The Big Give

Nov 10, 2009 by

“Sometimes the smallest gift, given with the greatest motivation, has the greatest impact.”

Our pastor – Mike Whitney – made that comment last Sunday.  It’s part of a series called “The Big Give,” and no, it’s not about tithing more.  How it’s impacted our family is worthy of a government study grant.

The focus is more on how much “stuff” we have, and don’t use. And therefore, don’t really need. It’s about giving.  It’s about an attitude.  It’s about what kind of impact do we want to make.  It’s about priorities.

So Mike is giving one of his sermons and the word “stuff” keeps popping up. And I’m just poking the Little Black Dress left and right after about every line. As readers know, I am a mnlst, the LBD is a cluttereraleristtist.

And the LBD finally looks at me with an “I get it, now poke me again and lose an arm” kinda look.  The LBD is now on a mission, and everyone better get out of the way. 

She. Is. Decluttering. And hardcore. She almost threw away the rat dog and one of the Sons of Thunder during a recent spurt. As I said, we just stay out of the way.  Well, I stay out of the way, the Sons are often called in to go through, yet once more, clothes and toys.  I’ve learned two of them are cluttereraleristtists and one is a mnlst.

We’ve given away five large bags full of clothes, and the LDB is upset because she doesn’t think it’s even made a dent in our “stuff.” But it has, and the most important thing is the motive.  We give to help.

But it’s not just about giving away – as hard as it is for some – our old stuff.  We’ve been encouraged to buy new clothes that are on sale when we’re out shopping.   Why should the poor only get the leftovers?

And we’ve done the shoebox gift program for kids in Africa. That in itself has been enlightening. Because of course while we’re purchasing small items to put into these shoe boxes, the Sons are pointing out things “they really, really need/want/covet.”

It’s a learning experience. But we’re trying. And the Sons are doing pretty well with all that.  We’ll just let pass the fact the middle Son of Thunder has a tendency to sneak into the shoe box and partake of the candy.

“You can’t be taking things out of the shoe box. Those are for the children in Africa,” the LBD has said more than once.

“But I’m hungry, and I don’t know anyone in Africa and we bought it and why are we using a shoe box and …”

You get the picture.

It’s been hard on the two oldest Sons, as they have a lot of their mother’s traits, especially as it relates to stuff. The youngest is more like me. At once point we had to start putting some of his clothes back, as he had pretty much emptied his closet – of everything.

As I said, the LBD is on a mission.  It’s best described as waking the sleeping bear.  Just stay out of the way.

But she has a two-fold plan. One is to eliminate. The other is to get me to stop smoking. That was the deal.  And so when the de-stuffing is done, it will be my turn to eliminate.  I’m not sure who’s giving up the most here, but a deal is a deal.  We all need to get rid of the “stuff” in our lives, and hopefully help others at the same time.

As Mike said, “give what you can give and give it eagerly. It’s not about what’s in your bank account, it’s the motive that has the greatest impact.”

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