"Aunt Karen, let's pay the toll for the car behind us" said my niece Pookie as we were crossing the Sunshine Skyway some years back. I gave her the look. You know, the facial expression we give a younger, more naive person that has never been ripped off or taken advantage of. They don't know yet what it is like to dig through your purse for the change at the bottom to pay a toll or have to budget every dime to make ends meet because your spouse lost his job.
If you read the newspapers & listen to the news enough your hand starts closing even tighter around what you do have regardless of the amount whether it is a little or alot . Unfortunately your heart is right behind it. Open heart - open hand. Closed heart - closed hand. So I determined years ago that I wanted an open heart so I keep my hands open too.
My favorite way to give to others is what I like to call drive-by blessings. That's when you leave something that someone needs on their doorstep in secret. I drive up, sneak whatever it is - groceries, clothes, or gift cards onto their porch and drive off without getting caught. Woo Hoo! The next time you see them, you hear them excitedly talking about how somebody dropped off whatever it was that they needed and how God blessed them. Now that's fun.
It was also fun when a fellow blogger mentioned her shell supply was getting low & I offered to send her a shell care package. She was thrilled and wrote a very sweet blog about the gift. But the story keeps going. You see once you get into the cycle of giving you start receiving. You can't help it. Giving is seed you plant in the ground of someone's life. The seed you plant is not limited to money or things. You can plant friendship, love, a big hug or just a smile. But it will come back to you. You will reap a crop sooner or later.
|Rhonda said "Forgive the baby box!" - Hey, I think that's good recycling.|
|My excitement is growing - what in the world is this?|
|Out came the prettiest pillow decorated with shells.|
|My eyes filled with tears as I realized they were my shells. Blogger friend Rhonda of Blue Creek Home had used a picture from my blog.|
|My Sanibel finds from a recent post|
|The shell detail is exquisite along with the tiny starburst stitching.|
|Even Rhonda's card is a work of art|
The prose on the pillow reads:
"Come walk with me along the sea where dusk sits on the land
And search with me for shells are free, & treasures hide in the sand"
At the end of the day it's really quite simple (although the religious experts want to make it complicated) Love God & love people. Works for me.
Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury,pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen