Giving Back...and Meaning It

Part of my mission as owner of Maggie's Miscellaneous is to be a company that gives back. My heart has been opened this year and a seed has been planted deep inside as I ache for those less fortunate than myself. I acknowledge that this has been the mostly financially trying year I have ever known. However, I realize that I am still more fortunate than the majority of this world. I am deeply ingrained with the belief that it is the responsibility of those with to give to those without. 

I am not satisfied, however, with merely giving of my money. Money is a great resource to give, don't get me wrong, and a tangible one at that. However, money can be impersonal and "clean". I want to get messy. I want to walk away with mud on my shoes and sweat on my shirt (literally and figuratively), meaning I must also be willing to give of my time and my talents. This is where I get tripped up. I often think I have nothing to give when it comes to this area. What does this type of giving look like? How does this apply to small business? How do I know what my gifts are? How can I incorporate all of this into the wedding world? I do not have all the answers but this is the journey on which I am about to embark.

The first lesson I have learned while setting out on this journey: it all starts with our motivation. Giving must come from a cheerful, willing heart; not out of obligation. The thought of giving makes my heart glad, and is theoretically fascinating to me. Yet I find that giving in reality is much more complicated. In fact, giving can be down right challenging. When you give of your time, you are often not privy to witnessing the fruits of your labor, especially in the short term. Does this mean you should stop? Absolutely not. I think of it this way. If you planted a tree in your backyard, and it didn't spring to life immediately, would you stop giving it water? Of course not. Yet, this can often be our human reaction to giving when we don't see the result. Some of us will plant the seeds. Others of us will water and nurture those seeds. Only a select few get to harvest. Harvest requires perseverance. Farmers grasp this concept. They often plant many of their crops months in advance and patiently await the time that they may begin collecting their harvest. They don't sit idly by fretting and wondering if the plant will grow. They keep laboring. Laboring until the plant has yielded its fruit. 

This is where I find myself. Continuing to labor until I yield some fruit. I am not quite sure how long this journey will last, or what it will look like. I just know that I need to start. I need to start and then persevere even when my desires are few. Persevere until the fruits are ripened and the harvest has come. Would you like to take this journey with me?