01 November, 2017

31 Hugs Challenge Conclusion and Giveaway!

I was browsing in a shop today, and when I walked past the lady at the counter she said ‘I like your shirt.’ I said a quick ‘thanks,’ but the incident didn’t leave my mind. I was in the middle of a busy shopping centre in the city and a stranger took the time to compliment me. It made me smile, and feel a little lighter. And then I realized I’d just received a hug. :)

The 31 Hugs Challenge was a challenge for me, but it was a blessing. There were times of discouragement, but God’s used it to teach me a few things:

 - Busyness leads to self-centredness. I have been busy with commitments and time pressures –they’re good things, but it’s all what I need to do. Having to stop and think how I could invest in someone else showed me how much I haven’t been doing that. My thought space has been filled up with myself, not others or God. 

- In giving, we often receive. There’s satisfaction in giving to others with no hope of return, both when I saw a happy surprised reaction, and when I didn’t get to see their response. But I found numerous times, when I took the time to give to someone, they gave it back to me. One word or action can start a cycle, a chain reaction. All it takes it one person to begin.

- Investing in others takes effort, but it’s do-able. I may tell myself I don’t have time, but that’s proven to be an excuse. It takes extra focus, but I can fit more giving into my days. I want to continue with this attitude, not pressuring myself ‘one hug every day,’ but cultivating a mindset of looking out for others and how I can brighten their day. 

- Complimenting gets easier with practice. I’m not an outgoing person (although my family may disagree), and it takes courage for me to say to someone’s face: you’re amazing, you look nice, you have great organisational skills, you’re my role model, etc. I think those things, but I get nervous when I say them. But it’s courage that I can develop. It’s a habit I can cultivate, and it will get easier. 



To conclude the challenge and say a massive thank-you for the blessing and inspiration you are to me, I made five key tags to give away! I’ve dubbed them ‘truth tags’ because I want the messages to remind you of the truth that you’re are loved and valuable, thought of and cared for. I wish I could make you all one. 

The giveaway is open worldwide, and closes seven days from now. If the winners don’t respond one week after I contact them, I will choose another winner. I will be sending one tag to five different winners.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 Also, huge thanks to each of you who filled out my feedback form. It’s given me helpful insight and direction, and also amazing encouragement. :) Thank you. If you haven’t filled it in yet, you can do so here. Your thoughts matter to me!

I’m eager to hear your 31 Hugs experiences! How did you find the challenge? What did you learn from it? Did anything stand out to you? Thanks for joining in this month of sharing hope with the world! You kept me going. :) Stay awesome, stay strong, friends!

28 comments:

  1. Wow, I really relate to "Busyness leads to self-centeredness." That is where I'm at right now - constantly filling up my to-do list so I can go, go, go and not focus on others, but myself. I want that to change so badly! I'm glad it's November and a new, fresh month to make changes. :) I also want to practice giving out compliments more because I know that always blesses me when I receive one. :D

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    1. Yes! It's hard sometimes, because those to-do lists still need to be accomplished. But we're in the same boat, because I really want that change too. November here we come! :D And you're so right about compliments.

      As always, thanks for your comment and support, girl! I appreciate you. :)

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    1. It's such a powerful truth. You most definitely are loved, Regine!

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  3. All the tags look nice, but I think "Smile, Sunshine" is my favorite. Awesome job!

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    1. Thanks Korin! :) Those might be my favourite words too - I actually embroidered them onto my cap, and I like to wear it and hopefully bring cheer to someone's day! Thanks for your comment. :)

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  4. I haven't heard ignored the challenge until now, but it sounds wonderful! I love the idea of trying to bless someone in a small way everyday in a month. Your key tags are so cute! You made them, right?

    ~ Ella Marie

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    1. Yes - I'm going to try continuing the give to others more regularly, because it ends up being a blessing to me too! I'm glad you think so! Yes, I made them. :)

      Thanks for commenting and following! xx

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  5. I love all of your tags though for another idea, "Priceless" or "Beautifully Broken" would be awesome too.
    Beautiful. And thank you for hosting the giveaway! You're amazing. <3

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    1. You're so encouraging. :) There are so many things that could be said on the tags! I kept having more ideas while I was making these ones, and now you've added some great suggestions. Perhaps there'll have to be round two! :) Thanks, Kara. xx

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  6. I love the "You Are Loved" tag, most of all, but they're all awesome, and so pretty! "Above Rubies", "Never Alone" and "Give Thanks Always" might be some other ideas. God bless you!

