Perfectly Practical #37 - Giving Extravagantly
We have come to the end of the 30 Day Giving Challenge and at the beginning of the month, I had these grandiose ideas about sharing with you some ways to give throughout the month. Obviously those ideas did not make their way to blogland; however, they did materialize in real life.
My plan was to write out a particular perfectly practical and frugal way to give each day on a calendar and then give you an update every week.
From "To a Mouse, on Turning Her Up in Her Nest with the Plough" by Robert Burns:
My schemes seemed to have gone askew...although a grander scheme went exactly according to plan. I love lists and plans. I like checking them off and get a little unnerved when we fly by the seat of our pants. So to wing it for the month was an exercise in itself for me personally.
"But little Mouse, you are not alone,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes of mice and men
Go often askew,..."
I thought of all of these great ways to give frugally - which is still in every way a blessing - but what happened over the course of the month was that I was lead to instead, give extravagantly.
We have been so incredibly fortunate to be able to continually learn how to be good stewards over our finances. Within that, we have been able to encourage others to be good stewards over their finances. So during this 30 Day Giving Challenge, we were given the opportunity to not only do some things for others but we were put in positions to be blessed ourselves.
Diva and I talked about her massive amount of Halloween candy and what we could do with it. We decided that we would take the candy - nearly all of it, along with thank you notes, to the fire & police stations, Neighbor Boy #2 joined in this adventure. They got to talk to a policeman and hand him some goodies which was fun. Next we went to the brand new fire station and as we were pulling into the parking lot, the Fire Chief was leaving. He asked if he could help us; the kids told him why we were there and handed him some goodies. The Chief then asked if we would like a tour of the new station. Of course we thought that was the best idea ever! Because we happened to be giving an extravagant amount of candy to the fire men (no really, it was a ridiculous amount) we got a personal tour of the not-yet-open-to-the-public brand new fire station and Q&A session with the Fire Chief. It doesn't get much cooler than that!
We took banana bread to neighbors, librarians, and friends. We played with the animals at the shelter. We did a favor for a friend and got to have a personal tour of the local radio station and Q&A with the station manager. We had people over on the spur of the moment and as they were leaving were able to hand them jars of preserves or pickles that had been made this summer. We had an abundance of veggies from our CSA and shared them with others. We brought brownies and Thanksgiving dinner to the workers at CVS. We had droves of people go "shopping" in our store (stockpile) and at no point did we feel like calling it quits. It wasn't about us. It was about sharing what we have been so grateful to receive. As I write this, I feel a little overwhelmed. The look on people's faces when we throw open a closet door and say "Take what you need" is priceless. By giving time or bounty or goods in a generous fashion, we opened ourselves up for unexpected blessings.
Every day I would start out by praying for opportunities where our gifts could be used best. I know that we don't all have the same situation. Not everyone has a massive amount of candy in their pantry, or time during the day, or a stockpile closet but everyone can give extravagantly of something, even if it's big hugs and kisses or compliments.
I hope to always be able to give extravagantly.
The poor widow who only had two mites to give gave extravagantly.
The boy with the loaves and fishes gave extravagantly.
God gave His only Son for a sinner like me and giving me the gift of hope in eternal life was the most extravagant gift ever given.
This is part of GratiTuesday.