do something in thanks

gift

image by Elise Blaha (also a great older post on tying bows!)

It can be tempting to hide our favor.  It can be even more tempting to hoard our wealth.  But, neither of these things bring life to our relationships or our day to day rhythm.

Yesterday morning, I carefully wrapped up two Kindles for women at Husband’s office who have been working at an out-of-their-mind pace for months.  Their incredible help and willingness to fill in the gaps created by unforeseen big-businessy circumstance has allowed my husband to do his job well.  Without their hard work, he would have had to multiply his efforts and hours beyond the realm of possibility.

We are thankful for them.  Really.  Really really.

We’ve been thinking a lot about giving and generosity and living lives with open hands and open wallets.  We’ve come to understand that sacrificial generosity is more life-giving to us than easy generosity.  Let me explain.  There is a dollar amount every month that would be comfortable and mindless for us to give away.  That would be good for the recipient, but not nearly as good for us as when we give in ways that cause us to cut back personally.  It just means more.  You notice your giving when you feel it.  For us, it moves us to thankfulness for the ability to give.

And, just as it is important to give financially, I’ve also come to understand that our words have an incredible weight and worth, too.  We shouldn’t be stingy with our words of favor.  We should give praise where praise is due–even when it grows to be uncomfortable in our increasingly insular culture.

Let’s be people of marked generosity.  Let’s let our praise and thanks flow with abundance.  I want to be a woman who sees the gift to herself in the giving to others.

Who have you been remiss in thanking?  How could you be more generous?

9 Comments

  • Reply June 20, 2012

    The Chatty Mommy

    This is a great reminder.
    Hope the ladies in your husband’s office were excited- so sweet!
    I especially like the idea of words of praise- I think this is extremely important with other women!

  • Reply June 20, 2012

    Barefoot Hippie Girl

    Those are such beautiful packages! I think generosity should cost us.
    I have taken to giving hostess gifts. If this person has taken the time to have me over, I want to thank them with something tangible. Lately that has been sugar scrub, but I have also given potted herbs. Generosity breeds generosity and JOY.

  • Reply June 20, 2012

    Rebecca Stewart

    I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit as well. What am I doing that blesses others, builds them up, makes them smile a little? I’m guilty of allowing self-consciousness to stop me from using my words to do that, but a compliment can go so far.

    Last night I ended up running a craft table at our church’s vacation Bible school–something I was not comfortable doing–and I overheard the director make a sweet comment to someone about my effort. It was so encouraging–not only about that particular activity but about my relationship with other women in the church.

    Our words can be so richly used!

  • Reply June 20, 2012

    Karin

    Wise words, thank you for sharing them. Especially the sentence about how it can be uncomfortable these days to show our care and thankfulness to other people, because we are not used to express ourselves that clearly (anymore). When I look at my children, and the way they give their love without any holding back, I realise I want to feel like that again too. To give without bitterness, to share without comparing, to love without fear. Isn’t that all that really matters?

    Sorry for the book I wrote *grin*. Thank you again for this post!

  • Reply June 20, 2012

    Mrs Amber Apple

    I’ve been thinking about this lately as well! Acts of kindness in giving is fun and healthy to practice. I think you have a great point, it can be uncomfortable at times because our society isn’t used to this sort of thing. This post was a lovely reminder and so encouraging! Thanks!

  • Reply June 20, 2012

    Moriah

    I’ve got a testimony to share about someone’s generosity towards me: A year ago, I was window shopping online at baby carriers that I wished I could purchase before the arrival of Chia, and tweeted about the most BEAUTIFUL one I’d ever seen on a very expensive online shop. I was only sharing it on Twitter because it was so gorgeous, not even thinking I’d ever actually own it. I got an email from a Twitter/blogger friend saying that she and her husband felt like God was telling them to buy the baby carrier for me. God wanted them to practice generosity and buy a very expensive baby carrier for someone they’d never met in real life. And they obeyed God. I’m not sure how God used that experience in their life, but I know that it really touched me. Every time I have worn that baby carrier I have gotten teary-eyed and thanked God, not for the carrier, but for showing me how generosity feels on the other end. It’s only made me want to bless someone else the same way multiple times because of how special and meaningful I felt by God. I’ve now experienced that practicing generosity feels just as awesome from the other side!

    • Reply June 21, 2012

      Rebecca Stewart

      What a wonderful story! I love when we see God work in the day-to-day of our lives like that.

  • Yep, this is so spot on. I know I much more enjoy the ‘giving feel’ and yet I have soooo appreciated those who gave to our family out of stretching on their part. These are both good things – giving and receiving out of genuine love.

  • Thanks for the reminder to be generous. We’ve been financially strapped for almost a year now and it’s been discouraging. But it’s also taught me to be generous in new/different ways and I’m so thankful for that growth!

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