Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Day 11: Generosity [Be Gentle, Be Love]

I think that to be truly generous you have to sort of "do it" with your whole being. Being generous is not about the amount of what you give people but the meaning behind it. This sort of topic always reminds me of Jesus and the widow at the temple:  "this poor widow has put in more than the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on." (Luke 21:1-4, NIV) It is awesome and great that people like Bill Gates give money to others, but sometimes you wonder why they don't give more... they aren't using it.

Our church does Easter in a different way. On Sunday, the kids will be searching for canned goods instead of eggs. Each can will have a different Unitarian Universalist principle on it and their "mission" is to collect all seven. The canned goods will be donated to a local food bank. The kids are learning to be generous and not greedy... although they will be making some things for them to take home. Its all about learning what giving and generosity is really about.

I'm not always generous to myself or to others. Or at least I feel that way. But I don't even have the sitting in the bathroom to get quiet time. I have kids that will stand outside the door and want to talk to me then. I'm a literal captive audience. The most recent really generous thing I did for myself is buy myself a laptop, which benefits me in obvious ways, but it also benefits my husband who likes to use both his own computer AND the tv.

This is sort of my own cost benefit analysis of generosity. If I do something how can it benefit multiple people. It gets me in trouble though. As much as I love my husband it has been very easy for me to just say yes and let him buy big ticket items without worrying about the budget. I always feel guilty about something so feel like if he gets what he likes than he will like me. Its not to say he doesn't deserve what he gets, and its not to say that I give him too much, its just sometimes I feel overwhelmed trying to make sure that he "has what he needs." I'm not sure he gets that same vibe from me. At all.

I've been given so many things, but I think the biggest gift was actually something that god gave me: a son. I was told when I was 17 that I couldn't have children due to scarring from a prolonged illness. Then when I was 29 I got pregnant. It was crazy! I cried in fear for about the first hour after I realized I was pregnant, but I believe that certain things are meant to happen. I honestly don't know how I could live without him. Even when he is obnoxious, even when I really want him to leave me alone, even when he eats the cheese off my bake potato--I cherish the life that was created.

And now I have a little cute girl to go along with him, and my older adopted kids. I guess giving them love is a way for me to be generous, but I really think that them allowing me to love them is the generous gift.

1 comment:

Raven said...

Sounds like a lovely Easter tradition to learn from. And you are so wise to say that the kids letting you love them is generous. Love is a gift to the giver & receiver, that is for certain. Those kids & you are lucky to have each other.