I have been mulling over something in particular lately, and that is learning to give and not expecting anything in return. I have never been one to give gifts to people as an act of expressing my love or gratitude toward them. The way that I show love to people is by spending time with them or doing something nice or unexpected for them. So it has always been hard for me to give gifts to people. Because of this I usually only give people gifts if I know that I will get something in return. It seems lately that God has been trying to teach me to be more of a giver and to give out of love and gratitude. This has been a hard lesson. This lesson really hit home for me recently when I participated in a secret pal type of swap where you swap names and buy gifts for the other person. I bought gifts for the person whose name I received and sent them expecting something in return. As the weeks passed and I never received anything I began to feel disappointed and a little upset. But then God gave me a little talking to. I realized that some times giving is not about what you get in return, but rather the gift is in having the opportunity to bless someone else. The gift that you gave might just be what they needed to be able to make it through the day. Perhaps they were having a bad day and your gift brightened their day just a little bit. While it has been hard, I have slowly began to realize what giving is really all about. It is sacrificing something for someone else and being blessed by the simple act of allowing God to use you that way. My prayer is that God will continue to open my heart to learn how to be a blessing to others and to allow Him to use me in that way.