I Like Giving: The Transforming Power of a Generous Life

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?Important and exciting! I Like Giving could be the beginning of a movement of generosity.?
?Mark Batterson
When you choose to live a generous life, you start to change and so does the world around you. Something incredible happens when giving becomes your own idea, not something you do out of duty or obligation.

When you move from ...

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I Like Giving: The Transforming Power of a Generous Life

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“Important and exciting! I Like Giving could be the beginning of a movement of generosity.”
Mark Batterson
When you choose to live a generous life, you start to change and so does the world around you. Something incredible happens when giving becomes your own idea, not something you do out of duty or obligation.

When you move from awareness to action, miracles happen. As you make giving a lifestyle, you’ll realize you’re not only loving life more, you’re also creating a more generous world— a better world for all of us.

Rich with inspiring stories and practical suggestions, I Like Giving helps you create a lifestyle of generosity. Inside you’ll find:
• Giving—something you get to do, not something you’ve got to do.
• How to raise kids with a sensitivity to others’ needs.
• You don’t have to be a millionaire to make a difference.
• Practical ideas for giving to people around you every day.

I Like Giving is about experiencing the joy of giving. We all have something to give. Giving goes way beyond money or things. It can be a listening ear, a touch, or simply the gift of time. Giving is living.

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  • I Like Giving: The Transforming Power of a Generous Life
    I Like Giving: The Transforming Power of a Generous Life  

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for I Like Giving

“Important and exciting! I Like Giving could be the beginning of a movement of generosity.”
—MARK BATTERSON, author of The Circle Maker

“I Like Giving will light you up on the generosity dial.”
—DAVE RAMSEY, host of The Dave Ramsey Show and New York Times best-selling author

“I Like Giving inspires us to explore giving that is full of cheer and joy. These stories have opened up our eyes to see our daily interactions with people in a whole new way.”
—DAVID and BARBARA GREEN, cofounders of Hobby Lobby

“I Like Giving is a beautifully written book with the right title, because people really do like giving. Brad Formsma has an inspiring message, and his book should be on every kitchen table, like a daily vitamin for the soul.”
—STEPHEN POST, best-selling author of Why Good Things Happen to Good People

“Brad’s understanding of generosity is a wake-up call for the giver inside us all.”
—MICHAEL JR., award-winning comedian

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781601425751
  • Publisher: The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 2/18/2014
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 136,839
  • Product dimensions: 5.19 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.58 (d)

Meet the Author

BRAD FORMSMA is the creator of Ilikegiving.com, a website viewed in more than 165 countries, which inspires people to live generously through its short films as well as a platform for all to share their experiences in giving. Brad and his wife, Laura, have three children and live in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

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Read an Excerpt

The giving journey for Tracy Autler started on Thanksgiving Day 1993. Away from her family, living in an apartment on the lower end of town, a single mom to a three-year-old and eight months pregnant, she was relying on welfare and food stamps to get by. While other families were preparing for their Thanksgiving feasts, Tracy would do the best she could with canned food.

Standing in her apartment and looking at the sparse collection of cans on her shelf, Tracy heard a knock at the door. What in the world? she thought. Who would be coming to her door on Thanksgiving Day? Weren’t people at home with their families, eating turkey and watching football?

She opened her door and simply couldn’t believe her eyes. Standing there was a man from a local restaurant with a delivery for Tracy: a full Thanksgiving dinner, complete with all the trimmings. He said it was from an anonymous donor, and before Tracy could ask any questions, he handed it over and left. Tracy was so overwhelmed that she spent the rest of the day crying.

Surprised and amazed, Tracy decided she needed to know whom to thank for this extravagant and timely gift. However, she couldn’t fi gure it out. She called her parents, but it wasn’t them. She asked her friends, but no one knew. Tracy couldn’t believe that someone outside her circle of friends and family had noticed her situation and done something about it without drawing any attention to himself.

Years went by, and Tracy still had no idea whom the mysterious Thanksgiving dinner had come from. In time she moved out of that apartment and began working as a nurse at a local hospital.

And then it happened. Seven years after that special Thanksgiving meal, a woman named Margot was admitted into Tracy’s care. Margot had multiple sclerosis, and her condition was becoming critical. Tracy remembered Margot from her time on welfare. She had lived in the same apartment building as Tracy. It was clear that Margot didn’t have much longer to live.

