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  • Writer's pictureAdrea Tilford

Outdo One Another for one Another (Day 37)

Romans 12:10

Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. (ESV)

Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle. (Message)

I’ve been hesitating to write this post. Mostly because it removes a layer of anonomity to the act of love my girls and I endeavored upon yesterday. Yet, I think it could be incredible to see what other’s do with this. My friend Ondi wrote a post about Romans 12:10. She asked us to think about what the world might look like if we were all trying to outdo each other in honoring one another in love. Can you imagine the beauty? The fun? The stories?

In November, on a hike with my incredible mentor and friend Sally, I was sharing about the challenges of this year in living with another family during the Christmas season. I love this other family and feel incredibly grateful for their generosity and friendship. And I also really miss having my own home, my own space and the feeling Sam and I have created over the past years for our family during the holidays.

Sally, 1. validated my feelings because they are all ok to have! And 2. encouraged me to consider how I can build in a tradition around generosity and giving with the girls. She shared with me how she and her children celebrated the 12 days of Christmas by choosing a family and delivering a gift each day for the 12 days leading up to Christmas. They would sneak to the front door, place the gift in front and ding dong ditch that family. Trying if they could to hide and watch the family discover the gift from the unknown giver. She said some years they would reveal themselves on the final day and some years they would not. She said one year they were able to love on three families at once for this tradition! Talk about practicing loving deeply in a season that can quickly become focused on self.

So, I was not organized for a 12 day gift giving adventure. But the girls and I were able to put together a gift basket for one family for one day! (It’s a start)

We crept up to the house and placed the basket on their steps. N snuck to the doorbell and rang it and then we three ran like goofy circus clowns to pile into our car.

You know, even though we waited, we didn’t get to see the discovery.

But in the end that didn’t matter. We lived out giving with no expectation for return. We let someone know they are loved and thought about and appreciated for all they are doing in this world. And we weren’t doing it for even a thank you. People have poured generously into our lives. Today, my parents are hosting us - giving us their bedroom for the Christmas Eve night. My dad carried a tree from the mountain to the house so that the girls could enjoy the beauty I did as a child. They fed us dinner and my mom will teach us to bake her famous cinnamon rolls today. Sarah lets us live in her house with dogs and kids and messes. Sally gives her precious time to pour into my soul, my walk with God, my life. So many people, so many friends, so much generosity in this world. How can I long for anything else other than to love others deeply and try my best to play second fiddle when the opportunity arises - and to maybe create one or two opportunities along the way.

How can you love someone deeply today? How can you outdo in showing honor? Tell me your story of love in the Christmas season.

Merry Christmas friends.

The tree my dad hauled down the mountain.

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