I admit, I had asked the unthinkable—requesting that each of my children part with their hard-earned dollars, dollars saved from birthday presents, allowances and the tooth fairy—to buy a toy for someone else.
After wildfires raged through our hometown of Austin, Texas, destroying more than 1,500 homes in one day, my husband and I decided to help. And, since this disaster hit close to home affecting several of our friends, I really wanted my kids to have a tangible understanding of what it meant to give generously.
So I asked them to donate to the cause. And, as expected, they refused.
Not ready to give up, I sat them down on the couch and explained. I told them about kids who had nowhere to live and nothing to play with. Then I asked them to each spend time praying that God would show them how they could make a difference. Talk about laying it on thick.
Five minutes later, they came and asked if we could go to Target. They headed straight to the toy aisle where Joey carefully selected a Star Wars toy and Kate selected a pink pony.
I could see the emotions in their eyes as they carefully counted out the bills from their wallets and handed them to the cashier. Trepidation mixed with joy, disappointment mixed with pride, and I knew that a huge lesson had been learned.
Dear God, please show me creative ways to teach my kids how to live generously. Help me set a meaningful example of giving as I mother them. Amen.