About giving and receiving

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We enjoy giving people things; if there's a need, we will try to do what we can to help. Tom has helped countless people work on their cars, and rarely will he take anything for it. Many times we all have gone to the person's house (especially if they had a family) and we had a good time together--children playing, wives chatting or working together, men working on the vehicle. Then we would have supper together, with both families contributing.

We have shared clothes with other families, food with the needy, money with those who needed that. We try to give my parents some money toward groceries or whatever whenever all of us come to stay a week. Usually we have to hide it where my parents will find it; otherwise they don't like to take it.

This brings me to my next point: receiving. Tom will give the shirt off his back, but it is very hard for him to receive the gifts of others. The Lord Jesus once said, "It is more blessed to give than to receive." We always to this to mean that we should give rather than receive. Once, however, someone tried to give us what to us was a large sum of money. When we tried to refuse it, the person asked, "Why are you trying to rob me of my blessing?" This has really stuck with us; how can a person give if no one is willing to receive? Since then we have tried to be more gracious in our receiving, and try to be good stewards of it.

I have mentioned before on this forum about a man in our church who has been helping us out with groceries each week. We have been overwhelmed with this, and have had to tell him not to bring so much. He has also given us other things, including new pots for my kitchen and an electric skillet. These were high-priced items, and we didn't like to take them. Yesterday, this man had a talk with Tom. He said he never expected his wife to die first (she had cancer and died six years ago). He had everything set up for his wife to live comfortably after he died. Now he has all that money, which he does not need for himself. He has no children, and no relatives that he wants to leave it to. So he has decided to use it for the Lord's work, which to him includes giving to his pastor's family. Since he put it this way, we understand better.

We still give as much as we can whenever we can, but we have learned to receive graciously as well. Has anyone offered to help any of you in any way? Let them. They want to do it, and you will be giving them a blessing by receiving. I know how hard that is, and there is that matter of pride. I am not talking about asking for a hand-out. I am talking about taking what is freely offered. You will find some way to give in return. I got to can that man's tomatoes for him when he was away. He also really enjoyed my applesauce, apple jam, pickles, and homegrown chicken. I also plan to give him some eggs when the hens start laying.

Just a thought; maybe somebody out there needed this.

-- Cathy N. (keeper8@attcanada.ca), November 15, 2001


Sometimes it is hard to be on the receiving end, because of pride you may not want to accept. I put myself on my own shoes whenever I feel this way!

When I have something I no longer need, want, or have use for, I am usualy GLAD to see someone else have it! I usually appreciate them taking it off of my hands actually. So when others offer me clothes, extra produce, or the numerous other items we often receive, I try to realize that they are probably happy to get these things out of their way!!!

I try to think of it like a big circle, with each person giving and receiving, around and around and around!!!

-- Melissa (cmnorris@1st.net), November 15, 2001.

God has blessed us so much. Especially during the holiday season. People give so much I don't think I could ever repay everyone. Or even know where to begin. So in return I try to help someone else who really needs an extra hand. In order to give I think you have to receive. In order to receive I think you have to give. Last year at Christmas I realized how much love people truly have. I went to the neighbor hood community center to see about getting a little extra help for Christmas. I had just started working for the state and wasn't going to get paid til after the holiday. Anyway, The response was unbelievable. They turned our name into a group that sends Santa to your house with gifts for the kids. Well Here it was one week before Christmas and I hear this horn blowing out side. I went out and Found a huge semi full of clothes, food and toys for the kids. Behind the truck the whole street was blocked off with about 30 cars of people bringing in all these gifts. The kids eyes were so wide with excitement. They all came into the house sang to us and gave us a gift certificate for the local grocery store. The next day a family came to our house with even more toys and food and clothes. I tried to tell them that we really didn't need all this stuff that I thought they would give a small food basket at the center. They said that it was a gift from God and Be Thankful. Then they left. We ended up with 275 presents under the tree. So because I can't pay them back I have decided that every year The kids and I will make up a care package and find a family who really needs a little extra help and put it on their doorstep on Christmas eve. I hope everyone out there feels this kind of Love.

-- mindy (speciallady@countrylife.net), November 15, 2001.

I also believe in what comes around goes around.

The best feeling I get when giving is that homeless person who is really only looking for a buck and gets a five or ten. Their eyes kinda bug out and boy do they give you the glad hand! Five or ten bucks is a small amount, but when you are wondering where your next meal is coming from, it is a small fortune.

But when it comes to receiving, my pride often gets in my way. My neighbor, oughta be awareded "the handyman of the year" award, helps me take care of my Suburban a lot. He used to own one and knows the make very well. I refuse his help as often as I can; I owe him so many favors and tell him so. He tells me that helping those around him makes him feel good. Okay by me, I just feel a little guilty, you know. I pay him back with venison sausage; he and his family loves it. They consider it a real treat.

-- j.r. guerra (jrguerra@boultinghousesimpson.com), November 15, 2001.

Oh Cathy, it must have been meant for me today!! I am on my normal Thursday, major house-cleaning kick, when the phone rings. It is a tax-customer of mine, asking if I am going to be home. I say yes, and he tells me he is coming over. When he and his wife arrive, they are carrying a huge 25 pound turkey!! They said they wanted to make sure that we had a turkey for Thanksgiving. I thought of this post first thing!! I thanked them profusely, and accepted gracefully.

So now we will certainly have turkey for Thanksgiving! They are both retired, very kind, church members, I have known my whole life. They know how much we struggle during the winter financially, and they admire how we are raising our children, and building our home.

They have helped us often in this way, and I really appreciate their help. We would have had a turkey, but not a 25 pound Honeysuckle!!!

-- Melissa (me@home.net), November 15, 2001.

He is a very good man, I'v always admired him. He's a good example for giving. I'v had quite a few friends who are always ready to give of their time to listen and to give clothes that they are "DONE WITH" but i think sometimes mothers are over looked. Their whole life after marraige, is sacrifice, but also a blessing.

-- jillian (sweetunes483@yahoo.com), November 15, 2001.

I'm cooking Thanksgiving dinner for our extended family this year. Usually, I do it all pretty much myself-I get offers to help and I say-"Oh. No. I'm fine, I don't need anything. This year, though, my husband gave me a good talking to, and he's right- I've had a lot to deal with and a series of (thnkfully minor)illnesses that have left me feeling tapped out. I made a list and when someone said "What can I do or bring, I would say,"you can bring salad and rolls or whatever" Instead of cleaning the house myself, I made a list of what each family member can do. My sister in law is even coming a day early to help with prep work and minor chores. I feel so much less stressed out about the holiday-I am LOOKING FORWARD to Thanksgiving instead of worring about everything! I think this will help not only me but make it more enjoyable for every one

-- Kelly in Ky (ksaderholm@yahoo.com), November 16, 2001.

Kelly, I'm glad you listened to your hubby. Sometimes people actually get miffed when you don't let them help out and they feel the (outwardly) self-sufficient person doesn't want their involvement. Often, the offer to help is exactly that: a request to let them be more involved in our lives. If we can look at it that way, the offer turns out to be a request! Might it then be easier to take them up on it?

-- Randal (randal@rhyme.cjb.net), November 16, 2001.

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