Three days before her death, Margot took Tracy’s hand in hers and, in a frail voice, whispered two words: “Happy

In that moment Tracy knew who had given her that Thanksgiving dinner. She would never have guessed that Margot—the unassuming neighbor with multiple sclerosis—was behind that generous gift. Tracy still gets tears in her eyes when she tells the story today.

I’d call that story “I Like My Neighbor.” Margot saw Tracy’s situation that Thanksgiving Day and did something extraordinary—she gave her the perfect gift without anyone asking her to and without asking for anything in return.
That one gift had a massive impact on Tracy’s life. Moved by the anonymous donor’s generosity, Tracy purposed in her heart to do generous things for other people too. The very day she got off assistance, she took a basket of gifts down to the welfare offi ce for anyone to take. The welfare offi cer was stunned. Can you imagine the look on his face? Who does something like that?

And that was just the beginning. Since then, Tracy and her husband have become foster parents and adopted a son. She regularly looks for opportunities to give. The last time I heard from her, she was getting ready to volunteer her Saturday afternoon at the local Humane Society. One of her latest ideas is to leave fi ve-dollar Starbucks gift cards with little notes for her coworkers to fi nd, just to make their day better. This year Tracy and her family made a New
Year’s resolution to fi nd one hundred opportunities to give to other people. How inspiring is that?

What I appreciate most about Tracy is that she doesn’t do her giving to be noticed by others. Since that Thanksgiving Day in 1993, she has discovered the joy that comes from giving. Now she’s hooked. She doesn’t give to make herself look good—she gives because she likes giving. It makes her feel more alive. “It’s how life should be,” she says.

There is something incredible about giving when it’s our idea. Opening our eyes and ears to the people around us and asking “How can we give?” is a profoundly life-giving and satisfying way to live. One of Jesus’s ideas was that it is more blessed to give than to receive. I have found that to be true. The generous life is the only life worth living.
Just imagine—what if every single person on the planet woke up and, like Tracy, looked for ways to give? What sort of world could we create through the simple, powerful decision to live generously? Whoever you are, no matter how much or how little you have to share, making the decision to give regularly to others—daily, weekly, or monthly—will enrich your life and change the lives of the people around you.

When we choose to give, we change, and the people around us change. When we move from awareness to action, miracles happen. When we allow giving to be our idea, a world of possibilities opens up before us, and we discover new levels of joy. If you, like Tracy, get hooked on giving, you’ll fi nd yourself asking, “How generous can I be?” When that happens, you’ll realize that, not only are you loving life more than ever, but you’re also a part of creating a more generous world—a world that is better for all of us. If you haven’t ever experienced the joy of giving, or it’s been a long time, this book will show you where to start. We will walk with you as you take your fi rst steps, and we’ll stick with you as you grow in the art of generosity.

Or if you’re nodding your head right now, saying, “I’ve known this for years,” then we’re here to encourage you to keep growing and to empower you to spread the joy. We never arrive. I’ve been discovering the joy of generous living for many years, and I still feel as if I’m just getting started!

The best things in life are like that—they grow and never end.

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Interviews & Essays

Q&A with Brad Formsma

author of

I Like Giving

1. How did you become an advocate for generous living?

I became an advocate over a long period of time. I have found that creating a lifestyle of generosity is not an overnight experience. It started with my grandfather’s example in my early teen years, which was mainly my watching him as opposed to him preaching to me. There is real power and freedom in sharing giving stories with others without asking for something from them. This happened the more I discovered the power of giving stories. Think of giving this way: We get to. We don't got to.

2. What is your favorite example of giving?

Now that’s a hard one! I have so many favorites. If we are talking family giving, I would say the “I Like Bike” story. The “I Like Bike” experience took our family to a whole new level! If we are talking about someone giving away all they have, “I Like Car” is at the top of my list. Overall, stories of kids being generous are super inspiring to me. They don't over think it, and it’s so pure. Best of all, I think it changes them for life. A life that is truly life.

3. What do you find are the unexpected benefits of giving to others?

I find a mysterious reset to my outlook on life. A fresh perspective on what it's all about. Thoughts of worry or concern disappear; joy rushes in and stays. I find I am less self-focused and more aware. Awareness has been huge in my life because once you become aware of a need then you can do something about it!

