Our congregation hosts a cookie walk each year. Members bake their finest Christmas cookies and donate them for public sale. People line up, pay $13 and receive an empty box to fill with the cookies of their choice.
This year our planning team selected three groups to reap the benefits of our cookie sales: a Chicago-based program for teen moms, an agency serving the homeless in our community and Lutheran Disaster Response.
Through the generosity of the talented bakers, we gave many dollars to these three groups. That’s blessing enough. But I realized there were many other blessings—blessings upon blessings, in fact.
An end-of-day party
A friend was responsible for taking cookies to a party for a group of children visiting their incarcerated mothers. She bought three boxes of cookies for the party planned by Lutheran Social Services of Illinois.
The sale proceeds blessed the three agencies I’ve already mentioned, and the cookies blessed about 30 children with mothers in prison. A blessing within a blessing. The children’s visit was a blessing for their mothers, too.
Fair trade sale
At the cookie walk, we offered fair trade items for sale through SERRV. The sale featured the beautiful work of many artisans—those who create jewelry, baskets, knitted items, jams and coffee, to name a few.
The sale of these items is a blessing to the artists who make a fair wage, and the items themselves are blessings to the recipients. Blessings within blessings.
Another set of blessings
Three co-workers and I received fabric, notions and yarn from another colleague who emptied the home of an elderly parent moving into assisted living.
Our actions bless those in our communities, known and unknown, as well as those around the globe we likely will never meet.
One co-worker took fabrics and battings to a group of Lutheran World Relief quilters who will turn them into blessings for folks unknown, somewhere around the globe.
Another co-worker took fleece to make blankets that she donates to those in need.
Yet another co-worker gave the yarn (30 boxes full!) to a young mother of four who is supporting her previously homeless family by selling items she knits. Talk about blessings!
Nestled among the fabrics I received was a lovely quilt top, featuring pieced basket blocks. I had it quilted by my favorite long-arm quilter. Then, I then made binding and bound the quilt. I donated it to a raffle that was a part of our congregation’s cookie walk.
The raffle proceeds from that quilt blessed the three agencies, and the quilt now blesses the home of a retired school nurse, a member of our congregation.
Russian nesting dolls
When we pause to reflect, we realize that our lives are filled with blessings upon blessings, nestled within each other like Russian nesting dolls. Our actions bless those in our communities, known and unknown, as well as those around the globe we likely will never meet.
As written in Ecclesiastes, “Don’t hoard your goods; spread them around. Be a blessing to others.” (Ecc. 11:2, The Message)
Linda Post Bushkofsky is executive director of Women of the ELCA and a member of United Lutheran Church, Oak Park, Ill., where the cookie walk blessed so many people. This year cookies filled 87 trays on the sale day!
Photos by Linda Post Bushkofsky