|Posted on February 13, 2011 at 6:16 PM|
We try and teach our children the importance of giving.
We talk about
we model it
but the bottom line is that we can't "make" them particpate in giving or even want to give.
Last Sunday we gathered our Tribe around the dining room table. Together we ate a hearty breakfast, shared stories from our week and enjoyed each others company (all a rare event in our typical over crowded schedule).
My husband shared a belief with our children; a belief we hold dear and true in our hearts. He explained that when you give, unto the definition of a tithe, that it is like a seed that is sown in the ground. A farmer would never plant a seed without expecting growth. We, too, can expect that when we give from our hearts it, too will grow. A corn seed produces a stalk of corn with produces ears of corn which produce lots more seed.
Then I told a story. Not too long ago I lost a very important piece of jewelry down the shower drain. I told my children that this made me sad because I couldn't afford to replace it. Then my favorite necklace broke and I was sad. Then I sent an iPod through the washer. I was sad. It would remain broke as I couldn't afford to replace it. Next my daughter reported she had misplaced her most valuable piece of jewelry. It too, was sad and irreplaceable.
It was that day that I had enough.
And I remembered something. I remembered that I had forgotten to give when I was given. A paycheck, or two, had gone by and I didn't share from my bounty. Remember...giving is a value of ours, of mine. My heart and belief compels me to give. And I hadn't been obeying my own conscious.
So I gave. Immediately I got online and used PayPal to send money to my very good friends who are working fervently in the mission field.
The next day the iPod worked.
The second day I was given, in cash, the very same amount of money I had sent out.
A week later my daughter found her ring.
And a week after that Aaron and I were given a monetary gift that far exceeded my original offering.
My seed was growing.
I looked around the table at my children. They sat still, absolutely enthralled with the story. I went on to explain that their father and I had talked and we feel like they are worth investing in as well. I reached into my pocket and pulled out 5 fresh, crisp $20 bills. I looked each child in the eye as I passed them the money, "We believe in you." I said to each one.
It was a moment I'll never forget.
Last week we recieved a request in the mail. My father is going on a trip to help Haiti. His letter asked if we could help support his trip. We brought the letter before our children.
Each gave. Each child gave a portion from what they had been given and put it in the old Mason jar I had set in the middle of the coffee table. I was so proud.
That was a week ago.
Yesterday my children received a gift in the mail. Cards and gifts and money for each of them.
When my husband reminded the children that they were witnessing their seed grow just as we had seen our seed grow our 11 year old son, without skipping a beat exclaims, "Yes! I know Dad! I always believed in God. But this just proves it!"
I teach my children it is good to give. I teach them by telling them about it. . . modeling it for them and creating an enviornment where they are given opportunity to try. Because if a seed is sown; it grows.
Categories: Tales from the Tribe