Here in St. Vincent people are always so sweet. Often they'll give our kids things they sell at the various vendors. An extra mango for the baby. A homemade necklace for a good big sister. Our kids get a lot.
Yet, I want our kids to be givers! So how do I teach them to give when they are given so much?
One local friend named Speedy gives a different handmade necklace to our kids every time he seems them. Each time he has made a necklace even more specially suited for them the better he has gotten to my kids.
This trip, however, was Naiyah's most favorite necklace she had ever received. Naiyah and I have been talking about always giving our best to God and sharing with others. So, after Speedy gave it to her I whispered to Naiyah about what did she want to do with her necklace? She had a friend visiting with her and her friend really wanted a necklace. I did not want to make Naiyah give her necklace to her friend. I wanted her to share it on her own. She replied she wanted to give her friend a necklace she already had at home that she thought her friend would like better. Secretly, I was sad but did not say anything this time. I saw her when we get home go and get one of her older necklaces and give it the friend. But, inside I was wishing she had given away her favorite.
Later that night her friend lost the necklace given to her, so Naiyah asked if she could give her friend the beloved favorite necklace. I was thrilled. I want her to be giving and loving and sharing her best.
The next day she asked if she could give her beloved Rapunzel doll that grandma had given her for her birthday to her friend. Was I thrilled again that Naiyah was catching onto how much better it is to give than to receive?
I have to model it for them. And I am not the best at this either. My response, "Grandma saved up special for that doll for you, because you love Rapunzel. You don't have to give her your doll, remember you gave her your necklace."
Her friend left and I realized how I had again failed. I want my daughter to give generously of herself and her things. I don't want her to see my selfish side and pattern that. I don't want her to give just once or just a little. I want her to give her love, her time, and to see the things she has are blessings to give to others.
"A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life."
God, please help me as a mom and as your daughter share you and all you have given us unselfishly. And I pray for your help in teaching this to my kids you are letting me teach.
"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." Gal 6:7-9