Friday, March 7, 2014

When You Give, You Live!

We are givers in this family. You may have read of our ventures to give love through spending time at the local nursing home visiting with residents or our regular sifting through Addison's toys, with Addison!, to pick out quality toys that she could donate to those who may have no toys at all. I use every opportunity I can to explain to the girls (Addison and the girls I care for) how important it is to give. Giving kindness to the kids who always seem to be in trouble at school or dance because they may learn and grow from that kindness. When it comes to sharing I often hear from parents, "Well, she was in the right so she should have the toy. That would be fair." And they are absolutely right! Honestly, my daughter is a total snatcher of toys. Whether it's something she had that someone took and she snagged back or something she wanted that she went right ahead and took. I always explain that before anyone snatches anything, even if they had it first, ask nicely first and then come to me but NEVER resort to the snatch! I do have a bone to pick with being in the right, though. There is nothing wrong with fairness but I'm more intent on teaching my child selflessness. I want Addison to learn to give to the person that least deserves it rather than hold on to something because it was hers first and it's right. That's true and that's completely okay and I personally care more about Addison learning to care for someone else's happiness over her own. Putting others ahead. I do it every day as an adult and it brings peace and joy to others while simplifying my life. Too often, bending for others is seen as a weakness but I know what Jesus did for others. I know that I am meant to mirror that to the best of my abilities and to walk in love each day means to hand out joy even when you don't want to, even when someone does not deserve it. I'm not saying the outcome with always be the same - that you'll be appreciated or that the other person will even care, let alone be thankful but doing good is adding one more positive act to this world and that never, ever hurts.

We recently made our zillionth trip to the library to stock up on another 30-50 books (I swear, we must take out 150 books a month!). I like to scour different sections and pull a few from each, especially ones with beautiful illustrations and a more substantial story-sorry Spongebob. I came across Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot and The Quiltmaker's Gift this week. Maybe it's my hormones, but I was actually moved to a tear or two with both books! I couldn't believe what simple lessons they taught and in such a beautiful way. I will be adding both to our own library because they are fantastic and necessary tools for teaching children the real meaning of selflessness. 

Do you know of Gail Halvorsen? Either did I until I read this beautiful story that takes place in late 1940s Berlin with the amazing American Pilot (Halvorsen) who made it his duty to keep in contact with the children of Berlin through letters and parachuting candy down to them as well as the little girl whose life was changed by one small kind act. A true American story.

An unhappy king despite all the treasures in the world that he desires and an elderly and magical quiltmaker who provides only for those in need. This tale weaves the two characters together on a journey of where true happiness derives.

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