If you don't know her, you simply must. Her story will inspire you to dig deeper, to think broader, to live fuller lives.
And by full, you can bet I don't mean the over-indulgent, materialistic, stuffed definitions of full. My prayer, as you read these graceful words, that you might pause, at the end to answer this question:
What is His?
Only two days after Christmas 2009 and my family wanted to spend a little cash. As if the typical holiday gifting wasn’t enough, we were determined to investigate all the after Christmas sales. Gift cards and cash filled our pockets, and although something seemed wrong about our endless spending, we weren’t actually using our money, we were simply spending money we received as gifts.
A new North Face jacket—check. A new set of Polly Pockets—check. More Christmas candy—check. A new baseball hat—check.
Walking past an artsy store we noticed a framed picture of the word “FAMILY”. This was different than anything we had seen before because each letter of the word “FAMILY” was a photograph of a real-life object representing the letter. The “F” a sideways view of a stoplight. The “A” an arch in a building. The “M” an iron curve of a bicycle rack. Inside the artsy store, a big box of photo letters sat inviting us to spell out anything we wanted. Great idea. Again, something we must have.
My husband and I brainstormed words that represented us. We wanted something original, something we could hang up. Something beyond the normal “Live, Laugh, Love” theme, but what?
“Ours” my husband suggested.
“Ours” I whispered back. Perfect.
Of course “Ours” fit us. Our house. Our cars. Our clothes. Our vacations. Our church. Our kids. Our desires and our endless list of wants.
Not long after, I framed the pictures, I stood admiring them, and I heard God whispering to me, Yes, all of this is yours, and that is a problem. What is mine?
His? I paused, convicted.
Nothing was His.
Standing in my room, staring at those framed letters, I knew my life had to change.
After two months of obsessing and praying, I created a blogger account. Then in May of 2010, I created a post. This anti-techy, anti-cell phone, anti-Facebook girl threw myself into cyberspace and began documenting my ideas, my family’s attempts, and my prayers regarding growing GIVING hearts.
And even better than just writing about giving, our family started living differently.
Prior journey towards GIVING GRACIOUSLY, I didn’t notice the needs around me. Now, not only do I see needs, but I’m physically unable to sit and do nothing about them. I can rattle off cool organizations, groups, and people who are inspiring change (The Affero Project, Delicate Fortress Creations, Compassion, and Craft Hope), and I am thrilled to join with them and be a part of change.
I’m not the only one replacing my once entitled attitude.
My husband is different.
“I’m exploring life outside my bubble of comfort, and it’s pushing me to get involved.”
My daughter is different.
“I’m learning just because you give doesn’t mean you have to give everything you have. You just have to give something.”
Our family is different.
No, we haven’t been transformed into sweet, loving, and generous people, but we are thankful and we are changing, and best of all, we have realized life isn’t about what is OURS, but it’s about what is HIS.
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