Since today is our church's Christmas services, I wanted to share this story with you. Even during this time of year, being generous is sometimes part of a process, and not always an easy or doubt-free process. But I've never seen that process of generosity lack one thing: pointing back to the generosity of God the Father as he so generously and lovingly gave us his son. As we celebrate the gift of Jesus this week, let it spur us on to give from the deep down places in spite of ourselves. This is Jenny's story. I've had the pleasure of knowing Jenny for sometime now. She would probably laugh at the idea of writing her first blog post, so I tricked her by interviewing her and this beautiful story is what came out of it! She is not one to cast a spotlight on herself, so down to earth and steady, she is the kind of woman who spins many plates with the utmost grace. Jenny is wife to Jay, mom to Max, Lydia, and coming soon baby #3! Here is Jenny's story.
Honestly there was a roller coaster of emotions. Initial thoughts were...wow this is awesome! And I started thinking of all the abundance of things in my household and how those things could be blessings to others. We do have so much stuff and there are people in need all around us.
As I was sorting through my excess of things that we have collected through the years my mind starting filling with fear ...will people take advantage of this "free"garage sale, maybe they don't really need it... What if I give something I will need again or could sell instead....
Stop heart check…
This is stuff and stuff that God provided to us and he will provide again if our family really needs it. That's just it if we NEED it...the truth is we are blessed way beyond our needs and if there is a slight chance that someone else may "need" then that's enough reason to give without fear and reluctance. Our true treasure is not that of any material items, so why would I hold tightly to any of my stuff especially when it could potentially bless someone in need.
"In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive." Acts 20:35
Through giving of my stuff for the Generosity Project.. I was also given a great reminder... That HE is enough for me.
So as Jay and I are sorting through stuff, Jay runs across our old VCR and we kind of chuckle. He says “We should donate this to Generosity Project.” I quickly say “No way, that should just be thrown away, who would actually want/use a VCR these days.” I felt kind of embarrassed that we had held on to it this long. We kind of went back and forth and he was pretty persistent that we should not throw it away and send it to the Project. He felt very strongly and something told me I should let this one go and deal with any embarrassment that would come with bringing the 10 year old VCR.
So fast forward a bit, we are helping at the project and this gal Ashley is looking around and a couple of the other gals are helping her find clothes for her and her children. I am helping someone else, but a few moments later my attention is caught by Ashley as she is weeping and holding onto the VCR very tightly. My curiosity made we walk closer. Ashley is sharing with Katy the story of how her mom had passed a year ago and they have recorded video tapes of her that they hadn't been able to watch because they didn't have a VCR. WOW woah what a moment, I immediately started to feel the tears well up in my eyes...I also immediately felt like I needed to run to my husband and apologize for our petty argument about whether to throw the VCR away or take it to the project.
There I was again...reminded of my selfishness. I was worried someone would laugh at who brought the old VCR, I laughed at my husband when he said let's donate the VCR-- what a humbling moment. I am just thankful that I chose to step back to my husband’s suggestion, I am glad I listened to the little voice ( what a full circle "God moment"). Because the impact of me setting aside me, truly impacted a family.
You know I reflect on the day of The Generosity Project and the fears of “what if I miss/need this or that”, “what if the people that take it don't need it”....the fears disappeared.....and though that day I walked away with less, I felt like I had more. And perspective, God loved us so much he GAVE us his only son! How could I ever be reluctant to give any material item away when I sit and reflect on John 3:16.
Almost 2 months later I don't think of the things I don't have and what I gave away, I think of the faces of joy that were there that day. It truly is more blessed to give than receive.