Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Pay It Forward

I have a friend who shines. My friend is an amazing photographer and she is an even more amazing person. I have no doubt that she could be anything she wants to be in this great, big world, but right now she has chosen to focus her time and attention on mastering all things mama. I love that. In a world that is so often self focused, we need more women committed to teaching and training the younger generation. We need more women who are willing to give themselves away in all the ways that matter most. My friend is inspiring.

Recently, my friend decided that she wanted to pay it forward, so she began stepping forward.

In line at Yogoot, with the cashier at the grocery store. It didn't matter where. If her heart felt led, she gave. Kind words, money, a smile. Whatever she had to give. For several days, she purposefully gave back to those around her, and she inspired me to want to do the same. But I didn't. I held back. Because sometimes giving can be scary.

Because what if you give something away, either something material, or something of yourself, that people don't like? What if giving something away is uncomfortable, and stretches you in ways you aren't sure you want to be stretched? What if the person you are giving to doesn't appreciate the gift you have to offer? What if your gift is rejected? What if you are rejected?

All of these worries, all of these questions, often keep me from giving to others the way that Christ has called me to give. All of these crippling thoughts keep me from shining Christ's light to the world around me. But I am tired of the worries, and the questions, and the crippling thoughts. I am tired of being too afraid, and admittedly, too selfish, to give something of myself away. I want to let my light shine in every way possible. And I want to inspire others to do the same.

My family has many blessings. It is easy to look around at what others have and think that we really don't have all that much. But that just isn't true. I read today that a family making more than fifty thousand dollars annually is in the top one percent of the wealthiest people in the world. According to the world, my family is wealthy. So why do I cling to what we have like I must hold on to it with all of my might? Why not open my hands and share the blessings with others? What if we all did that? It isn't a new concept by any means, but it is a concept I am convinced Christians do not think on often enough. I know it is a concept I do not think on enough. And that needs to change.

And so in honor of my friend who shines, my friend who was brave enough to step forward, I want to pay it forward. In honor of the blessings, the answered prayers all around me that I am often too stubborn to see, I want to pay it forward. To you. It's not a big thing, but it's a start.

Recently, three things have changed my prayer life and I want to share one of them with one of you.

The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson. Awesome book. It will change the way that you look at prayer. It will help you to dream big, pray hard, and think long. This book reminded me that the God who performed amazing miracles in the Bible is the very same God that I serve today. Powerful.

The Duggars: 20 and Counting by Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar. I realize, and respect, that not everyone agrees with the choices that this family has made regarding their lifestyle. But their choices don't make their story any less powerful. It is evident that God is working in their lives. While the second half of their book talks of raising a large family and homeschooling, etc., the first part of their book is my favorite. It is where I read of the pink blanket prayer. The first part of the book shares the beginning of their story, and it gives evidence of how God has answered their prayers. Powerful.

A Pink Blanket Prayer Notebook prepared especially for you by me. Ever since I have created my own pink blanket prayer notebook, where I record my prayers and God's answers, I have seen God move in my life like never before. I would love to create a pink blanket prayer notebook for you, too. Powerful.

If you would like one of the above books to be yours, leave your name in the comments below. Next Wednesday (March 27th), one of my children will draw a name and the person whose name is selected will get to pick one of the itms listed above. And if my mama is the only one who leaves her name (because I know she reads my blog), then she gets a new book. So be sure and leave your name, Mom!

I want to pay it forward, so I am stepping forward.

Perhaps you will consider doing the same? It doesn't have to be much. A smile goes a long way to brighten a lonely soul's day. It doesn't matter what we give. All that matters is that we give. Of our time, our gifts, our energy, our money. Or a book filled with wise words that has the power to change a life. Because that's what I have to give today.

So leave your name. And then step forward, so that you can pay it forward to someone else. Share with your neighbor, or the man on the corner, or with the world, something that has inspired you. Let your light shine like my amazing friend. And together, we just might make a small difference.


