Monday, March 9, 2009

Simple Life Day #9

From the Heart

Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. Luke 6:38

When Frieda heard a horse and buggy rumble into the yard, she was working on the ever-present weeds that were sprouting between two rows of beans. She straightened, rubbed the kinks from her back, and looked toward the drive. She was glad to see her neighbor, Wilma, step down from her buggy. It had been awhile since they'd taken the time to visit. Besides, Frieda had been pulling weeds for several hours and needed a break, so she welcomed the interruption. She left the garden and motioned Wilma over to the porch. "Can you sit awhile?"
Wilma nodded and took a seat on the porch swing. "When I pulled into the yard I noticed you were busy in the garden. How's everything going?"
Frieda sat beside her. "Real fine. Looks like we'll have plenty of everything this year. The garden is producing nicely."
Wilma stared at her hands, clasped tightly in her lap. "Wish I could say the same for our struggling garden."
"Things aren't growing so well?"
Wilma shook her head. "That's one of the reasons I dropped by. I was hoping you might have enough corn to share a few ears."
Frieda smiled. "I have more than enough. In fact, I'd be happy to give you some green beans and beets, too."
Tears welled up in Wilma's brown eyes. "You've made me feel blessed by your willingness to share."
"I'm more than willing to give to others our of the abundance God has given me." Frieda reached for her neighbor's hand. "While you're here, would you care for a cup of tea and some freshly baked biscuits?"
"Jah, I'd like that."
Like Frieda, we should never feel that sharing what God has given us with our friends is a burden or a duty. It should be a joy. After all, Acts 20:35 reminds us, "It is more blessed to give than to receive." When we see that someone else has a need, we should be willing to help out. Yet when we have a need, we should never be too proud to ask our friends or family for help, either. Both the giver and the receiver are blessed when we share.
Great joy comes in giving to other from the bounty God has given, and He is pleased when we demonstrate such love to our friends and neighbors.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: While seeking happiness for others, we unconsciously find it for ourselves.

FOOD FOR THE BODY: Melt in Your Mouth Biscuits
2 cups flour, sifted
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1 egg, unbeaten
2/3 cup milk

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a large bowl, sift together all dry ingredients. Cut in the shortening until the mixture is crumbly. Add milk, then egg. Blend well. Roll out the dough and cut, or drop by spoonfuls onto a baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Very good with sausage gravy.

For me, the giving part comes fairly easy. It's the asking for help that doesn't come so easy. It doesn't matter if it is advice or a material item, I find it hard to ask others for help. I don't want to admit my own incompetence, I guess.

Something that really struck me in this was the fact that when Frieda gave not only the corn, but also green beans and beets, tears came to Wilma's eyes. She was truly grateful for what she was being given. She felt it was truly a blessing. Do we feel that way about the smaller things? I'm not sure I always do. It is easy to be that grateful when someone does something BIG for you. It's not as easy for me when the gesture is smaller. The size of the gesture shouldn't matter though. It's that old saying - it's the thought that counts.

I am going to try to watch for opportunities to give to others with what God has given me. And if I have the opportunity to be on the receiving end, I'm am going to try and truly be grateful. I pray you will do the same.

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