Monday, February 18, 2013

Thursday ~ Be more giving

'When the steward tasted the water that had become wine...[he] said..., "Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after teh guests have become drunk.  But you have kept the good wine until now."
~John 2:9-10
"God is overwhelmingly generous.  A wonderful story in John's Gospel, about a wedding at Cana, tells of how they ran out of wine and how Jesus made them some more - six stone jars or around 480 litres worth.  The point is that Jesus could have given them just what they needed but chose instead to be overwhelmingly generation.  Christians are called to follow Jesus and to be people of generosity, so be more giving..."
Action:  Get a jar and put your small change into it each day.  At the end of Lent give it to a charity.
All that above there doesn't come from me, it comes from the Love Life Live Lent booklets that our Pastor handed out in church on Sunday.  (Visit for more infor if you'd like!)  Obviously, each day has a Bible verse, mini lesson, and action/activity to complete.  I thought yesterday's was perfect, considering it was also Valentine's Day - a day that is easy to get wrapped up in the receiving and to forget about the giving.

Being Valentine's Day, it was a pretty fun and crazy day for my kiddos.  They had parties at day care and school and came home with lots of goodies and cards.  Once home, there was a big box from Grandma and Grandpa waiting for them full of more Valentines goodies! 
After all of this generous givng from others, I thought it was a good time to introduce the day's activity - an activity about giving to others.  I had Logan run and get his "dino" bank while I grabbed the basket full of change from my desk.  I started out by first giving Logan his quarter for the day (he gets a quarter everytime he has a blue day at school), and he put it into his bank.  Then came the giving part...
Now for some background information:
We have a place called the Pregnancy Support Center in town.  It's a pretty amazing program that provides a wide variety of resources and services for those who are expecting a child.  Each year at about this time, they do their "baby bottle" fundraiser, something our church has participated in for quite a few years now.  Each family takes home a baby bottle and then has the opportunity to pray for one baby by name and also to fill the bottle up with money.  It can be change, bills, or even a check.  We then return the bottles to church and our Pastor takes them back to the center.  This year we took a bottle home with the intention of involving Logan and Gavin in the process.  This activity in giving seemed the perfect opportunity!
Okay, now back to the story:
So, there we were, all three of us sitting on the floor with a "dino" bank, a basket of coins, and a mostly empty baby bottle (I had already started the process of putting spare change in).  I read the little booklet to the boys, and we discussed being generous.  Then, I dumped out the entire basket of change and told them that we were going to put all of the "silver" coins into the baby bottle.  Gavin jumped right into this one.  After all it was a game!  A fun game!  (Hey, he's two - money has no meaning.  Yet...)  Logan was a little more hesitatnt at first.
He picked up a bright, shinny penny and asked, "Mom, can I put this one in my dino bank?"
I replied, "No, first we're going to put all of the silver coins into the baby bottle.  Then, if there's still room, we're going to add the pennies.  We're going to give all of this money to help a baby named Hayden, and other babies like him."
He thought about it for a minute and then asked, "Even the quarters?"
"The quarters go in first, because they're worth the most."
He thought about it a little more, and then said, "Okay.  I'll give him the quarters.  Then he can use them to buy things in the machines at Walmart."
"And his parents will be able to help him buy other things that he needs."
"Yeah!  That would be good!" 
And, just like that he was off!  He found each and every single silver coin in the bunch and put them in that baby bottle.  And when all the silver ones were gone, he didn't even hesitate - just started dropping pennies in, too!  It wasn't long before the bottle was full...and there was still a substantial pile of pennies on the floor.

I looked at the boys and told them that because they had been generous first that they could keep the rest of the money in the dino bank.  They were excited to start dropping pennies into the dino bank, but all the while Logan was going on and on about how excited he was to have shared with another baby!  It was a total melt-my-heart moment! 
I love that this Lent activity took a day that could have been one all about receiving and turned it into a day that was also about giving. 

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