Tomorrow is Giving Tuesday. It is the Tuesday after Thanksgiving and is a movement to encourage charitable giving. And I plan to make a contribution.

Last year, I wanted to, but felt I couldn’t afford it. Before that, it honestly–and I’m ashamed to admit this–never crossed my mind. But for some reason, this season of life has made me want to be more charitable. And I know that desire is from God; He is using this season to make me generous.

My church just finished our series on generosity. I have never identified with a financial sermon until this series, and I am so glad my heart was open. It gave me more of a sense of financial freedom than I’d felt in a year. I started tithing more at church, with full trust in God. And the minute I did that, incredible things happened. But two things really stuck out to me: (1) generous people are not just generous when it is convenient; and (2) work doesn’t give you purpose; you give purpose to your work.

I had always thought of myself as caring and generous, but I knew that when it came down to it, if I felt we were on the edge financially, we wouldn’t give. I chose our comfort,  my comfort, over the calling to give.

For years, I thought work would bring me a sense of purpose and would fulfill me. It’s only recently that I realized that I can love my job, but that God uses that job to do other things. I joke that I work so my pets can have a better life, and that’s entirely true. If worst came to worst, I would provide for them before I provided for myself. But He also blessed me with this job so I could give back. Thanks to this job, I can make those charitable contributions I’ve been longing to make.

And for that, I am thankful.

I am thankful that God blessed me with a job that I not only find meaning in, but that I give meaning to. I am thankful to have a job that allows me to make contributions I want to make. I am thankful for the opportunity to be generous. And that is what I strive to be.

So as Giving Tuesday rolls around, I want to encourage you to give to a cause that is near  to you. But don’t just do it on this one day. Make it consistent. I want to encourage you to be generous.

Thankful for…Physical Abilities

This past weekend, I ran my first 10K.

I finished the 6.26 miles in 59 minutes and 33 seconds. Around mile 3.5, that mean voice in my head started up: I can’t believe you signed up for this. If you’re tired now, you’re never going to be able to do that 15K next month. You’ll never be able to do that half-marathon. So what did I do? I checked my pace. I was probably going faster than I should have been, which was wearing me out quicker. I took a deep breath. And I told that voice to shut up. Once again, she retreated. I know she’ll be back, especially as I start my next Beachbody program and continue half-marathon training, but I’m getting better at shaking her off.

And fitness is just one way I am doing that. That is why this week I am thankful for the physical abilities God has blessed me with.

A year ago, I would never have dreamed of doing a 10K, let alone of signing up for a half-marathon. I thought my capabilities ended at 3 miles and a few reps of the same workout. But I started small–with 1 mile here and there and a 1 month exercise program. Five months after signing up and beginning my first Beachbody program, I realized I have more in me than I thought I did.

Each day, I pray for continued strength and commitment to my physical fitness goals and that the Lord would guide me each step of the way. Each day, I pray He would help me overpower that voice, the enemy. I have truly felt this commitment is a God thing.

If you’re finding you need a change too, start small. I guarantee you’ll be thankful for it in the future. And if you want to join me on this fitness and faith journey, sign up for the email list for weekly insight and motivation.