It’s hard to describe my cocktail of emotions as I’d see Shannon riding her lawnmower down the hill on the two-lane highway. It was at least a mile and a half that she puttered to my house to help me with my one-acre yard. I hadn’t asked her, but she was one of those people whose eyes spoke to her heart. She saw me.
It took me a good three hours each week to push-mow our yard with our rattle-trap mower. I somehow managed to get both of the kiddos to nap at the same time so I could go out.
It had become my job largely due to my feeling as if I had to make up for being a stay-at-home mom. [hello culture induced guilt-trip!]
It was during our extremely lean years of medical debt. The years when we were over 30 days late on our house payment more than once. And everything just ‘hurt.’
She would call me before going grocery shopping and ask what I needed. Or she’d pop in and bring me bags of apples and oranges.
Since my vehicle was long-dead, and we had no budget to replace it for a time, Rhonda picked me up to bring me and my two little ones to MOPS once a month. So I could maintain sanity. And she took me and my babes to Bible study every Tuesday.
I remember shopping with my mom one time, Mom and Dad were still raising my younger siblings and still dairy farming. Things were always financially tight for them too. But as I moaned a little to her, you know, as daughters might do to their moms . . . about not being able to buy a new towel for my kitchen, she reached for the towel and placed it in her cart – for me.
Those were humiliating times – humbling experiences that are seared into my memory. Pain does that, Pain mixed with gratitude stick in the soul’s memory.
A couple years after months of fighting, and failing to catch up financially, we put our house on the market to use the equity to pay off our mountain of bills. It sold within nine days. And our buyers wanted in quickly.
We had 30 days to find a house. And we didn’t.
Shannon and her husband invited us to stay in their basement. Rhonda and her husband offered their shed and a stall in their garage for our belongings. Yeah, that is seared in my memory too. We were living there in limbo for a little over two months.
Those times that my friends and family generously shared their bounty with me have served to help me “see” others; to see the way God means for us to pour out our blessings when we notice a need.
I know the feeling of being seen, honored, and loved when feeling desperate. And since those days, I have learned it’s true, that is more blessed to give than to receive.
6 Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed; 9 as it is written,
“He scattered abroad, he gave to the poor,
His righteousness endures forever.”
10 Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness; 11 you will be enriched in everything for all liberality, which through us is producing thanksgiving to God. 12 For the ministry of this service is not only fully supplying the needs of the [h]saints, but is also overflowing through many thanksgivings to God. 2 Corinthians 9:6-12
We cannot out-give God. What He gives, when poured out for the needs of others joyfully, will be restocked in order to continue the flow of God’s love.
Our bounty is made for blessing and results in joyful thanksgiving and glory to God. Who might need some of your blessings today?