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    1. Thanks Gabrielle! I like how your ideas come straight out of the Bible - those are definitely some good ones for next time. Thanks for sharing - many blessings to you too! :)

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  7. Ohh, just line you've said, I missed days and it got me quite discouraged. Honestly I even forgot with everything going on for the past 2 weeks. I did a lot of it, but still I'm disappointed that I forgot...again. I'm truly so sad, but I did it for 2 to 3 weeks at least.
    I love love love those <333 My favorite would have to be "Stay Strong", but really all of them are beautiful!!!

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    1. I know the feeling. But remember, just one small thing could have an incredible impact! God can turn our two mites into the biggest offering in His treasury! I'm so glad you were a part of it. :)

      Thanks for your sweet encouragement, Paige. You're a blessing. :)

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  8. I love the tags... and what they say :). Great post! And great lessons God taught you.

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    1. Thanks, Sarah! All praise to Him. :)

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  9. ahh jessica!! this post <3 <3 this whole thing is so beautiful!! i honestly love like all the tags. ;) but the stay strong and and hold onto hope are my favorites!! stay strong sister

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    1. Aw, thank you! Your comment was a huge encouragement. :) Keep fighting the good fight! xx

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  10. Hi Jessica,
    Thank you so much for offering this giveaway! I love the tags you made. I did the challenge as much as I could. Usually it was just saying something encouraging or giving hugs, but I did manage to give a present and do some other special things. :)

    Love
    Ashley
    ashleysyarnworks.etsy.com
    creatingpreciousmoments.blogspot.com

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    1. Hey Ashley! It's great to hear how the challenge went for you! I'm sure those things would've meant so much to the people in your life. Thanks for sharing and for your kind words! :)

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  11. Hi Jessica, I love the smile sunshine tag. Thanks for having this giveaway. All of the tags are very pretty.
    Lauren

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    1. Thank you, Lauren! I'm glad you like them. Keep smiling, and thanks for your comment! :)

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  12. Hello Jess! It's been a while since I hopped on over here. =) I think I shared how the 31 Hugs challenge went...although I wasn't always consistent, God used it many times to hug me. I would "hug" someone, and their responses blessed me. =) Loving others is a beautiful thing. I only wish I remembered that more often.

    I agree: busyness leads to self-centeredness. Pausing to see and appreciate the beauty in life (and in other people!) brings so much joy. ♥ Thank you for this challenge. I wish you did it every month. =)

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    1. It nice to hear from you, Hosanna! I always enjoy your comments. :) Yes - you're so right! I'm glad the challenge proved to be a blessing for you. I had similar experiences, and it was amazing to see God work like that. :) Thanks so much for your encouragement and thoughtful comment!xx

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  13. I need to practise opening up and complimenting people more - I usually think the compliment, but don't say it, and then spend the rest of the day kicking myself. And so often what I'm wanting to say is simply how much of a blessing they are, to myself and to others. I suppose I need to get over my self-consciousness and just do it, because giving "hugs" is something that can snowball in amazing ways. :)
    - Jem Jones

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    1. Yes! I know that feeling so well - it's something I've been trying to work on too. May we both find courage to be a blessing to others through our words! Thanks for your comment, Jem. xx

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  14. I'm sure I'm too late to enter the giveaway, but it doesn't even matter. I'm just sorry that I've taken so long to respond and show my support, especially since you've *noticeably* upped it a notch with your level of responsiveness. I definitely consider you a friend and someone worth interacting with; I'm sorry for when I don't!

    Regarding your post, I love what you said "I want to continue with this attitude, not pressuring myself ‘one hug every day,’ but cultivating a mindset of looking out for others and how I can brighten their day." I, too, want to cultivate selflessness as a mindset.

    And like you, I find it hard to voice kind words. Could it be that we fear rejection - that for someone to be indifferent to our efforts would be "too painful"? By God's grace, it doesn't have to be, but how often do I stop to acknowledge that?

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    1. Don't feel down on yourself - I totally understand not getting there, despite the best of intentions! It doesn't make me think any less of you. :) Thanks for your comment. I always appreciate your perspective, and how you often take things deeper.

      Yes, it's something I think I have to continually remind myself! But it's encouraging we're both striving for these things. :) I think you're right about fearing rejection. I like to think I don't fear refection (ha!), but I know it's fear stopping me, and when I analyse it, it does comes back to fear of rejection or what others might think of me. It reminds me of something we were listening to last night - the speaker was talking about the fear of evangelism we have, but he pointed out that we need to let God's perfect love overwhelm our fear (1 John 4:18). When we're motivated by love for God and love for souls those things will be stronger than our fear. That was a timely reminder for me! Hopefully I can apply those things to my own life.

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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! :)