If there’s one thing we all have in common – regardless of age, income, and profession – it is that we all have been spread too thin at some point specifically when it comes to time and money. And I would even venture to say that this is especially true when it comes to investing our time into others and investing our money into supporting the efforts of those we care about the most.
You see, we women are “hardwired” to care deeply, and we are inspired to bring about change for our children and for future generations that will come behind us. The problem, though, comes when we take our passions and spread them too thin. And consequently, we end up making very little impact or difference to any one cause. Or worse, we fail to invest in the people and things we care about the most and/or that need us the most. And sadly, that sometimes means failing to invest in ourselves.
Not too long ago, I found myself in an impromptu conversation with a woman – an extremely wise woman, at that – whom I respect immensely (she knows who she is *wink*) and something she said to me was a real eye-opener. She told me that there is a drastic difference between giving of oneself to an “honored obligation” and give of oneself to a “passionate investment”. Ultimately, she helped me to realize that my honored obligations too often end up competing with my passions; sometimes they even contradicted my passions. And more often than not, those things I felt “required” to give won over the things I cared most deeply about.
So meditate on this:
20 Then all the Israelites went away from Moses.
21 All the people who wanted to give came and brought a gift to the Lord. These gifts were used for making the Meeting Tent, everything in the Tent, and the special clothes.
22 All the men and women who wanted to give brought gold jewelry of all kinds. They brought pins,[a] earrings, rings, and other jewelry. They all gave their jewelry as a special offering to the Lord.
23 Everyone who had fine linen and blue, purple, and red yarn brought it to the Lord. Anyone who had goat hair or ram skins dyed red or fine leather brought it to the Lord.
24 Everyone who wanted to give silver or bronze brought that as a gift to the Lord. Everyone who had acacia wood came and gave it to the Lord.
25 Every skilled woman made fine linen and blue, purple, and red yarn.
26 And all the women who were skilled and wanted to help made cloth from the goat hair.
27 The leaders brought onyx stones and other jewels. These stones and jewels were put on the ephod and judgment pouch of the priest.
28 The people also brought spices and olive oil. These things were used for the sweet-smelling incense, the anointing oil, and the oil for the lamps.
29 All the Israelites who wanted to help brought gifts to the Lord. They gave these gifts freely, because they wanted to. These gifts were used to make everything the Lord had commanded Moses and the people to make.
I realized that it was time to give as much consideration to why I am giving as to how much I am giving. In fact, it is essential if I want my gifts of time and money to matter, not just to others, but to myself as well.
*Inspired by “The One Year Book of Inspiration for Girlfriends” by Ellen Miller.