Do you remember the classic children’s book, The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein?
In that book there’s a tree that loves a little boy. The boy spends his childhood playing with the tree and as the boy gets older the tree never stops giving. When the boy needs money the tree gives him apples to sell. When the boy needs a house the tree gives the boy its branches. When the boy wants a boat the tree gives up its trunk. Finally, when the boy is old, the tree offers its stump to the boy and the boy sits and rests…“and the tree was happy”.
When I think about that LEVEL of giving, I think about my mom.
Just like the giving tree my mom never stopped giving to me and my siblings. To be honest, she is still giving even though she has ‘retired’ from raising children.
As adults, her apples have been the resources she provided; her branches have been her lessons on raising a family; her trunk/boat has been her wisdom about navigating the world and her stump has been the living room in my parent’s house; a place to sit, eat something sweet and laugh.
My mother’s example is the best example I have of Christ’s servant heart.
It takes a tremendous amount of selflessness to consistently put others first. Philippians 2:3-7 describes Christ’s servant style.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant.
This example of selfless giving is what my mom learned from the Lord and it is the pattern I can only hope to emulate.
As we enjoy the holiday season let our Christmas trees remind us to be giving trees for our families. Giving all we can with a joyful hearts and servant hands.Leave a Comment
Kristen - Moms Sharpening Moms says
What a great reminder for the season, Ginny, and what a beautiful tribute to your Mom!
Such well written words. I have a Mom like your and what a blessing she is to me and my family.
I’ll never forget her taking me to lunch with you to the tea room when we were in high school. So sweet of her to include me and think that I might enjoy a mother daughter lunch too. 🙂
Heather Gemmen Wilson says
That’s one of my favorite books! Thanks for the reminder. I’ll pull it out again to read to my now-grown kids. What a great reminder also, to be the kind of mother yours is. Thanks for sharing!
This book was a childhood fav of my daughter’s…she’s grown now and it’s pretty much her standard gift to friends when they have a baby.
mary bailey says
I’ve never read The Giving Tree, but now I am inspired to. This was such a sweet and thoughtful tribute to your mom! She sounds very speciall!
I really appreciated your post today, and sent it forward to my own mom with a note to thank her. Blessings to you!
Erin H. says
I had forgotten about The Giving Tree, which I read as a child. I didn’t see its significance then, and remember thinking it was a little bit of a sad story. But now revisiting it as an adult, I see how beautiful it is, and how much I want to be like that tree.
Thank you for sharing, and how blessed you are for a wonderful mother.
I have always thought The Giving Tree was a beautiful book. My mother too is like THAT tree. (However, I will admit I am not so much) Sometimes I don’t know how she can give and give and not put herself first at SOME point. Sometimes the roots need to strengthen itself in order to grow such a strong trunk, branches, and thus apples. I think some times the roots within me are weak and I need lots of water/sun to become stronger.
Thanks for the nice post.
What a blessing your mom is to you (and probably to others around her). I’ve never read The Giving Tree, but I’ve heard people give it slack. It sounds like those people must’ve been unbelievers and don’t understand Christ’s love, because what you described is EXACTLY what Christ did for us and what He calls us to do for others. Thanks for this post.
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