Ordinary Things

Do ordinary things with extraordinary love. (Mother Theresa)

 

I sometimes wished that I had the resource to give a huge sum of money to a worthy cause. You know, do something to really make a difference. But I think I know now that generosity is not a one-time event. Generosity must be a lifestyle. Generosity is not giving one large gift one time. Generosity is giving what you have with no thought of return—and doing it all. the time. The Bible has a lot to say about giving, but very little to say about the size of the gift. One specific amount we know of is the widow’s two mites. And Jesus said emphatically that her heart was so much more important than the size of the gift.

When we first started our hosting journey with M, Chris and I said that we would need the body of Christ to help and support us–we knew we could not do it on our own. And our family and friends responded in so many generous ways. While I know that no one did anything in order to receive recognition, I believe it is fitting and Biblical to thank those who have made an impact in M’s life. The Apostle Paul thanked the Philippians for their generous gifts in supporting his ministry. We want to say thank you for welcoming a little child in the name of Jesus. Because no matter how you gave or how you helped, the Lord says if you care for the least of these, you are showing His love.

Thank you to my Life Group girls who were the first ones I told about the ministry of New Horizons. Thank you for believing in me and for praying for me and for not thinking I was crazy (or if you did, you kept it to yourself!) Thank you to our Life Group for playing games with M, for giving gifts to her, for loving her, for supporting us in every single fundraiser. For giving sacrificially. For laughing with us. For crying with us. For staying up late to paint her room. For crocheting a scarf for her. For bringing over her favorite foods. For demonstrating what it means to be a part of the body of Christ. Thank you.

To our families–who also could have questioned what in the world we were doing, but instead sacrificed a family Christmas in order to make a little girl from Eastern Europe part of our family. They prayed fervently, gave sacrificially, chose special Christmas presents for her, sent gifts for her “American birthday,” baked cheesecakes and had a garage sale for her, stayed up late playing games with her, went biking in the middle of December with her, graciously accepted her Dollar Store gifts, worked through the broken English to talk on the phone with her–you have shown M what being a family means. Family isn’t always about blood–it is about making a decision to love. Showing that love is patient and kind, not self-seeking or proud or easily angered. Love is action. Thank you Nana, Papa, Grammy, Pap-Pap, Uncle Jeff and Aunt Nikki, Uncle Paul and Aunt Kristen, Uncle Michael and Aunt Bethany for showing love.

Thank you to our neighbors who welcomed M to the neighborhood with open arms. Who gave clothes to her, who gave presents for her birthday, who ask about her all the time. Thank you to our family and friends who gave towards her hosting fees and supported our fundraisers–friends from college, friends from work, friends in our church, friends in our home school group, aunties far away. All of your gifts humbled us and blessed us because you were giving to M–someone the world might say is not important, but you know differently. You were willing to give so M might learn she is special and worthy of love.

Thank you to the friends who brought us meals when we were very sick. Thank you for the meals when we weren’t sick but just exhausted. Thank you for wrapping our Christmas presents when we were sick and exhausted. Thank you for giving clothes for M. Thank you for buying and delivering groceries to us. Thank you for telling M she has a beautiful smile. Thank you for praying for M when we had no words to pray ourselves. Thank you for meeting us at the pool because that was where we lived this summer. Thank you for opening up your hearts and your hands in worship.

Thank you to my hair dresser, who is a captive audience while I tell her all about our story! And who generously donated M’s very first salon haircut (all her other hair cuts have been homemade). :)

Thank you to the dentists who donated services; you heard of a need and responded. And it was no small need–M had a total of 12 cavities filled over the two times we hosted her. Thank you to the dentist who treated M like a princess. Thank you for blessing our family. We are grateful beyond words to you.

Thank you to three special little girls who gave ALL of their money to bless M. Your generous hearts are a picture of Jesus’ love.

Thank you all for being a part of the miracle.

Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name;
make known among the nations what he has done.
 Sing to him, sing praise to him;
tell of all his wonderful acts
Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.

1 Chronicles 16:8-10

 

(Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!)