31 October, 2016

31 Hugs - Conclusion

We’ve come to the end of October, and that means the end of the 31 Hugs challenge! (Or does it?)

I was overwhelmed at the response to the challenge. I was nervous about posting that initial post, because what if no one joins? But you all surprised me in the very best way, and it was encouraging to see your enthusiasm. It also kept me going, because I felt accountable.

To be honest, 31 Hugs Challenge was a challenge for me. October has been the busiest month of the whole year. I wanted to put a lot of time and effort into my hugs, but in the end I decided something small was better than nothing. Because I was busy and stressed at times, I also didn’t feel like giving. That sounds terrible, but it’s true. I didn’t feel like putting time into someone else. I think this challenge helped me notice that tendency, and purpose not to let myself get busy and stressed at the expense of others. I missed a couple of days along the way, and now, only a few hours until the new month, I’ve given a total of twenty-eight hugs. 

So no, I didn’t give 31 hugs. But this brings me to something else. On the 31 Hugs Ideas post, Hosanna Emily commented and said she wanted giving hugs to be a way of life for her – not just something she did for a month and then forgot about. I thought that was beautiful, and I hope this challenge has helped us all think of more ways we can be a blessing to others, and turned 'hug-giving' from a challenge to a habit. Wouldn’t it be amazing if we gave thirty-one or more hugs every month, because that’s who we are?

Overall, this challenge was a blessing and good experience for me. I also felt like I received a lot of hugs this month (mostly from people who didn’t even know about the challenge), and it was amazing to feel the love and care I was trying to give. And again, I’m thrilled and blessed and encouraged that many of you joined! I like to think of the compound effect we’ve had as we’ve been a blessing to others too. 

But there’s one hug I still want to give. :) And that’s to you guys, of course! Every single one of you bless and encourage and inspire me so much. I can’t say thank you enough. You’re amazing, and you’d better believe it. I have evidence too. :) So here: five reasons why you’re* amazing.

1. You’re like no one else. A unique individual, gifted with different things to the person next to you. This world needs you! No one can replace you, or do/say/write/sing you things you’re called to do.

2. God says so. And then He backed His words up with action, by giving up everything, everything, for you. He values you infinitely.

3. You are capable. God can use you to do so much. Every word and deed of yours has a power, an effect. You can change lives; you can change the world. With Him everything is possible.

4. God uses and works through you. I’m sure He does on many other levels, but I know for sure He works through you, because just by reading these words, He’s using you to be a blessing to me.

5. You overwhelm me with support and encouragement and give me so much. I’m in awe, honestly. Every comment sends me into a cloud of What?! Wow! That’s so sweet. People are so nice. I can’t believe it. Praise God! And basically, I’m high for the rest of the day, and any other time I stop to think about you guys. I also pray for you all too, and if I could, I’d give you a hug right now.

*I actually mean you, the person reading these words. I have a habit of discrediting words like these, and believing they’re about someone else, so I want to make sure you realise it’s YOU I’m talking about here. Even if it’s your first time visiting, or you’ve never commented or followed, you're still amazing, okay?

So please, give yourself a hug on behalf of me, and don’t ever ever forget that you’re loved, valued, treasured.


How has your October been? Did you receive a blessing from the 31 Hugs Challenge? In what ways could it have been better? How did people respond to your hugs? I’m super eager to hear about it! :)

P.s Happy November!


  1. I love Hosanna's comment about wanting hugs to be a part of her way of life! Giving hugs should be a part of who we are.... we are called to encourage each other and build each other up! :)
    It was so neat to have something like this to participate in. Jessica, you are such a blessing to so many people.

