I grow selfish very easily, and what two things do I find myself growing selfish about more and more? My time and my money. With two little ones at home, a husband, a yard, a blog, serving at church, investing in friends, and much much more, I feel like I am always telling my husband that I just want some time to myself.
The truth is, I’m always going to feel like I want more time. Even if my husband watched the boys for an entire Saturday and let me do what I wanted, I’d probably still want more time to myself.
There are twenty-four hours in a day. And, I choose how I spend my twenty-four hours every day. I wouldn’t trade my family for anything. My husband and I made a very intentional decision to live where we do so yard work doesn’t take up much of our time. Investing in friends is super important to us.
Without a lot of extra time on my hands (I don’t think anyone has a lot of extra time on their hands), how do I intentionally keep my focus off myself and onto others? Selfishness creeps in crazy fast sometimes. How do I let the others in my life know they are important to me? How do I let them know I haven’t forgotten about them and care about them deeply?
Just one way to say ‘hey, thanks for being who you are’ is to give a small gift. Doing something tangible like this reminds me that loading up two kids in the van and taking them to the store is not out of my realm of patience. And, spending some money on others is a good reminder that my money is not my own. Plus, I think the notion of ‘it is more blessed to give than receive’ really is true.
In an effort to avoid mindlessly roaming the aisles of Target and ending up with unneeded new home decor, I narrowed down five gifts that I think are great ideas to give to a friend. They are all small, a bit inexpensive, and I think they are all ‘non-clutter’ items. (We all know how thoughtful yet unwanted gifts can quickly end up in the garage sale pile.)
1. Finger nail polish. This is small, consumable, and a fun treat. I don’t keep my finger nails painted, but my toes almost always have polish on them. Go with a name-brand polish. Buy some OPI or Essie. The quality is way better (in my opinion) than the less expensive brands found at grocery stores. I’d also recommend staying in the safe color zones. No orange, yellow, black, blue, etc.
2. Lip gloss. Am I the only one who loses my lip gloss on a regular basis? Find a mildly tinted lip gloss, tie a bow around it, and give it to your friend. I enjoy Burt’s Bees, but get your favorite reasonably priced lip gloss to encourage your friend.
3. Hand soap. Once again, this is something consumable, small, and pretty safe. Most people aren’t too picky about hand soap, are they? My sister recently introduced me to Mrs. Meyer’s basil scent hand soap. Um, this stuff is delicious! I highly recommend it. I bought a few at Target the other day just to have on hand for giving to others.
4. A gift card. Once again, who doesn’t enjoy a gift card? The one I recently purchased for a friend was from Starbucks. Starbucks is a pretty safe treat for most out there, but if you know someone who isn’t a coffee drinker, go with Panera or a local smoothie shop.
5. A small house plant. House plants can easily freshen up a home for a short time or a long time. Someone can enjoy it for a week and toss it, or water it and enjoy it for years. My mom recently gave me the one pictured, and it’s a variety of jade.
Just remember, even if someone looks like they have life all together, they likely have struggles, bad days, and hurts in life. Don’t ever hesitate to show a little kindness and thoughtfulness to a friend. I have to remind myself of this often!