Something has always baffled me. When we experience hardship, tragedy, or trauma, the struggle is seared into our memory. We remember the sounds, the smells, and the physical pain of the trial. It was that pain that either paralyzed us in time or drove us to do whatever was needed to never experience that hurt again. The experience became part of the fabric that makes us who we are today. Yet when we see others in a similar and very familiar situation, why are we not always compelled to help? Why do we not take the time to share our wisdom making their journey shorter? How come we do not readily give our time and resources to better or even end their challenge? We may empathize but we do not always give.
Winston Churchill once said, “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” As mothers, we are commissioned to leave a legacy for our children. That is more than the stuff we accumulate throughout a lifetime. It is the testimony of the lives touched by our actions, our words, and our life. Giving is not just an act. To me it is a necessity and even a divine requirement the value of which should be taught to and required from our children at an early age.
While scrolling through Facebook recently, I came across a reminder of the ripple effect giving has in life. Andrea Dixon (@iAmAndreaD) was prepared to pay her light bill when a mother next to her was challenged with the inability to pay hers. In her post she said the mother was crying because her children would be in the dark and she did not have all the money to pay. Andrea says, “Instead of paying my bill, I gave her the $90 I was going to pay. I walked to my car and there’s this note with $100 wrapped in it.” The note said “For blessing her, I’m blessing you.” For giving to another, her bill was not just paid, it was paid and there was extra for her giving.
We should never give to others with the expectation that in our giving we will get from others. Unfortunately, that does not always happen. Rather, we should approach every opportunity to give with a similar thought as Andrea. She said, “When I didn’t have it, someone gave it to me.” Andrea is not yet a mother but she is a woman who saw a mother in need, and with her own past need seared in her memory she trusted God and was compelled to meet the need of another. That is the truest definition of service/ministry – meeting a need.
What if you made the decision to give to someone each day. Imagine the ripple. You could do something as simple as pay for the meal of the mom behind you in the drive-thru. When you go shoe shopping you could get a gift card for the young mother whose kids you complain about in your apartment complex everyday. Even the gift of encouraging words when you see the stress of life weighing on the face of another is something so simple to give but can literally save a tormented life. We were not meant to be the sole beneficiaries of the situations we experience, the lessons we learn, or the things we have acquired. Give. Even if you find yourself giving from one area while you are in need in another; just trust and give.
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