Thursday, February 25, 2016

To Be Generous and Free

I sit here in the rocking chair gazing at the big oak tree just outside my window. Through the bare branches, swaying in the wind, I can see the deep blue of the sky peeking out between the clouds, some gray and some made bright white by the sun. In the distance I hear the chimes, an occasional car, and the seemingly constant noise of wind rushing through the trees. 

It is definitely a blustery day. 

Today was the first day in a long time that my husband and I did not have our cell phones at the breakfast table. It was nice not to have those small electronic devices vying for our attention. We just ate and talked.

My cup of Jamaican Me Crazy coffee, still about half full accompanied me upstairs as I went to my special place to write, read and pray. My phone was right where I had left it, but I didn't pick it up this time. It has become such a constant companion that it almost felt odd not to have it with me.

But it was also very freeing.

I did not need to be at the mercy of notifications and news of social media. This was my time with God and the fewer distractions the better. I already had enough thoughts creeping in to steal my concentration.

My room is quiet except for the outside noises. The orange-scented candle casts a soft glow. It seems a perfect time and place for pouring my heart out to God.

Why don't I do it more often? Why do I let other things keep me away?

Generosity is the theme for #wholemama this week.

Sometimes I find I'm all but generous with the time I spend in prayer to God. 

I want that to change, not because it's some magic formula that will suddenly make my trouble go away. That is a myth. No, my time spent in prayer helps me remember I'm not alone. I give my burdens to God and He gives me peace. My problems have not gone anywhere, but the urgency for me to do something right now goes away. I remind myself that God knows and His timing is not the same as mine. He sees the whole picture, but I see only a small part.

I know that God has things under control.

Once when I left my oldest daughter in charge at home, I asked her to try to keep things under control with her younger siblings. Her solution was to write the word control on a piece of paper and tape it to the ceiling. That way when I asked if things were under control she could say, “Yes!”

Of course we got a good laugh out of that, but we all know a piece of paper on the ceiling doesn't really mean things are under control. I'm glad God has a better way. My job is to trust Him and not let the problems cause me to be discouraged and stressed. When I trust I can go about my day with joy. That does not mean I am happy all the time, but deep inside is a peace.

God has been very generous in His dealings with me.

He provides for me every day. I have air to breathe, eyes to see the beauty of creation and of my family, ears to hear music and the wind blowing, and I could go on. So many things we take for granted are blessings from God. I want to be more grateful for His provision and be generous in my dealings with others.

To me generosity is a happy word. It brings to mind people helping others by giving some of what they have. It doesn't always have to be money.

  • I can be generous with my time by being available when my family needs me.
  • I can offer to babysit or take someone to the store.
  • I can prepare meals and invite people over to share them with us.
  • I can provide a listening ear giving undivided attention.
  • I can show grace and forgiveness to one who has hurt me.
  • I can give others the benefit of the doubt when unsure.
  • I can always be ready to lend a helping hand even if I think I don't have time.

There are many more ways to live a life marked by generosity. I would love for you to share your thoughts!

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