A few of my favorite things

As the year comes to a close, I always enjoy reflecting on the past year and noticing all the blessings I’ve received, the relationships I’ve enjoyed, the meaningful work I’ve done, and how I’ve made a difference to others both personally and professionally.

While it may sound cliché, I agree that it is better to give than receive. gift boxes image

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy receiving gifts as much as the next person, but personally I get so much joy out of giving to others.  I’ve been having a lot of fun this holiday season giving a bottle of wine to my referral partners.  I had my company logo put on it, because I’m grateful for what they did to help my business this year.  I like having a “gift meeting” where we meet at a local coffee shop and chat about what’s going on in their lives, and so I can share how I appreciated their business and support this year. 

I also enjoyed volunteering at City-mission.org at Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Putting together food baskets at Thanksgiving and food baskets with toys for Christmas, knowing that without this gesture these families would not eat during the holiday season.  It means so much to see their smiling faces, filled with tears, because we provided something for their families.  I also enjoy praying with the families about what they are grateful for, and receiving hugs and blessings from them for delivering the baskets.  It really puts everything in perspective when we go back to our own homes where food, clothing, shelter, heat, and much more is so plentiful.    

I also enjoyed selecting a global cause to support at Christmas time.  My sons and I looked at the 12 choices organized by our church, for helping families locally and globally who were in need.  We decided on 2 things:  providing clean water to 10 people in Africa indefinitely, and helping a single woman in Africa start and sustain a micro jewelry business to support her family.  My boys could appreciate clean water and wanted others to have that.  I could relate to the single mother wanting to support her  family through her business, and I wanted to support that.  Fortunately, we were able to do both. 

I related to money in a whole new way this year.  It felt so good to have enough, more than enough, and to use it to bless others in a variety of ways.  In many cases, knowing the people that the money was helping, people I do life with.  People in my church and business community, as well as people in need locally and globally that I didn’t necessarily know.  I’ve always been a tither, and charitable giver, but this year I could give more and see and feel the impact.   In the past I’d always considered myself a good steward and somehow with God’s help I had all that I needed at the end of the year, but didn’t experience what I’d consider financial abundance the past few years. (Even though I know I’m abundant compared to 3rd world countries, I still wasn’t feeling it economically).   I felt abundant in other ways, but didn’t have true financial peace.  Even though I wasn’t saddled with debt in the past, I still felt this gnawing worry or anguish as to would there be enough, would it all work out this year and beyond?  It always did work out, looking back, but in the absence of peace.  It kind of felt like crossing the finish line with a feeling of relief that the race was over and you somehow survived it, but not coming in first or second.  This year I was blessed with financial abundance and was able to use my money not only to get by, but to bless others.  It gave me a feeling of gratitude that is indescribable.  The best two words I can come up with are Joy and Peace.   That is the best gift I got this Christmas.  The ability to do for others and make a difference in their lives, enriched my own beyond measure.       

I’d love to hear your thoughts about the blessings you’ve received this year, and how your lives were enriched during these difficult economic times.  I believe God works in all things and sometimes the biggest blessings come during what we perceive as the worst experiences in our lives.  What are you grateful for?  What are some of your favorite things this holiday season?

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Lori T. Williams is an attorney based in Birmingham, MI, licensed in 1989.  As owner of a legal referral business called Your Legal Resource, PLLC, Lori personally assists individuals and small businesses in need of legal advice or representation in Metro Detroit by connecting them with the right legal specialist to meet their needs. Click here for a pdf of legal referral services. 

Through group training and events, Lori also focuses on referral marketing strategies for attorneys and other professionals. For more information about Lori or Your Legal Resource, visit www.bestlegalresource.com.  For networking events, training programs, and workshop information, visit: www.bestlegalresource.com/events.


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