    1. Yes! It made me rethink the whole purpose of the challenge, actually.

      I'm so glad you were part of it, Bonnie! Thanks for your encouraging comment. :)

  2. I'll admit this was a busy month for me and I didn't give as many hugs as I would've like. I could say I failed and all that, but I realize that I didn't. I tried and I gave away some hugs. I'm not perfect, but the fact that I'm learning to take the time and tell someone they're special or commenting on a low-viewed blog, or messaging a girl who use to be my bestie and let her know I'm thinking about her in this rough time in her life means I'm growing.
    Thanks for doing the challenge Jessica. ♥

    1. I think a lot of us found thirty-one hugs to be quite a few! You definitely didn't fail, because every single one counts. :) I'm sure all those people would've been blessed by you taking time to encourage them! Thanks for sharing, Kara! It was wonderful to have you along for the challenge. :)

  3. I set out to give the full 31 hugs, too. I don't know how many I actually gave, but they were less than 31 (at least the intentional ones in which I had this challenge in mind). I was riding on the excitement, for the first few days. I don't think I missed a beat. I may have even given more than one "hug" per day. But then I ran out of steam. I think I felt less accountable towards the middle and end. It probably would have helped if I have physically written down my ideas of people and hugs like you suggested.

    I also agree with Hosanna. X) I want these sort of small, selfless acts to be a way of life. I think that accepting the challenge helped me with this, too. I found that even if I didn't give all the intentional 31 hugs I had hoped to, I did have a mindset that was more aware of others.

    Jessica, *hugs*. Thank you so much for making public your challenge, even if it made you nervous at first. I'm so glad you went through with it anyway!

    1. It's encouraging to hear how others went with the challenge! I totally understand - I was less motivated in the middle of the month too, even with a list of people I wanted to hug!

      Thanks so much for being a part of this Jordy. May we all find giving hugs to be a part of our lives more and more! Sending hugs back! :)

  4. I bogged down too -- but I'm realizing now I shouldn't discount those hugs I did manage to get out. It really was eye-opening to catch moments throughout the day that I could use, although, on slow days, that method often found me realizing I hadn't even thought about it. Like Jordy, I feel I probably should've written the ideas down beforehand to help me stay on track. But I'll be ready for next time! I'll also try to get in the habit of thinking up nice things to do, and remembering to actually do them, besides spontaneous ideas. Basically, this challenge has given me a lot to learn and discover! Thank you for sharing it with us :)

    1. Yes, every single hug still counts - whether there were thirty-one of them or not! :)

      Praise God it could be a learning experience for you. I'm so glad you were a part of it! Also, I have to say I'm excited you mentioned next time! I'm definitely planning for a next time too. :)

  5. Welp Jessica. If my tear ducts where not currently all shriveled and barren I would be crying.
    Because you, sweet friend, speak truth.
    You are fighting darkness.
    You are chasing Jesus recklessly and it brings me so much hope to know that someday our Daddy will give us the ultimate-never-ending-tight hug.

    1. Oh, praise God this could be a blessing to you! And your kind words mean so much to me. Thank you - you're an inspiration to me in this; you're such a brave fighter. Hugs. :) xx

  6. I missed your post announcing the hug challenge, but I'll have to go back and read it because this sounds so amazing. So blessed and touched by everything you wrote in your "hug" to us readers. :') I hope you know how much God is working through you, through your encouraging, inspiring and love-filled words, Jessica. This was beautiful

    1. It was a great experience. Maybe you can join next time! ;)

      Oh, praise God it could be a blessing to you! I thank Him so much for this wonder of the blogging community, and I'm glad you're part of it. :) And thanks a lot for your encouragement too. xx

  7. I really wanted to take part in this, but if I'm going to be honest here, I have to admit that I thoroughly and completely forgot. I had no idea how crazy October was going to be, and my mind just kind of emptied. XD But I agree with Hosanna Emily- I want it to be a way of life. I also think if I'd planned better and made a list, it would have gone much better. I'm going to try to make this an every day thing. <3

    1. That's totally understandable! My month was pretty hectic too. :) It's so encouraging to hear you're still enthusiastic about the idea though! May we all continue to inspire each other to make hugs a way of life.

      Thanks so much for your comment, Grace Anne. :)


When you comment:

1. My day will be brighter, my face smiling, and my heart blessed.

2. I’m likely to immediately go and explore your blog (if you have one) to find out more of your amazingness, and return the blessing.

3. I will then attempt to craft a response to you that will somehow fail to convey how much I truly appreciate your thoughtfulness and kindness. I’m grateful for every word of encouragement you give, and don’t be afraid to share some constructive criticism also; there’s always more to learn. In short: thank-you! :)