Today, I received. 

If you remember from my recent post about Wade, Forever in an Instant, being a giving person is something that I want to be.  I'm not perfect and still feel hesitant sometimes, but not at all like I used to.  Wade is such a giver.  He'll give you everything he has.  I want to me more like that, and I'm thankful to God that He is molding me more and more into that person.

What's still hard for me is to receive.  For example, I love to give towards other people's mission trips.  But the idea of me asking for help with the same thing?  Ehhh.... not so much (which I'll have to get over real soon for next years trip to India!) 

What really brought this to my attention was a gift I received today.  It was my week to sing at church, and when I came down to sit with a friend, her 3 year old niece came over and handed me a big sparkly butterfly ring.  I held it in my hand, turned it over, and told her how beautiful it was.  As I tried to hand it back to her, she shook her head at me and told me she wanted me to have it. 

"No no no," I said, "It's yours." 

She wouldn't take No for an answer and take it back. So, I told her I would hold it for her.  

It just so happened that the message today was on Giving.  As I sat through the message, my eye kept going back to the ring.  

Our natural reaction (or mine at least) is to not even consider taking a gift from a child!  My thoughts were as follows,
"But now you won't have one!" 
"But someone payed money for that!"
"Don't give away your toys without asking your mom!" 
"I can't keep this! You're a CHILD!" 

But you know, I would hope that my children will be like that. Is there an age that is too young to give?  Why do we discourage giving with phrases like that?  I want mine to be natural givers from the start.  I want them to be like Jesus. 

Paul says, in 2 Corinthians 9,
"You must each decide in your own heart how much to give. And don't give reluctantly or in response to pressure.  'For God loves a person who give cheerfully.' And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.
As the Scriptures say, 'They share freely and give generously to the poor. Their good deeds will be remembered forever.'"

"So two good things will result from this ministry of giving -- the needs of the believers in Jerusalem will be met, and they will joyfully express their thanks to God. As a result of your ministry, they will give glory to God. For your generosity to them and to all believers will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ. And they will pray for you with deep affection because of the overflowing grace God has given to you."

I don't have kids yet, but I decided today that my goal will be to instill generosity in theirs lives from the beginning. I know her generous heart touched mine.