I have been so richly blessed by so many people this year.
Friends have reached out with such love and encouragement in regards to my surgery and other events that have happened.
Friends, and friends of friends, financially helped me when I lost my insurance 10 days before my hysterctomy.
Unasked for. And if my pride were the one to talk- undesired. Because, “there are people worst off than me.” Or “I don’t want people to use me as a charity case.”
God used them to minister to me in the midst of such emotional turmoil. I am so very thankful for the continued destruction of my pride and the friends who loved me.
I was thinking back on all that happened this year as we are tend to do as the new year approaches, and I am struck by one truth that has followed me all of my life.
Even when I am certain that I don’t have the funds to make it till the end of the month, I always have enough to give.
I just got done doing my favorite part of Christmas shopping — giving my year end donations to the charities I support.
And I am reminded yet again, I always have enough to give.
It’s funny. At the end of the month, I sometimes regret a certain purchase that cost more than I was planning. But, I never regret giving money, time, or gifts to other people.
This isn’t a time to toot my own horn over the things I do or the amount of money I give, but a chance to marvel that I always have something to give.
I learned that golden truth in the kitchen with my Mom as a kid. I learned it in the pickup with my Dad as a teen.
You always have enough to give something to someone else. There will always be someone worse off than you. There is no pride in giving, it should always be with the humble knowledge that you will also probably need that hand up at some point in the future.
There is a running joke in my family that my Mom can never keep what she is cooking in one pot. The lady has six crockpots! All very well used. When she makes soup, she always makes enough to give to someone else. She stocks my grandparents’ freezer and still has enough to give a meal or two away to a neighbor.
As a kid, I remember the months that we lived on top ramen and peanut butter sandwiches — but we always had food to eat. And Mom and Dad never hesitated to provide food to a friend that came over. We always had enough to give.
Living in an old house where a wood fire was the only reliable heat source, Dad is always having to find wood to feed it’s flames. When we were down to the last row of wood and trying to figure out if we could make it last till the next payday, someone would call up and say that a widow desperately needed some wood. We’d pack up the truck and we’d go stack our precious supply of heat in someone else’s woodshed. We always had enough to give.
Time seems like it’s in such short supply when we are rushing around trying to complete our lists. My Mom and Dad put in full days at work that was mentally and physically exhausting and come home just eager to go to bed. And someone would call for help or there’d be some community event that needed volunteers, and suddenly there was enough energy and time to help one more person.
When emotionally spent because of so many health concerns and family hardships, we always had enough energy to hold a friend whose world was shattering.
We always have enough to give.
Sure, we could always have more money in the bank if we kept those spare cents for ourselves rather than putting them in the Salvation Army bucket. Sure, we’d make more money if we worked a higher paying job or worked longer hours, rather than working in our community and using those hours to help a neighbor. Of course, we’d have more money if we didn’t use our last $20 to get those groceries for that family whose father is too sick to work.
People looking into our lives can always find things we should be doing to have more money. We aren’t frivolously spending. But we are always willing to give.
I was always taught that if you see a need that you can fulfill — do it. Never wait for someone else to do it. Because if everyone waited for that mythical “someone,” nothing will get done.
We all have enough to give.
There are so many stories out there of people who have lost everything still finding ways to give something to someone else.
Those who know what is like to question where your next meal is coming from, are usually the ones most likely to give their last $5 to make sure someone else can eat.
Giving should never be about pride or getting a tax break. It should be about the humble knowledge that today, you have enough to give. Because most of us are just living paycheck to paycheck. We’re just one illness, accident, or layoff from being at that Food Bank. So while we can, how about we make sure that those who need it now, can eat well enough to get back on their feet. And when we might need it, perhaps they will be in the place to make sure we can eat well enough to get back on our own feet.
Billy Graham is quoted as saying that, “God gave us two hands, one to recieve with and one to give with.”
Or as Audrey Hepburn put it, “As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, and one for helping others.”
If we are to live in relationship with other people, there is a natural give and take that comes out of it.
I think sometimes in our petty humaness, we too often compare ourselves to those we are helping. “If they just worked harder they wouldn’t need the help.” Or “At least I can take care of my family.” We compare need to an unwillingness to work, rather than realizing that that single mom is working 14 hour days to try and keep her kids in school and is starving herself so her children can be full.
Don’t let your pride get in the way of helping someone else. You never know when you might need that helping hand yourself.
We always have enough time and money to help someone else.
Stop comparing and saying we should and start doing. Go take food to the Food Bank, go help that old man shovel the snow off his sidewalk. Sit with the friend who is so depressed, you are worried they night do something drastic.
You just might be the one God put in their lives to encourage them to hold on just one more day. Your gift of time or money or even a random kindness, may just be that one blessing that gives that person the power to keep walking forward.
We always have enough to give.
That’s the power of God’s love and blessings. They multiple exponentially when they are given to others, rather than hoarding them like a dragon on a gold heap.
This holiday season is always a good reminder that we are not called to be Ebenezer Scrooge, but rather we are told to hold this world’s cash very loosely.
You can’t take it with you when you leave. So how about we all spend it on helping someone else?
As my Mom says, “Give until it feels good.”
I am so blessed that I always have enough to give.
Merry Christmas everyone! ♡