How to Really Give

Alternately titled : Crying in My Black Bean Soup

The last 4 (four) Saturdays, my kids have run rampant, watching too much TV, staying in pajamas all day, playing-fighting while Mom and Dad punched numbers, staring at computer screens.  (Grandparents were able to come to the rescue this past week!) But its been a hard month. It’s been tedious entering hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of $3, $10, $25 and $100+ donations into an accounting program for Mercy House and making it all balance.

Balance. We haven’t had it.

And can I just lay pretense aside and whisper hard words?  It’s the only time in this crazy, God-journey that I’ve wanted to walk away.

But instead, I’ve wiped away the tears of frustration and exhaustion and pressed in, thanking God for every dollar that has been given to Mercy House. Pushing the mom-guilt away, praying, while counting on God to give my kids grace to understand the road we are traveling.

Just before lunch last Saturday, we drug boxes into the living room from you. Childbirth kits, piles of umbilical cord clamps and stethoscopes. It’s a mountain of necessities that will save the lives of tiny African babies. My oldest asked a lot of questions as she fingered peri bottles and mesh underwear.

“What else do we need, Mom?” She asked as she pulled up the latest collection drive on the Internet. I don’t even remember my answer. Something I would regret.

Lunch time turned us to the table, black bean soup simmering, so we pushed boxes heavy laden with their live-saving resources into the garage. We broke away from the screens to eat together.

And that’s when my daughter pulled a folded bill from her pocket and laid it on the table.

I looked at her confused and she said, “I want to give this. I want to buy something needed for the maternity house. I can buy something with my money to help.” In an instant,  her questions made sense and I knew what this cost her. $10 dollars of her precious birthday money, counted and recounted, saving to furnish her doll house.

I started crying in my black bean soup.

My son, respect for his big sister in his eyes, “Mom, you know that $7 I have? I want to give it too. I want to help.”

Hot tears dripped.

The four year old taking in her siblings gifts and her Momma’s tears disappeared from the table

I blew my nose in my napkin. I marveled.

She returned and dumped her clenched fist of coins and lint in the center of the table.

“I want to help Mercy House too, Momma,” she said proudly.

My husband, holding back his own tears and laughter, said, “Thank you, honey. Where did you get that money?”

“From Momma’s purse.”

And we all laughed. Giggles and tears mixing.

I choked out “I love you” to the beautiful faces surrounding me. They get it. This isn’t my journey, it’s our journey. We are learning how to really give together.

It was a profound moment I will never forget it

I thought I knew something about giving. My kids know a lot more.

(And then they refused to try the black bean soup and had pb & j …. holy moment over, but sealed in my heart forever)

How to Really Give:

  • Don’t limit your giving or make it fit into your pre-conceived ideas  -give of yourself, your time, your money, your life. Give more than feels comfortable.
  • Involve your children-even let them lead you. There’s a reason God asks us to have child-like faith.
  • Trust God-giving is partner to trust. We often don’t give because we don’t trust. It’s hard to really give with open hands when we’ve clenched our fists over what we possess.
  • Don’t be surprised if you fall in love with giving! There’s something deeply spiritual and satisfying about letting it go and giving it away.

Opportunities to Give:

  • Today is the 3rd day of the month. For just $3, you can join more than a hundred others and give $3 on the third of every month to remember and pray for the 3 girls raped in Kenya every 45 minutes. Giving doesn’t always have to be big to make a difference. Would you consider joining the Power of 3?
  • February Collection Drive for Mercy House has begun!

And of course, there are countless other ways to give….sponsor a child through Compassion…giving locally to those in need. Look for opportunities and you will find them.

P.S. Tomorrow, I can’t wait to tell you about a family that has been instrumental in helping us with Mercy House. You may feel led to give to them. Can I encourage you to be open to God’s prodding? YOU will be blessed!

WFMW: Valentine’s Day Tip

I thought it would be fun to share some Valentine’s Day ideas (especially if you’ve run out of helpful tips). But I don’t have any. {Smile} My hubby and I usually just high five. Oh, I kid. We arm wrestle.

Seriously. I have NO idea what I’m doing this year. In the past, I’ve been a genius, making heart-shaped cookie cakes and last year I did matching My Husband/Wife Rocks t-shirts (win a set here). So, I’m just a hostess today, hoping to use one of your amazing ideas that’s cheap and easy. I’m not asking much, huh?

[P.S. Feel free to link up any useful tip-new or old- the themes are suggestions for those who need an idea starter.]

WFMW Guidelines and button

So, what works for you?