My Daily Roadtrip

Being generous (value #8)

Generosity.

What is it, exactly?

When I think about a generous person, I tend to think of someone who gives a lot of money towards something, or someone who will give material gifts, and often. But there has got to be more to it than that. And so I went to my trusty online dictionary (remember the days of actually pulling a dictionary off the shelf to look a word up? They seem so long gone …), which said that the word, “generous” means “liberal in giving or sharing; unselfish.” (source) Wow – that brings a whole different view of the word for me … honestly, it seems “easier” to give money or other material things to someone or toward a cause; but to consider generosity as more of a mindset and subsequently, all it then entails? It’s no longer so easy, because now, it means to give liberally of things like my time, my energy, the things I own, and my love; (just to mention a few) things that may “hurt” a little bit more to give. Whew!

But yes, those are the kind of people I want our family to be – generous in all of the above-listed things and overall, in mindset.

Thinking of some practical ways to implement this value into our everyday lives was not easy for me. However, here are a few ideas my husband and I came up with:

  • Our weekends are pretty precious to us as we get some of our best family time during them. However, we thought of the idea of offering to watch another family’s kiddos for part of a Saturday so that the husband/wife could get away for a date.
  • For the past 2 years, we have put together a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child and we choose to send it to a boy around Elijah’s age. This year before Christmas, it will be great to explain what the shoebox is all about, and let him help us pick out some gifts to go into the box.
  • Looking around the neighborhood to see who may need some help raking leaves and raking as a family.
  • Before Elijah’s friends come over, talk to him about sharing and have him pick out a toy he is going to intentionally share with his friend(s). Have him give the toy to the child shortly after s/he enters our house. As Shun-Luoi and I talked about, this could be a hard lesson for Elijah if the friend does not want to play with the offered toy. However, we realize that people may not always receive our generosity, but that we should still offer it.

And hey, since we’re talking about giving, it only seems right to have a giveaway! I’ve always thought it looked so fun when some of the bigger-named blogs I follow have giveaways. However, I figure we small bloggers can also give things away – why not? And so … for my first ever giveaway, I am giving a $20 giftcard to Starbucks (or Caribou Coffee, depending on where you live and which one is more prevalent in your area).

But, there’s a catch. In order to enter, you must leave a comment sharing a practical way in which you and/or your family could practice generosity. Leave your comment and you will be entered for a chance to win the giftcard! The winner will be randomly chosen on Sunday evening (Oct. 23rd), so comments must be in by 7 pm MST. The winner will be announced on Monday (Oct. 24th) morning.

So, take a minute, think, and put your name in for the drawing! A nice [insert your favorite coffee drink] could be your reward for doing so.

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8 thoughts on “Being generous (value #8)

  1. I know – we could be generous by giving out good candy for Halloween. (i.e. chocolate) ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Madison on said:

    Hey! I loved this post (Not a huge blogger myself – but this was very worth my time).

    I think one of the biggest ways myself, family, and anyone can be truly generous is with our time.
    It’s so easy in our culture to be “to busy” to take the time to just listen to a friend, converse with a stranger, or share our lives with someone that isn’t usually in our social circles. Having the mindset of “I have a few minutes” to ask someone how they’re doing – and listen to the answer. Or to be willing to go help a friend run errands, do yard work, or watch their kids for free … is a way of being generous with our time.
    Not thinking that things are so important that we can never do anything else until we get our to-do list done.

  3. I have been pondering your post for the last 30 minutes… thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Once the creativity juices start flowing, there are endless ways to be generous! I feel I have lots of room to be more generous towards my husband (doing things that I know specifically bless him: fav meals, clean floors, etc), towards my children (time to read, play, listen, smile) and towards strangers (letting them in front of me when driving, smiling when walking by and random acts of kindness.

    What’s so interesting about being generous and giving, is that it does bless those who are on the receiving end, but the big impact is in my hearts. It truly is more blessed to give than to receive – there is a joy that comes from nowhere else than by giving.

    (ps. I am going to now go be creative and give an e-clothยฎ away ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. You’re sweet to have a giveaway- you keep blogging and you’ll have companies to sponsor your giveaways. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Your posts have been making me think more lately! As for being generous, I’m trying to teach my kids (and myself) to look for ways around them that they could serve and teach them to do it cheerfully (even if they don’t ‘feel’ cheerful about it!). We have an older friend we visit in the nursing home- when we go I always try to stop and talk to other residents that we don’t know. The people there are often lonely and when they see little ones their faces just light up.

    We also do Operation Christmas Child and we sponsor two orphan children in other countries. We have their pictures up and pray for them. We take time to write and draw pictures for them. We talk about how glad the children will be to know that we are thinking about them and praying for them and to think about being thankful we have a home, good water, food, toys, etc….

    Finally, one of the other ways that came to mind that we have done at our house is having the kids earn money to give in a special offering at church. Our church helps support an orphanage in Liberia and when an announcement is made that there will be a special offering taken we have a few weeks notice. In those weeks the kids (cheerfully- they love this idea!) do extra ‘jobs’ around the house to earn money to give in the offering. They will dust, wash the floors, vacuum the stairs, etc and we pay them money that will go right into their own offering jars that will be taken to church at offering time. Normally, we have them do chores around the house and they don’t get paid or any allowance- we think helping around the house is part of being a family and working together, but for the special offering we reward their hard work and cheerfulness while they do some extra jobs and they are so proud of their earnings and being a blessing to the little boys and girls in Liberia who don’t have the things that we do.

  5. You are truly a blessing…
    I know this amazing couple… who gave up their time… and flew to a different state… and took photos of a wedding… for a friend who could never pay them what it was worth…
    And this friend… Is thankful for the spirit of generosity… that flows so easily…
    I can’t drink coffee… ๐Ÿ™‚ But I just needed to say…
    I love you guys…

  6. Well, my comment to your husband yesterday was that we could be generous by giving you the coffee if we win it even though we drink coffee 6 out of 7 days of the week ;).

  7. Robbie on said:

    Hi Dawn! Love this post on generosity especially right now when time with our new baby is priceless to us. We have been intentional in relationship with our neighbors across the street and now they are moving. My very giving husband spent most of the afternoon helping them load and unload household items they are putting into storage. At first this seemed like a burden because I was on baby duty all by myself. But this is exactly the kind of generosity you were talking about in your post.

    Thanks for getting me to think about this Dawn!

  8. I agree with the above comments about time. Time is very important to me especially with my main love language being quality time, but I know that this is also something that I can be generous with when thinking about lending a helping hand to others. I would also like to donate/pass along my baby clothes that Alivia and Nolan can no longer wear to expecting couples. I know that it has been a huge blessing to our family to get hand me down baby clothes. ๐Ÿ™‚

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