Anonymous said...

Trish Wahl.
I recently started reading your post. I have long dreamed of starting a blog and writing a book. I too have those major fears of putting myself out there, not having anything intersting to say to others, saying something I will later reget, and just the basic fear of rejection. Thank you for putting yourself out there.

Anonymous said...

I love reading your blog! I feel like I get to peak into your world and you are so inspiring! Thank you for sharing your life!

Sara Knapp

Anonymous said...

Kristin barnhart. You are so so special kendra. I'm blessed have met you.

Kendra Zickafoose said...

Oh Trish, you should totally share your heart with the world through words! I have no doubt that it would be a blessing to others. Your daily life sacrifice is an inspiration. You have a message the world needs to hear. If you want, I would totally help you set up your new blog :)

Sara, I am glad we have become friends! Mamas that love their babies make me happy, and it is so evident you are in love with yours. Thanks for reading :)

And Kristin! It has been a decade since we met and spent time together! A decade! We are OLD. Though I suppose that is not a very inspiring thing to say. :) You will always hold a special place in my heart. I have come a long way in ten years, but you loved and supported me when I was taking my first steps back into this big, scary world. Thanks, friend. I hope life is treating you well.

My Daily Crazy said...

sometimes I really wonder about what God was doing when He had us both in the wombs of our mommas only to join the world 1 day apart b/c we experience things that compliment each other's experience in the strangest ways! My human mind Can't wrap around it!! I ramble just to tell you that on Monday I had a new thought about that rejection issue...someone shared w/me that rejection is "No + I hate you" & unless someone says that to you then their 'No' just means now is not a good time. Hope that comes across the right way ( that's my fear, saying stuff & it getting lost in translation) BTW I would LOVE to win :) & if I don't I'm winner just being your friend!!!

My Daily Crazy said...

Oh I guess I didn't leave my name! LOL Natasha Donnermeyer

Brittnie said...

Circle Maker is on my to read list!

Kendra Zickafoose said...

Natasha, of course you are My Daily Crazy! :) You have been inspiring me in crazy ways lately with your big dreams! You should know, though, that your inspiration cost you a makeup sale :). I came planning to buy, but left, aftering watching you glow and inspire, deciding to spend the small bit of money I had on my own dreams! Ha! So maybe you should start inspiring people after you get their sales :).

I am getting so much better with the word NO the older I get. It used to melt me in a puddle and shatter my confidence, but now I can accept it without melting, and SOMETIMES I can even say it to others when it needs to be said. Progress! Love you and your rambles, friend!

And Brittnie, I just started reading 7 after your recommendation! Awesome! And perfect timing as we are about to move into a tiny duplex. It is helping me to see that less really can be more!

Anonymous said...


I love that you are inspiring others to focus more on being a keeper of the home. You are a Titus 2 woman! I am so blessed by your words that you share. May God continue to work mightily through you!

In Him,
Jenny B.

Kendra Zickafoose said...

Thank you, Jenny! You are one of the best mama's and keepers at home that I know! Thank you for always encouraging me in this difficult, but definitely blessed, walk through motherhood.

Connie Ellis Matics said...

Your favorite auntie reads your blog also and enjoys the insight you have for a woman of your age. I love you!

Kendra Zickafoose said...

Aunt Connie, you are my favorite auntie! No one has to know that you are my only auntie :).

Madonna said...

I just found your blog today. I have enjoyed the few posts I have read so far. Madonna

Kendra Zickafoose said...

Hi Madonna! Thanks for reading!

Anonymous said...

Your posts inspire me. Challenge me. Humble me. Encourage me. Continue letting God use you to touch others. Be blessed. Denise O.

Anonymous said...

Dear friend, I was searching for answers today and got lead right to this post and not by accident! :-) I love you still and all the wonderful things you have to say...miss you! Kristin Bunch :-)

Kendra Zickafoose said...

Kristin, oh how we miss you, too! Your family is so beautiful. I hope life is treating you well.