4. Where do you get your stories about giving and generosity?

I get stories from all over the world through my website (I Like Giving.com), as well friends and new people I meet along the way. Once you give someone the permission to share a story, it's hard to stop them. There are a ton of generous people out there who want to share but they have not previously had the encouragement or platform to do it. We don't care if it's anonymous or not. It's about how one story can change you and the world around you.

What will people learn about generosity from I Like Giving?

They will learn that they can do it. It's wired into all of us to be givers. Readers will be guided through the process, encouraged at every step of the way. They will be inspired by others who have taken the courage to share their stories as a way to motivate others. It snowballs in a great big way! They will experience that going fromawareness to action can lead to miracles happening in their own lives.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2014

    This book is a breath of fresh air in today's society. I love ho

    This book is a breath of fresh air in today's society. I love how the author uses so many different stories to convey the message of generosity for people of all ages. I also appreciate that some of the stories don't require spending a single dollar; they just encourage you to pay attention and to act. I have started to use many of the ideas in my own family, and I am already seeing the hearts of my children change to being more generous and thinking of others before themselves. Our dinner conversations have changed dramatically with the use of the "high/low" game (also mentioned in the book) and often revolve around the opportunities we have had to be generous or even recognize generosity in our own lives. This book is a quick and easy read and will change your attitude towards living a generous life. We have all found new joy in our lives. Highly recommended. 

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 13, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    I Like Giving: The Transforming Power of a Generous Life Practic

    I Like Giving:
    The Transforming Power of a Generous Life
    Practical Ideas, Inspiring Stories
    By: Brad Formsma

    Experience the joy of giving through the stories in this book. See how the ripple effect transforms the lives of the ones who give, to the ones who receive, to the ones beyond. This book spoke to my heart. How can I give? In any way I want to! It can be time, money, a listening ear, a banana cream pie, or sparkly fingernail polish.

    Want more joy in your life? Give. Want to be healthier, happier? Give. What do you have to lose? A little bit of time, a little bit of money. Try it and see what happens. Brad Formsma is convinced once you try it, you won’t want to stop. Families, friends, communities, will feel the impact of giving.

    Have you experienced a nudge to give someone a hug? To say a kind word to someone standing in line with you? To send food to an elderly neighbor? How about to give a few dollars to someone you don’t know? Sometimes that’s God’s way of using us to help someone. God knows what they need and He uses us to fulfill His will. And what do we get for giving? Joy, happiness, contentment. And when you least expect it, a little something back for being a giver. Try it and see. Have you ever met an angry and bitter generous person? You just might get to experience the joy of seeing the look of astonishment on someone else’s face.

    Formsma fills this book with encouraging stories of giving, and receiving, gifts. Now that I’m finished reading the book, I can’t wait for my chance to do something for someone. Wonder who or what it will be? Go out and give today and let the adventure begin!

    I received this book free from Waterbrook Press in exchange for an honest review

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 15, 2014

    Random Giving The book I am reviewing is ¿I Like Giving¿, the

    Random Giving

    The book I am reviewing is “I Like Giving”, the author share stories about giving. The stories details the various experiences with giving something to someone they do not know. This random act of kindness give the writers and readers a satisfying feeling, a feeling that can’t be explained nor can’t money buy it. It’s a ping that nudges you to just give freely and the writers experience the love of giving regardless of the person or their response to accepting it. The shared experiences was very inspirational and encouraging, to go out and share your time, money, talents, and skills with others. Most people won’t understand why one would do such a thing, but the action behind it is Heaven sent. You never know how a person day, month, or year is going, but these random acts of kindness through giving, always brighten up anyone day. I am grateful for the testimonies of those that gave from their hearts, touching lives and increasing smiles.
    “I received this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2014

    This book is already starting to change my life. As a father of

    This book is already starting to change my life. As a father of two young children, one of the things that has been on my mind for a long time is how I need to teach my children to be generous and compassionate with other people, especially those in need. The problem is where to begin. Between long days at work and trying to find more time to spend with my family, teaching my kids about generosity sometimes feels like a bucket list item -- something I want to do but can't seem to find the time. Mr. Formsma really opened my eyes to the fact that opportunities are everywhere: the grocery store, the gas station, the coffee shop, the airport. All it takes is an open mind and a desire to help, and opportunities will arise.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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