Sunday, November 1, 2009

Generosity

I'd like to introduce you to my baby sister. She's nearly 5 years younger than me and we're total opposites. And we're totally the same.

Although she is currently in Ohio caring for Ma and Pa (who are suffering from various ailments ranging from semi-mundane to "what are the chances?" to scary-serious), part of her heart is still in Zambia, Africa, where she spent a couple of years working as a full-time missionary. It probably goes without saying that she is one of my heroes.

I have no good reason for keeping this from you, other than the fact that when I first started blogging here, my two loyal readers already had the inside scoop and it seemed silly to repeat it.



I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about the key values that I want to instill in my kiddos and one of the top 10 (top 5?) is generosity. I'm convinced that a generous spirit is not something that necessarily comes naturally, or even easily. It is learned and it requires a knowledge of the world outside of one's own bubble.

This learned inclination to look beyond the comforts of our own lives is something that we all have within our grasp - we can all choose to reach out and grab it and pass it along. It's a choice that we can make - every day. I want to be more generous. I want to find ways to show generosity every single day and then when I find them, I want to choose, without thinking twice, to act. I want our kids to understand how blessed they are and to believe that with the blessing comes a responsibility. They can only learn this if we teach it. If we live it.

We're at an advantage, because we have their beloved Auntie Keisha to talk about. They have seen the pictures and heard the stories and I'm so thankful for that. Whether God leads her back to the overseas mission field or not, this is a blessing to all of us - to have had our lives touched ever so softly by her experience. Of course, generosity by association is not the answer, but I feel like we have cause to more readily remember those precious babies in other parts of the world who not only go to bed with growling tummies at night, but who starve to death.

I want our kids to lose some sleep over this as they grow.

For now, world hunger is probably not a concept that they are able to comprehend. But they can comprehend sharing their toys and making sacrifices on behalf of someone else. They can learn that it's a good thing to take a meal to someone who is sick or buy groceries (the good stuff!) for the food pantry.

They are not too young for those seeds to be planted. And the seeds are in our pockets alone. It's up to us.

As we head into these next months, filled to the brim with wonder and anticipation, I pray that part of our focus will be on those around us, in our immediate circles and beyond, who need.

(While we're on the subject, check this out. But be warned - it will change you.)