Generosity

Be willing to do something life changing for someone else

Me

Generosity is at the center of the Christmas season. As we enter our annual season of generosity I challenge you to think of the last time you actually took action to help someone in a major and tangible way. We tend to think of donating money as the main way to be generous but there are SO many ways.

I was once asked what the one thing is that I hope my children learn from me. My answer was that I want them to be willing to do something life changing for someone else without fear or hesitation and just help because they can. 

I don’t mean that I want them to blindly do anything someone may ask because sometimes the best way to help someone is not to do what they are asking. Enabling someone is another post for another time but sometimes you feel something on your heart to do for someone else. This is not an easy task. Nor is it something you can just do in one day. This is a commitment to another person or people. It takes work and sacrifice for the good of another. I encourage you to lean into this tug on your heart and don’t brush it off.

My husband and I have helped those we love several times financially, emotionally, and physically and will do it again over and over if the opportunity ever presents itself to us. Knowing that we have given someone something they could not have otherwise done is the most incredible feeling and give the deepest sense of purpose. And in the midst of the hard parts of these things, knowing that you are literally changing the trajectory of someone else’s life is what can fill your spirit and keep you showing up. 

Over the past 10 years we have had several family members move in, with as many as 8 people living in our house at one time for over a year and with 7 for three years. We have taken on a sibling’s credit card bill when it felt overwhelming and prevented them from making a major change in their life. We have been an advocate of change for a sibling that which included moving them across the country to get them out of an unhealthy situation. These things strained us physically, emotionally, and financially.  They were hard… but these things completely changed the receiver’s lives.

We still get emotional when we talk about this. Their lives are forever changed because of this. The crazier thing is when you think about the downstream affect of your generosity. Because of our willingness to give others what was needed my sister changed her life, met her husband, got married and became my daughter’s very best friend in the whole world. My brother and sister in law were able to pay off all their debt, get married and purchase a home together and pay it forward to another family member. THAT is what it was all about!

We never expected anything in return for the things we have done or given to others but we have received so much! What we received was the opportunity to play a major role in the formative years of my niece and nephew and secure a foundation that will last a lifetime with them.  We received the strongest bonds and traditions on earth. We received memories that will have us rolling on the floor laughing until our last days.  I will cherish this for all of eternity. It could not have been accomplished any other way. Our intention was to give so that they would be positioned to give to others in a similar fashion.  We wanted to give hope and show them a way out of the hard place they were in. Of course they had to work at it too but us being open to whatever they need gave endless opportunity for them to make their lives what they wanted. 

I am not telling you these things to brag about all of the good things we have done for others, I never actually talk about this stuff  to anyone besides my husband. I am telling you these things because I hope that you will be inspired to do the thing that is on your heart to do and help someone in a real and tangible way this holiday season.

Generously give of yourself. Not just your money but your time and your love and your heart.

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