I’m glad you are here to celebrate! 

Share a link to your blog post below and/or use #celebratelu to share celebrations on Twitter. Check out the details hereCelebrate This Week goes live on Friday night around 10(ish). Consider it as a weekend celebration. Whenever it fits in your life, add your link. 

Please leave a little comment love for the person who links before you.

I love The Giving Keys. It’s a company dedicated to fighting homelessness. They give jobs to people, because a good job is the best way to break the cycle of generational poverty and homelessness. They are a pay it forward company, always looking to make the world a little better through people and their products. 

The first key I bought was for my friend Kim when she retired from education. Kim and I shared a love for kitschy jewelry. We liked things with whimsy and the more offbeat, the better for both of us. Kim was also a realtor. A Giving Key was the perfect gift. I bought her one with INSPIRE imprinted on it because of the inspiration she was to me as a mom, educator and business woman. At the same time I bought myself one with the word LOVE. 

When you get a Giving Key you are encouraged to live your word until you meet someone who needs it more than you do. Then you pay it forward by giving your key to the person who needs it. 

I gave BELIEVE away last May to Monica, a person who invested in my daughter’s life for 9 months. During that time, I was called to BELIEVE healing could happen. Monica was a key person in her healing. I like to think about Monica wearing BELIEVE around her neck and knowing that even though it’s hard to bring light to dark places, she is capable of turning the course of lives.

Last week I gave away STEADFAST. If I’m honest, I wasn’t planning to give away STEADFAST. It’s my word for the year, so I expected to hold on to it. I didn’t want to give it away. But when life got hairy and my friend Jasmine needed to cancel our get together, I knew it was time to send STEADFAST out into the world.

I kept wearing STEADFAST around my neck. I like the kitschy-ness of it. I like that it reminds me of Kim and the way she used to shake her key at me when I was wearing mine at the same time. I like the way I pray differently and live out the word when it travels with me all day.

A key gets real heavy around a neck, when you know it’s supposed to be passed along and you’re holding tight to it instead. I supposed this is true for most things, not just keys.

I saw Jas a few days later. I was beginning to feel like a thief, wearing her key around my neck. It was time to give STEADFAST away. And then I got all embarrassed. 

Why does this happen to me when I’m about to lean into love in a big, bold way? 

I did it anyway, mostly because I don’t like the feeling of keeping something that’s not mine. Jas knows about The Giving Keys, so there wasn’t much explanation needed.

“I’m supposed to give you this. It says STEADFAST,” I said passing the key from my neck to Jasmine’s palm.

She laughed in her easy way. “God is funny, isn’t he?” she said taking the necklace. 

“Wear it until you meet someone who needs it more than you. Then pass it on,” I said.

She laughed again. “There’s a good chance I’ll need this for awhile.”

Jasmine is in the middle of fighting the good fight and pressing on through the hard. They just finalized their most recent adoption, creating a forever family of 7.

“What key are you going to get next?” she asked. 

“LET GO,” I said. “I’m not sure why, but I know a black LET GO key is definitely the one to order.” 

That night, I ordered LET GO and HOPE and BE. Three keys — I’m going to live them well and then pass them along. Isn’t this what life is all about — living well and making it possible for others to live well, too? 


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  1. Reaching out to others is what you do, Ruth. It's wonderful to hear your story about the keys. “Let Go” feels right for now. There are those 'things' that hampers our joy unless we tell them goodbye and move on. Have a wonderful weekend!

  2. Knowing you I'm amazed at all the ways that you lean into love in big, bold ways. I love that you passed on steadfast because you knew someone needed it more than you did. And your new keys? I'm sure they'll help you live well until it's time to pass them along.

  3. Ruth, I may be late in posting but I know that I am always welcomed. Life is good when you have friends writing about celebrations. Giving keys is an amazing process of paying it forward. Thanks for the idea.