“Not everything that can be counted counts,
and not everything that counts can be counted.” – Einstein
Most of us have more than some people and less than others… when it comes to things we count. We tend to give when we have extra, or more than we think we need. It is easy to let go of something when we have more in our cupboards or closets.
If we don’t have what we think is enough, are we still eager, or even willing, to give?
I want to introduce you to a friend. She has impressed me with her resourcefulness and creativity in giving.
She just celebrated her 20th birthday.
Last July, she moved to Salina, Kansas. A week later she gave birth to her little girl.
Within a month, she had a baby, got a job and found a place to live.
She doesn’t have a car but she has a mama who loves her dearly.
They don’t have any dressers for their clothes but I have never heard them complain.
She has two beautiful children, a two year-old boy and a 9 month old girl.
She works a minimum wage job to support the four of them and is starting college courses next week.
I tell you all of that, not to embarrass her in any way (she gave me permission to write this!) but to help give you a frame of reference for the generosity that she extends.
Given just the few facts I’ve told you, you may think she’s a pretty remarkable young lady.
What I find remarkable, however, is that she is always looking for ways to ‘pay it forward.’
Many of us think that when we get more money, we’ll give more. Once we have plenty in our own kitchen then maybe we’ll take a look beyond to see how we can help.
This young woman, and her mom, aren’t waiting for the ‘someday.’
They are grateful. They are giving.
Here are a few examples of ways they have found to give…
- She received a $25 certificate from her employer in March. It could be used at a variety of stores in the community. Our church recently announced that the food pantry had been depleted and they were asking for donations. She gifted that certificate to the church.
- Last week she handed me a bag of toys that she had bought on clearance for 25 cents each to be given away on our next Acts of Kindness Adventure.
- Our local grocery store calculates points that coincide with purchases. The formula that she needs for her baby, provided through WIC, adds significant points that she can then use for a discount in fuel. I sometimes give them rides since they don’t have a car. The last two months she has given me her grocery store card at the end of the month, which has enabled me to get gas for thirty to forty cents off. Yesterday I filled up for $2.84 a gallon!
- Twice now, her mom has cooked for the Tuesday night meal at our house. The trick to Tuesday nights is that we never know how many will be there. Their generous offering is always multiplied to provide for all who attend.
- She continually keeps her ears open to other people’s needs. She is ready to give away the clothing and equipment that her children have outgrown whenever she hears of a need.
I know full well she never intended any of those gifts to be public knowledge. I share them because I think they help us see with new eyes, to look beyond just what we can count, to see the things that really count.
I have learned this from her: It is not necessary to wait until we have everything we think we need before we can give to others.
Gratitude leads to generosity because gratitude always sees ‘plenty.’
So, what about you? Are you grateful for what has been provided for you? Are you finding ways to give of yourself, your time or your resources? When we give from our collective abundance, our joy is multiplied in the process. It’s one of those things that count that can’t be counted. Gratitude. Generosity. Kindness. Joy. I don’t know about you, but I am loving those things that can’t be contained!
Seeing Plenty With You,