I've learned to give generously as an adult, both through my Christian faith and heartfelt desire to help others. I don't think one needs to be a Christian to have this desire, I've got many friends who are not religious and very generous, but for me it's a combination of both.
One of my favorite verses is this:
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Luke 6:38
I don't attend a prosperity church, so I'm not of the mind that giving must be to the church, I feel it should be given to whoever you meet who is in need and you have the available resources to help that person.
We've gotten to a point where we give easily and without hesitation throughout the year but it still came as a surprise when this year, especially recently, we began to get many things in return!'
When we left Florida we gave away most of our furniture, some was old, some was fairly new but we were moving to my mom's fully furnished house and didn't have room or want to store things for years.
After moving to our new house, we had no chairs and living room furniture. Family stepped in to give us a couch, recliner and chairs for our table. These items felt like a huge blessing because we had so willing given away our own things 5 years ago!
A couple at church gave us three very nice high quality polo shirts for my son, just as I started thinking I needed to get him something that wouldn't need ironing.
In December, I noticed my daughter's coat was looking too thin for winter and started thinking I had better get her something warmer when suddenly an older girl decided to gift her a beautiful red coat that was just gorgeous and perfect.
We've wanted to get our youngest a beanbag as we only had 3, but 4 kids. I'd looked but hadn't found any yet that were a color she might like. Suddenly someone wanted to gift us a purple and white one!
Recently I started thinking about how much I loved macadamia nuts from my days of working at Bucks County Nut & Coffee company but thought they would cost too much right now with Christmas expenses. Suddenly I got a bag from a co-worker who didn't even know how much I loved these!
This past summer we were given cowboy boots and a Wii system! The boots were very needed as my husband's prior boots had a hole that we hadn't managed to get fixed.
My best friends from high school give us clothes their children have grown out of twice a year.
Recently we offered to help a school mom out by offering to let her child stay with us for the weekend while she went out of town to work and she dropped off what seemed to be over $50 in groceries! Our fridge was filled to the max and we had more than enough for us and the child for the weekend plus the entire week! We really didn't expect anything like that and had honestly offered with no expectations of anything.
We live frugally, meaning we don't buy something the second we think about needing something. This has helped in many cases that we think about a need, wait a few weeks and then suddenly someone gifts us that very item.
I don't give expecting to get anything in return, I'm probably the most surprised of anyone at how many things we've been given and sadly I feel that I'm forgetting a few things.
It's with a very grateful, thankful heart that I write this post and I hope this can serve as an encouragement to others to give freely; it feels good to meet needs and it feels great to have needs met in return!