It's the fifth Friday of the month -- the first time that's happened since Just Giving It began, and by my count it will happen three more times this year.
According to the 'Rules of the Game,' each Friday of the month has a designated theme to guide the giving. (If you're new here, have a look back in the archives!) Not so for this fifth one. Today is a day for breaking the rules or creating new ones. Hmmmm....what to do?
The timing is perfect. My friend Katie is celebrating her 30th birthday this coming week. How fun to be able to surprise her with this birthday gift!
Katie's the kind of person I want to be when I grow up. She makes everyone feel welcome. She's great at drawing people in -- to a conversation, a relationship, a community. She cooks delicious food. She's got a huge smile and sparkly eyes. She's great with people of all ages. She loves Jesus and is passionate about others meeting Him too. She's authentic -- what you see is what you get -- and she lives squarely in the real world with all its grit. She sings. She's married to a solid, godly husband, who comes from a great family like she does -- they live right around the corner from hers. She intentionally invests her life in the lives of others. She usually has guests in her home -- living there, not just for a meal. She loves to have fun. She's going to make a fantastic mom and she regularly helps me be a better one. And when we first moved here, she was one of the first people who welcomed us to our neighbourhood and our church.
Katie and her husband are in the midst of renovating their first home. They're living with mess and bills and drywall dust, and entertaining hoards of people through it all. It's hard to afford the time or money for birthday treats in the midst of that.
I hope she uses this gift to go to the spa, or something similarly indulgent. But even if it goes toward groceries or more nails for finishing the basement, I hope Katie feels appreciated and celebrated. She truly is.
And for those wondering if for-no-reason gifts are the best use of these funds, as I have, then join me in considering Jesus' example. He said that we'd always have the poor with us, yet he also knew how to have lots of fun at a party. He lived smack in the middle of that tension, and so do we. This giving project is teaching me to analyze a little less and to spend more time at the party. Happy birthday, Katie!