Thursday, March 10, 2011

Ch. 10: Gifts are meant to be given.

"I am blessed. I can bless.
A life contemplating the blessings of Christ
becomes a life acting the love of Christ."

My friend Trisha knows what it means to let her gratitude blossom into giving, standing as a daily example to her family by answering God's calling to be home with her children to care for and educate them herself.

It isn't that Trisha has the greatest confidence in herself as a wife and mother; indeed she doesn't have nearly enough for the amazing person many of us know her to be. She is a humble woman who trades belief in her own abilities for the belief that God can and will do what is best for His children through her.

And He will, because she is willing.

She is counting the gifts, numbering them and expressing them and her children witness their mama relying on God to rain down His lovely blessings on their family. She isn't worried that there won't be enough, because she knows "enough" doesn't depend on her or her husband, but on the God who sustains life in all ways. And when our children see us looking for gifts in the moments and going bonkers over little things, they learn that the little things are important.

It becomes a habit, as evidenced this morning when her five-year-old daughter saw a bumble bee outside the window and went running through the house shouting, "Spring is coming!"

"It's the fundamental, lavish, radical nature of the upside-down economy of God.
Empty to fill."

Just another example of His ways being higher than ours, different from ours, unexpected. Surprise!

Spend the whole of your one wild and beautiful life investing in many lives,
and God simply will not be outdone.
God extravagantly pays back everything we give away
and exactly in the currency that is not of this world but the one we yearn for:
Joy in Him.

My friend Andrea lives this truth. In her long and grueling battle with cancer, she has never stopped praising God, pouring into the lives of others and inviting them to celebrate His goodness. His goodness! This woman with no feeling in either leg and a body filled with lumps and a bandana on her head and a song on her lips she sings His goodness with every breath--because she knows that every single one comes from Him!

Seed: A visual of holding the Dead Sea in our hands if we hoard the blessings and gifts we are given and don't in turn give them away. Every act of service with an attitude of gratefulness toward God is an act of living the liturgy, the serving, of God with a humble, thankful heart.

Water: Every act of service with an attitude of gratefulness toward God is an act of living the liturgy, the serving of God with a humble, thankful heart. All service with this heart is my gift back to God, and when I do all as unto Him, there is no expectation to go unmet, no need for gratitude from another that may or may not come--it is irrelevant when I do it all for Christ.

Bloom: He increases, and I decrease. Only His glory remains.

"...and I feel the smile that spreads across a life."

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