years. I had been choosing “joy” for several reason. First, I have written a Bible Study and built a women’s retreat around it and second, I was having hard time finding it for myself. Even though I “knew” what the Bible said. Really, I’ve study that word for a total of 10 years. At times I have succeeded and I times I have failed.

    But this year I chose a different word. My word this year is “MORE”. I have been realizing that I have been living in “less”. Less of everything. Less love, less trust, less generosity. Just less. So my goal this year is to live “MORE”:
    • MORE of Christ
    • MORE blessing
    • MORE ministry
    • MORE serving
    • MORE joy
    • MORE praise
    • MORE of trusting God
    • MORE giving
    • MORE receiving
    • MORE laughter
    • MORE of God

    Thank you for your words Dawn. They touched my heart. Ephesians 3:20 “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably MORE than all we ask or imagine, according to his power at work within us.”

  22. 36

    JOY is my word for 2014! I intend tolearn to find joy inany and every situation!

  23. 37

    Dawn Camp, you are truly the most giving person I know already. I can’t imagine a more gracious you, but bless your heart for striving for even more. You’re an inspiration.

  24. 38

    The Lord is constantly challenging us, not just to give, but to give more than we think we can. That kind of sacrificial living requires us to trust Him deeply. Whether we’re giving financially, giving of our time our talent, or simply offering more of ourselves to Him, He promises to meet ALL of our needs according to His RICHES and GLORY. My prayers are with you, Dawn, as the Lord reveals Himself to you in 2014.

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