Tag Archives: generosity

Be generous

The last Saturday of August. The end of summer, but not the end of the heat here in the central San Joaquin Valley. Our days will get shorter, which makes for lower temperatures, but it will stay warm until Halloween. Maybe it will rain, but I’m not counting on it. It appears God is trying to get our attention, but the majority of the folk go on about their usual way of doing things with their stingy attitudes.

For my dear Readers who live in other countries, you may have not heard that our President is declaring a $10,000 pay-off of college debt for those who have been under this burden for so long. It is a great thing to do in a country as rich as America where big business and wealthy citizens get so many bonuses and breaks. But, there are the naysayers, which makes no sense to me.

I had no college debt. I went to college in the 1970s when costs were much lower, on a full-ride scholarship from the state of California. I received this full-ride scholarship because my parents were landowners in California and I was first-generation college-bound. I had to maintain a 3.0 gpa, attend a state-funded college, and finish in four years. I did, and did, and did. My father had died when I was in high school so I also received survivor social security benefits, fulfilling the requirements by maintaining the 3.0 gpa, and finishing by the time I was 22.

I lived at home. My mother took very good care of me: cooking, cleaning, doing my laundry. My job was to go to school and fulfill those requirements for financial aid. I am very thankful for the privilege I had and the fact that the government paid for my eduction. I would be very happy to pay that forward and see that other students receive an equal shot at a good education. I don’t understand those who are grumbling. Yes, they were able to pay their debt. Good for them. Be thankful and willing to share.

A previous colleague from my teaching days posted a good parable to Facebook this morning –Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead was a slap in the face to everyone who had already died. My reply was about the little boy whose lunch fed 5,000.

All those people had followed Jesus way out in the countryside to hear what he had to say, maybe see some miracles, but had neglected to pack a lunch. When it was time to eat, Jesus was going to send his disciples to get food, but they found a boy with a few fish and some bread who was willing to share. That’s all there was, so the disciples told Jesus to send the people home. No, Jesus would feed them. “Have them sit down.” He blessed the boy’s lunch, they passed out the food, feeding 5,000, and gathering up 12 baskets of leftovers.

One generous boy turning it all over to share the best he could. Why can’t we be more like that? Just trusting that our “little” could be made big. My children’s story for church tomorrow is about generosity. The boy and his lunch is my reference point.

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What do you do with a kind gesture?

Are you good at returning a kindness? When someone does something nice for you, do you reciprocate? Or, do you pass along the kindness? Or do you just think, “that was nice of them,” and go on about your business?

I often tell the story of my mother leaving Arkansas for California, back in the late 1930s, with two small children and everything she and my father owned crowded into a Model A Ford. Just as they were ready to pull out, a lady from church came up the driveway to say goodbye and give my mother a twenty dollar bill. That was big money in the depression/dust bowl era. My mother was reluctant to take the money, saying she would never be able to pay it back.

The church lady assured her she didn’t need the money to be paid back, but rather for my mother to find someone else to help once she reached California. My mother was always on the lookout for someone to help. It might have been a family with small children whose home burned. Perhaps the lady whose husband just died. Or it might have been the hobo who came to the backdoor, asking for a bite to eat. My mother was generous.

Because I grew up seeing that generosity (my dad also did things for people in the small farming community in which we lived), I’m often on the lookout for those in need and ask myself, “how can I help?” Sometimes there is nothing I can do. Or I don’t feel compelled to help at that particular time, believing others will step in and take care of the situation. Because there are so many needs, I now try to contain my help to my small corner of the community. Otherwise, I would feel overwhelmed.

I am fortunate and richly blessed and don’t need much assistance. For now. I’m hopeful that should I need help, there would be those to come to my aid, like the lady in Arkansas who showed up with the $20. That those who have been helped would step up and help out when presented with a need, like my mother did all those years in California. I just hope that you don’t become so accustomed to kind acts that you come to expect them as your due, never paying them back or forward.

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Blogs, friends, & skillets

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That skillet up there, the one in the forefront, with the tortilla sitting in enchilada sauce? It has a story.

A friend of mine, whom I met through her blog, is leaving Fresno and moving to a small house in Washington state. When I read she was majorly downsizing, it was just after the handle had broken on one of my skillets. Knowing this young lady has very good taste, I thought she might have a skillet she would not be moving two states away. So, I did what I often do, I asked.

And she did have an extra one that she offered to me. Wasnt that super kind of her? She’s that kind of girl.

Terry and I went over last evening and picked it up, and today I put it to use, making enchiladas which takes two skillets, as you can see from the photo. The filling is in the back skillet.

I will miss Kimberly being in town, but I will get to read about her new adventures. And I will think of her every time I pull out the skillet to make something.