My Gift is Me

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I feel as though I have so much to say that I have intentionally avoided saying.  How do you explain that your life has taken a permanent turn?  Where do you begin to tell the world that nothing has changed but everything is forever different?  I’ll start with the profound wisdom of someone else:

“People may not understand what you’re doing…your habits are changing.   Your lifestyle is changing,” Pastor Stephen Brooks.

I keep mentioning Project 333 because I had no idea of the impact it would have.  To think it all started because my sister suggested wearing the same 33 items.  How could one small suggestion lead to such big changes?

Or maybe it happened before that when Jennie suggested I drink more water and I began a detox project that remained in tact indefinitely.

Perhaps it was the blogging process.  Or perhaps it was the day my sister reminded me to “be obedient,”…who knows?

What I do know is that I am not the same.  I am not the same girl today that I was this summer or at the beginning of the school year.  Do NOT get me wrong, I have NOT figured everything out. Yet, I am no longer confused.

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I revised my approach to life.  I am living my breakthrough.  The simplest way I can explain it is like a video game.  I was not a huge fan of video games growing up but I played enough Super Mario Brothers to understand that some video games have monsters, and to beat the level you have to beat the big monster at the end.  I have also watched my father and my sister play Zelda and Final Fantasy.  To me, what appears as a bunch of walking around looking for items that may or may not be there with no sense of direction, is actually a strategic approach to gathering weapons and power. To get these items, you choose the character you like the best, fight small monsters and then eventually get enough power to go up and fight a big monster.  Sometimes, you even form teams, and the team goes up to fight the monsters together, each providing some assistance or advantage that only they have to offer or maybe just fighting the battle long enough for you to recover.   Either way, the end result is that after you beat the monster, whatever the game, you advance to the next level.  Sound familiar?

So here I am walking in my next level, breathing in my next level, living in my next level.  And I try to explain to people how I got here, but they do not understand.  They are completely confused by me at the moment.   Their look of concern clearly says, “Who are you?  And what have you done with Brittany?”  And I want to laugh and hug them and explain everything that they would not understand, but I have neither the time nor depth of understanding myself to offer up any semblance of an explanation.  So I just live on – happily in my next level.

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The Christmas season was probably one of the hardest for me.  I decided to buy more sentimental gifts, experiences, and handmade gifts from grandchildren for those closest to me.   Part of this came because I took a closer look at the finances and what we could afford, and the other part came from me wanting to give people things that money cannot buy – time, happiness, good times and love.

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The results were mixed.  And I tossed and turned Christmas night, wondering if I had done the right thing.

I thought of the movie Four Christmases.  I realized that I was Reese Witherspoon, “I’m the one changing the rules and if you don’t want to change with me, I understand.  I just can’t do this anymore.”

But she’s right.  I gave people the greatest gift I know how to give – myself.   And I’ll do it again next year.  And when I realized that , I fell asleep right away.

…I spent the month of December blogging about moments related to songs.  I will end with a child’s song.

“What I have to give to You
Cannot be bought or sold
It can’t be wrapped up in a box
Or tied with strings of gold
It isn’t perfect and You’ll see
It isn’t even new
But Jesus, it’s the only treasure
I can give to You
Me,
My gift is Me…”
~ The Collingsworth Family, Feels Like Christmas

Perhaps you missed the opportunity this holiday season, but it is never too late to begin to give yourself fully.  Find those things that matter the most (I realize that is not nearly as easily done as said) and give them every bit of you.  Talk to God, find out what He wants for you, and start walking in that direction immediately.  No hesitations.  Ask questions along the way, but trust His plan.  Not everyone will understand – not even you, and that is okay because there are monsters out there trying to keep you from your next level.  Sometimes you need need to gather supernatural powers.  Sometimes you need strength.  Sometimes you need friends.  But you ALWAYS need manufacturer – the Creator Himself.  He knows where everything is and how to get you there.

This Christmas, I gave God the gift of myself, and He gave me a life that is ordinarily extraordinary.IMG_1694

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