Thursday, October 1, 2015

Love Thy Neighbor As Thy Selfie - Book Review

After girls camp this year, (click here for a fun post about our decorations here.) one of the girls young womens leaders from our church bought a "thank you" gift for me. It was unexpected and she gave it to me with a wonderful card.  

At this point, I have to give you a back story. If you have read my blog for the over five years I have written it, you will know that in all that time, I have done one book review on Suzanne Collins, "The Hunger Game" series. Click here to read that review

I don't read anymore. I am always so tired and have so much to do that reading isn't a luxury I can take. I used to LOVE to read and was an avid reader but since having kids and being a single mom, I have altered my love of reading to a love of listening to audio books. Here is a post about that. I listen to books so I can do two things at once. Or, I listen to them while I drive to keep me awake. I have shared my love of this with others and have gotten several friends addicted to listening to book on audio. 

So, with that knowledge, I don't usually appreciate a book as a gift as it just gives me one more thing to add to my "need to do" list as I really do want to read them all but I just have to be realistic and know I will never get to it at this point in my life. 

A few months before getting this gift, I received a magazine from the college Princess One graduated from with her bachelors degree. I keep telling the girls that they should update the addresses at their colleges so I don't keep getting them but since they are all in "flux" they keep sending stuff to my home. I read the magazines when sitting for a few minutes. We leave magazines on the dining table so we can read an article while we eat etc. One article in her magazine was about an author who wrote a new book with the title, "Unselfish - Love Thy Neighbor As They Selfie" which I thought was a wonderful title. 

When I read that the book was stories about a hundred people who have served others, I thought to myself, "That is a book I would actually read!" It was just a passing thought but I thought perhaps someday I would find it at a second hand store or something. That was it. 

Flash forward, I get the gift and open it, I laughed knowing the my Heavenly Father truly does get me what I want and not just what I need! She got me the exact book that I wanted! When I could feel it was a book under the wrapping paper, I was a bit disappointed for the reasons I mentioned before.  With that, imagine my joy after opening it and realizing that Heavenly Father used my friend to give me a gift I really wanted. 

I started reading it to Princess Five at dinner and imagine my happiness when I read this story about a family that did acts of service on ..... Get this.... 11-11 for 111 minutes!!! 111 and 1111. They even had shirts made with the 111 on them!!!! If you don't know what the number 111 means to me, you can read the first blog about that here. There are so many posts where I see 111 that I made it a "subject" on my post subject list. You can type in 111 in the search box at the bottom in the search box and read those blessings. 

I was so impressed with the book, it's inspiring, it made me cry, it made me laugh, it was amazing. I love how the last page of the book gives you a spot where you can put your own story of something you did to serve others. 

I felt inspired by the book and am trying to collect some items for the food bank for homeless people who come through. They often don't have can openers so even if they get food, they can't always open it. The director has purchased some in the past and some bowls so they can eat them. I spoke with the director about what she thought would be helpful and it turned into some hygene kits with toiletries in draw string bags they can hang on their packs. Also, thick "shopping" type sewn bags that they can carry canned goods in as they leave instead of the plastic thin shopping bags that rip when loaded with cans and also cut into your hands when full. 

We also are getting draw string bags made for the silverware, can openers, bowls and reusable water bottles. I purchased and donated some plastic bins to store those items so clients can take what they need as some may already have one or more of the items, we will allow them to choose what they do need from the bins. 

I am looking into purchasing the military can openers bulk so they can keep it on their key chain or pack and it won't add much weight. The other items are gloves, hats and scarves. I am working on having the young women in our church make the scarves and hats and will have a "glove" drive along with the silverware, and water bottle drive so we can fill up the bins. 

It isn't much, but at this point, with so much going on with my health and trying to figure it out, I don't have lots of extra energy to do much at the moment but this is something I can do. 

What can you do? I would suggest before you do it, buy or check this book out at the library and see how others have helped and see if it inspires you in any area as there are so many different ways people help and the author did a great job finding many different types of service to include. Princess Five had the opportunity to actually see the author speak at a Rotary conference she attended. I have to say, I was a bit jealous when driving her home and she told me about that. I love meeting people who inspire me and I have to say that  Paul D. Parkinson compiling this book with such a cute title, truly did inspire me. If you want to contribute to my project, please let me know!

I want to thank my friend again for her wonderful generosity in being a helper to my Father in Heaven in getting me the exact book that I wanted to read! I am blessed with great friends! 

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