Writers Life

Gratitude: A Note From Jean

As the final book is released in my third series it’s a natural time to pause and count my blessings.

And there are so many.

I’ve kept a gratitude journal for some time and I try to remember to be thankful for what I have each day whether it is something big or small. I also try to be generous with others whether it’s practicing patience or something fun such as a giveaway for my readers.

Recently though, I’ve been engaging in tithing which is outside my comfort zone as I tend to worry about money having grown up well-aware that things were constantly tight financially. (Tithing is the act of donating 10% of ones income–most commonly to a church. In my case, I have been donating a segment of my monthly book royalties to various charities and I choose a different one each month.)

What’s interesting is that once I decided to do this I immediately began seeing places to donate to. At the grocery store there was a charity with a stand near the store entrance. In the coffee shop drive thru there was a charity taking donations. A charity sent a flyer in the mail. My son was doing a run for a charity with his school. Opportunities were suddenly everywhere!

How impossible to choose!

Donating isn’t entirely new to me though as each month, for the past decade, we have been supporting a family overseas through Plan International–something my parents did for many many years, even when times were very tight. I also donate my time to the fundraising society at my daughter’s school, donated a lot of our baby items to single teenage moms, etc. But tithing more than a few dollars here and there… that’s still a bit out of range when it comes to my comfort zone!

But since September I’ve been stepping it up and telling my fear to take a hike! So far I’ve donated to the Terry Fox fund (Cancer charity here in Canada), The Heart and Stroke Foundation, as well as toward hurricane relief in the Carolinas where the Indigo Bay series is set. (I also received an email for a literacy charity last month hoping I’d send a signed book for their auction. I did. I also created a basket of signed books by various authors for a local fundraiser.)

Suddenly this isn’t quite so scary and it’s nice to know that I am able to help out in larger, more frequent ways, too.

I’ll have to choose a charity soon for December and I’m looking forward to it!

How about you? Are you one who likes to count their blessings? Do you have a favourite charity you like to donate to? Tell me about it in the comment section.

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