A few years ago, I was blessed to have a copy of The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch and Jeffrey Zaslow land in my hands and it was riveting and transformative and perception-changing. I love a good read like that.
My favorite part of of the book was when he shared a little story about his new convertible and his niece and nephew:
Once, about a dozen years ago, when Chris was seven years old and Laura was nine, I picked them up in my brand-new Volkswagen Cabrio convertible. “Be careful in your Uncle Randy’s new car,” my sister told them. “Wipe your feet before you get in it. Don’t mess anything up. Don’t get it dirty.”
I listened to her, and thought, as only a bachelor uncle can: “That’s just the sort of admonition that sets kids up for failure. Of course they’d eventually get my car dirty. Kids can’t help it.” So I made things easy. While my sister was outlining the rules, I slowly and deliberately opened a can of soda, turned it over, and poured it on the cloth seats in the back of the convertible. My message: People are more important than things. A car, even a pristine gem like my new convertible, was just a thing.
I think of this when I am about to freak about about something really trivial – like tracking dog poo through my house or when the kids storm my bedroom and bathroom and within minutes, I can’t find a thing.
They are just things. Just things.
I’ve tried to teach this to my children and so far, Susannah is the only one who seems to be kind of grasping it (“They’re just things, mommy.” I admit that sometimes I am annoyed by her wisdom.) but in all fairness, the others are three and two. There’s still hope.
I love to catch someone off-guard by doing something that will bless them unexpectedly. Admittedly, I don’t do this often enough as I find that I can easily immerse myself in my “own little world” and forget to look past myself.
I am joining in on “The 30 Day Giving Challenge” and I encourage you to consider joining in with me…
What is it?
If you have a heart for giving, we invite you to join us from November 1 – 30, 2010 as we take giving to new heights, combining the efforts of thousands of people. We’ll be working together to bless our friends, family, neighbors, and complete strangers by making a conscious effort to give each day of November. And we’ll do it all for God’s glory!
Why am I participating?
If you have read me for a while, you know that I like to say “To whom much has been given, much is expected.” I am blessed. Beyond, in fact FAR beyond, what I deserve. I give because by the grace of God, I could so easily be the single mom making ends meet. I could be the homeless woman downtown. I could be the one rifling through the trash for a scrap of food.
I don’t believe in a hierarchy of giving – Same Kind of Different As Me forced me out of that box. I no longer believe I am the savior on a white horse galloping in to help “those people.” I now understand that in relating with those in need, we receive so much more than we give. We are humbled and we are reminded by how much alike we really are.
“Show me what you say,” a homeless man told Jay Loekken from Passion to Action.
How do I keep track of my giving?
I’m going to plagiarize my sweet friend Erin’s words from Home’s Where My Heart Is because 1) I learned about this from her and 2) she says it exactly the way I would and well, I guess I’m lazy.
It’s up to the giver. I’ve read that some are going to blog about it, journal about it, Tweet about it or keep it between them and God. Many are on the fence, for fear of drawing attention away from the heart of this movement and spotlighting themselves. I’m kind of in that boat. However, I have decided that I will blog about it weekly (starting Tuesday the 10th) and journal about it. I like the idea of sharing what I’ve done because I feel God can use it to inspire others. Giving doesn’t have to be expensive, difficult or grand. There is no right way to give. Giving comes from the heart of God.
Amen, sista Erin.
Will you join me? Pretty please with candy corn and peanuts on top?