Tag Archives: spirit

a nice surprise!

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Recently, while doing a rather mundane little side hustle to earn some extra money, an older lady called after me and gave me the nicest compliment for work I’d done and she wanted to be sure to let me know how much she appreciated the extra care given. Well, I can tell you that it was like cool water to parched land. I had had a particularly rough day and was feeling down about myself; you know how the devil can really get under your skin? Hearing such kind words followed by “God bless you!” really ministered to my down-trodden spirit. I often think of the following scripture:

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

(Colossians 3:23-24)

It reminded me that while my frame of mind was not in a particularly happy place at the time, I had done what was right. Someone took notice and showed a kind gesture. It may seem like a ridiculously simple thing but it causes me to remember to ask the Lord to use me in spite of myself. I thanked the Lord for doing so that day and for His kindness in her response to me. Try it! It may just turn your frown upside down!

 

Generosity

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Just today I had a conversation with a friend and the subject of generosity came up. Honestly, I guess I’d never really thought of it apart from the giving of money. You know, “he made a generous donation,” or “she was so generous with her giving this year”.  As I think on topic, the giving of money is but a facet. In fact, there are various ways to demonstrate generosity.

Perhaps the Christmas season has sparked an interest within me on this subject; after all, it is quite assuredly the largest (retail) season for giving of the entire year. I began to ponder the concept of what it means to give of yourself. Whether or not it involves money is immaterial. My friend and I were discussing the fact that some of us are quick to offer our money, perhaps because it is a commodity we have, rather than giving of our time. Maybe our time is quite scarce and so, it is easier to turn loose of some cash.

Case in point: several years back, a dear couple friend of ours with young children hadn’t been out on a date night in quite some time. So my husband and I offered to keep their kids for them for a few hours so they could enjoy a rare night out. To us, it was a mere gift of our time; we weren’t babysitting for money. While they thanked us for watching their kids, truly we received the blessing! We felt overjoyed to be able to do something for our friends whom we love so much. We were able to be generous with our time and desired to bless them with a night out. We enjoyed giving of ourselves! (*)

To effectively give of oneself, the heart is a package deal. When our heart is in the right place, then we find we are acting out of a pure heart, and with the right spirit. This is the quintessential art of giving. Giving of yourself is an act of selflessness. Again, sometimes this generosity involves money and other times it does not. More important is that you give of yourself because you really want to, not because you feel manipulated, or desire notoriety for your philanthropy. Our heart matters. How is yours?

So, this Christmas as you’re wrapping up your gift buying, or just beginning your shopping, don’t buy into our culture’s model of overspending in an attempt to purchase just the perfect gift. Try thinking outside the box! Perhaps a simple card with heartfelt written words would mean so much more than the random $20 gift you were planning to purchase. Offering your time to cut someone’s yard throughout the summer, helping to provide meals for a widow or a working single Mom would be so appreciated. Purchasing a newspaper subscription or paying for winter snow removal for a parent or grandparent on a fixed income would be well received. As long as it comes from your heart, you’re giving a generous gift. In this, we demonstrate our love for one another.

*(Note: my intent in sharing this is not to brag or to receive accolades, rather to illustrate what giving looks and feels like.)