From the time I was a young girl, I remember my dad always saying things like, "It's better to give than receive." "Blessed are those who give." "To one who much has been given, much has been expected."
Growing up in church, we often heard phrases like that. I didn't always understand it, but I sometimes tried to follow my parent's example with the little earnings I had from my babysitting gigs.
As an adult, who now is trying to figure out all the things (literally) with life, finances, kids, spouse, jobs, school payments, mortgage, etc, I often get overwhelmed. I feel like I don't know if we're going to make it sometimes. I'm that person in our relationship who likes to cross the T's and dot the I's. The person who keeps a meticulous spreadsheet and worries too much. Thankfully (I'm choosing to be thankful), I have a spouse who is good at remembering that life should be enjoyed as well and that worry isn't going to get me anywhere faster. We balance each other out most days.
As the holiday season is upon us, I'm reminded of the importance once again of giving. And helping those around us.
"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give." - Winston Churchill
This has been one of my favorite quotes for the last 15 years. Though there have been seasons in life over the last decade and a half that I've been focused more on my needs than on others and end up not being as generous as I'd like to be, I always find that the more I give, the more I truly receive.
It's seems backwards as though it doesn't follow any scientific theory or formula, but the more people I talk to, the more we all agree. Giving, whether it's our time, resources or money, ends up being such a blessing all around.
There's times in life when we don't know which way to turn and it's confusing, but I've been reminded over the last month that even when the way is unclear, we can look at all we've been given and find a way to give back and help others.
Ultimately, that's how we make a life: in community, growing, giving and learning hand-in-hand.