Since before Thanksgiving I’ve been thinking about thankfulness, gratitude, generosity, and how these go together, hand in hand. As I mentioned in one of my earlier posts, thankfulness and generosity go hand in hand.
These thoughts have been rattling around in my head lately, and I’ve started reading this “I Like Giving” book (which was generously given to me, recently). Meanwhile I’ve been stressing about money because things have been tight with the final expenses for our adoption coming due, our first Christmas on one income, car troubles, and more.
At Thanksgiving I’d made a conscious decision to be more generous this holiday season. But being a generous giver this year is not about buying more. It’s about giving more.
I found a few small Christmas gift bags and some little stockings and some small items that I could have posted on Craigslist or eBay and maybe made a few dollars, but instead gave them to some coworkers who could use them.
We gave away some baby clothes that our daughter has outgrown to a friend who is pregnant.
I’ve been trying to be more generous toward my wife lately with words of affirmations, which is her natural love language, but not mine.
And anyone who has driven in the car with me knows I can be a bit impatient and definitely don’t like waiting in a line of traffic and seeing someone zoom by and try to cut in at the last minute. (Ask my wife. She’ll tell you the truth.) But this week in particular I’ve been trying to be generous in my driving by letting people merge or turn out in front of me, with a smile, where I might normally not be so generous.
I’ve also been thinking about all the ways I’ve been the recipient of generous giving, in small or big ways. I am finding that as I am grateful and thankful for what I have it somehow makes it easier to give. It’s as if NOT having an attitude of entitlement makes it easier. It’s no hardship to give away something that’s not really yours. Imagine that.
When we recognize that all good gifts come down from Father God we can’t help but be thankful and give praise, and that leads us to be generous.
How have you been generous this holiday season?