“Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Cor. 9:7)
A few days ago, my mother came upon a woman in a Facebook group who was collecting donated goods for some families with children who were in desperate need this holiday season. Upon looking at the list, she felt like she could help them out with a good number of items. She contacted me to see if I had anything on the list that I would be able to contribute.
Just like most of us, I have plenty of extra things sitting around that, in all honesty, I don’t really need to keep hanging on to. Not only did I have a few things, once I started really looking, I found that I had a lot of things that I could pass on to these other families.
Giving away the goods was not the challenge of this act of charity. No, no. Physically handing things over to another person, family, or organization doesn’t take a lot of effort. I found where I really need to learn a lesson in giving and that is in my attitude.
Because, what good are all those items given to another if they aren’t given, as St. Paul says, “cheerfully”?
It’s really easy to focus on all the negative and bad things going on in the world and our own lives, too. And, let’s face it, there really are a lot of crappy, upsetting, unfortunate, and sad things going on around the world. It’s easy to rue the world and our society. It’s easy to become bummed out.
But, as much as Facebook drives me crazy at times, I have to admit that I’m thankful that I have a lot of uplifting and joy-filled people in my life who make it their business to keep the good in the forefront.
Sure, there’s lots of beautiful pictures of babies and weddings and family that celebrate the miracles and happiness of our daily lives. However, there’s lots of great stories and articles circulating about society and culture at large that continually bring me hope (and often a teardrop or two). God made all of us very good – and that’s really what’s deep in the souls of all people…
Goodness. Beauty. Joy. Love.
Click one of the words above and you’ll be taken to one of my favorite stories and articles of the past few days. Don’t forget to keep a tissue nearby – I promise you’ll need it! Hope this brightens your day as much as it did mine.
(Oh, and here’s a bit more happy just for the heck of it…don’t even act like you aren’t singing, clapping, and chair dancing along with it!)
It’s been a week now since the tragedy took place at Sandy Hook Elementary school and I think I have finally gotten my thoughts together enough to write a cohesive blog about it. I’ve been wanting to flush out my feelings on it all – about my outrage, about my sadness, about faith & free will, about the media, etc. There’s been dozens of ideas and trains of thought running through my head and I haven’t been able to put pen to paper (so to speak) about any one of them. I’ve started and stopped writing several blogs because there’s just too much to say about this one event.
The Holy Innocents
Like everyone else, I was shocked and sickened by what happened to all those folks, especially those innocent little children. I can’t say anything more than what’s already been said in hundreds of other blogs, messages, memes, Facebook posts & statues. My heart aches for the families. My soul prays for them and seeks meaning in it all. I know the world in which my own children are growing up has, once again, been changed in a dramatic way. Read More
I just returned from my final youth group trip. And, boy did I pick a doozy to be the last chapter in my tenure as youth minister. It was a mission trip…that was the longest trip we’ve done…and, it had some interesting challenges to it.
Here’s the thing – it’s a mission trip. If you don’t know what being on “mission” means, you need to do some research before you commit to going. I am not saying I don’t know – I’ve been on mission before. But, in case you haven’t, here are some things you should expect.
I’ve got to be honest here. A lot of times when I plan to go on trips with the youth group, I’m really planning them for my own selfish reasons. I think you know what I mean…
Sleeping on a charter bus with 50 other people for 2 out of 4 nights; essentially living on a bus for 28 hours; having an endless supply of Pop Tarts and granola bars at my disposal; spending 20+ hours in and out of the freezing cold to see presidents‘ houses, monuments, museums, shrines, etc.; being away from my 13 month old and my husband for 4 days…
Yup, this trip is for ME!
“Rebecca, am I sensing a bit of sarcasm in your tone here?”