As a child my mother said “more can be bought” if the last candy bar went missing or my sister decorated my Barbie doll with an ink pen or I outgrew my favorite shoes. This didn’t mean we ran to the store and replaced everything damaged or eaten or unwearable, but the possibility existed and there was comfort in it.
Much of my married life, however, has been marked by an abundance of love and an absence of money, the later of which, if allowed, can foster a stinginess of spirit.
Not believing that more can be bought lead me to hoard things—perfume, make-up, candles, whatever—until often the items, unused, went to waste. Most things don’t have a shelf life of forever.
I’m ashamed to say I’ve also failed to support causes I believe in and help people in need because I feared there wouldn’t be enough left for me. But the thing is, giving involves your heart more than your pocketbook.
God tells us:
Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. ~Luke 6:38
Can I outgive God? It sure doesn’t sound like it.
Think about Jesus: He hung onto nothing—not even his life—and modeled a generosity of spirit we should strive to follow.
My One Word for 2014
You may have noticed people around the internet declaring their One Word for 2014. In 2010 my word was Inspire, in 2011 it was Create, and in 2012 it was Write. Those words impacted me mightily and reflected my state of mind going into a new year.
My word for 2014 is Give and I’m searching for new ways to do it.
Simple ways to give:
- Pay sincere compliments—they encourage!
- Tip generously in restaurants—you never know how much a little extra can mean to your server
- Ethical shopping lets your dollar do more
- Write to your Compassion International sponsored child (or sponsor one)
- Invite a friend or neighbor over for tea and conversation—hospitality is a gift!
- Donate excess clothes and household goods to a thrift store that supports a good cause
- Sit down with your children and order life-changing gifts through World Vision’s catalog
How else can we give of ourselves and do you have a word for 2014?
by Dawn Camp, My Home Sweet Home