When I look at this picture I think:
"All will share alike." 1 Samuel 30:24
"Pleasant words are a honeycomb,
sweet to the soul and healing to the bones." Proverbs 16:24
"A generous man will himself be blessed..." Proverbs 22:9
"And do not forget to do good and to share with others..." Hebrews 13:16
"...be generous and willing to share" 1 Timothy 6:18
When I also look at this picture I'm reminded about the 6th chapter of Matthew verses 2-4 where it reads: "But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."
Along with celebrating Jesus's birthday, the above picture filled my heart with so much joy this Christmas. I didn't post this picture to brag as it says to clearly not do in Matthew 6:2-4, but to merely express the ultimate joy that I had of giving and sharing this Christmas. Yes, I've given and shared before but it's something about this "gift" that is different and I can't quite put my fingers on the "what"!
Before Christmas break a friend shared with me her thoughts on helping a precious family in need. She wasn't asking me to go in with her she even stated "I'll do for this family before my own first". This struck a cord with me. My dad and oldest sister are givers. My niece Courtney is a giver like none I've seen before. These three defintely put others before self. Anyways, the dad in this family works full time and still doesn't make ends meet. She continued to share that he told his wife that they were going to share with their two children that Christmas for them this year just wasn't going to happen. Hearing my friend tell me this news nearly broke my heart. I listened as my friend shared information about this family and my heart was breaking. The mom and dad were doing all the right things for their children and their children were their top priorities. After our conversation I called another friend and we both decided to tell our other friend that no matter what we were going to make Christmas happen for this beautiful family. And we did!
We looked over the list that the mother compiled and saw that all this family wanted was basic items. We wanted to give them more than life's necessities. And we did! We divided the list and each kept reporting by email who got what for whom. It was amazing! This was more than a SS class adopting a family (which we partake in every year and feel deep joy for helping others). It just seemed so personal, so close to home for some reason. I felt like I knew this family from the information that my friend shared and yet I'd never seen them nor meet them in my whole life.
Besides buying clothes and toys for the children I also wanted to share many of the items that I'd gotten from Southern "Saving"! As I was packing the clothes basket with necessities I kept thinking about how anyone, including myself and family, could be in this very family's same situation. I kept filling the basket and hoping that the mother liked the items and brands that I packed. It was like I was giving the best of things away (gladly of course) and still hoping that they were suitable for "this" family. I wanted them to know from our gifts, love, and support that somehow they knew we cared about them, their situation, and their family. After all this is what the Father asks of His children. To love thy neighbor as thy self and to give with a grateful heart.
I lived for 31 Christmases and this was like none other. I still think about that family even after Christmas has passed and the comment the mom said to my friend about one of the items that I packed in the clothes basket. A simple Gillette razor that I thought to give brought the mother to tears because her husband had wanted this very one for so long. After hearing this I for once grasped the depth of gratefulness that one family felt from three others and this my friends is priceless. I want not another Christmas to pass that I don't help another family, where I don't share my talent of giving items from couponing with another. I want to feel the kind of joy that I can bestow on others in someway whereas they have no idea the joy returned. It's sad to me to be "this old" and to just now be feeling this type of joy. I just wish it were sooner in my little life because by now I could be doing so much more for others. I once heard a God fearing man say "if the church did their job welfare wouldn't exist". That was three years ago and I'm just understanding fully what this elder, man of wisdom's words really mean.
So doing, giving, and sharing are not only on my 2012 New Year's Resolution list (another post) they are on my life's goal list. I challenge you to add them to yours.