Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Giving Just to Give

There is a wonderful mythical law of nature that the three things we crave most in life -- happiness, freedom, and peace of mind -- are always attained by giving them to someone else. -Peyton Conway March

Giving tangible things to others is something that is not so easy for me to do. I could blame much of my childhood, but there comes a time when one must take responsibility for oneself and I am long past that time. Oddly, my daughter is a giver of anything and everything! Perhaps the Lord planned that I should learn from her.

For every monthly meeting, the 4H Horse and Pony Club has some charity project and all of them are good ones, so yesterday in the afternoon I went to a dollar store purchasing items to make Easter baskets for a local children's home. I was thinking the 4H meeting that night would be short with all the work involved to fill the baskets. I was wrong. The meeting was longer than usual. First, there were the typical club meeting formalities, then the candidates made their campaign pleas for next month's election. Once those were done, it was time for presentations.

These presentations are commonly done at every meeting by different children and expected of the older members. Most are short. Then there are those exceptions.... One teenager read a personal narrative, written for an English class assignment, about her injured horse's health deteriorating for a week before the decision to have her put down. It was a heart wrenching story, not at all boring, and she read it loud enough to hear her clearly. She told of her dilemma of what to do with the body of her dear friend, because the boarding facility did not do burials on the property. She found a nearby crematory for animals and decided to keep the ashes with her in a box, altogether fifty pounds. As the guest speaker, the funeral director spoke more about their cremation services for animals.

The subject at the meeting really touched me. About a month ago, I had been in Ohio staying with my aunt for my mother's funeral and her 35 year old horse went down the day before we planned to leave. This was not just any horse to me. I learned what little I know about horses the two years I lived with my aunt's family and he was special to me. I believe I was the first one to lay over his back as he was gently broke in. So, it was both a relief knowing he was no longer suffering and saddening that he passed on naturally during the night before we left that day. The frozen ground made the idea of burying him nearly unthinkable, but a neighboring farmer had the right equipment and the horse was buried the next day, thankfully. (They have such a wonderful neighbor; he plowed their long driveway nearly every day as the snow drifted over it while we were there.)

Back to the 4H Meeting, the club is a large group with over fifty members. Although not all of them where there, nearly one hundred baskets sat in preparation for accepting treats and toys and gifts. The meeting was longer than normal, but it did come to its end. Then the frenzy began! It was not organized in the most efficient way, but the baskets were filled and then wrapped in cellophane bags. My Princess went through the line four times with all the enthusiasm of a child waiting in line at an amusement park. It was encouraging to see how joyfully willing all the 4H children were to work and help.

Giving just to give. It did bring joy to my heart for the few dollars I spent to give to children I will not even know.

Thank you, my Lord, for giving to us so that we may give to others and for the desire to do so.


  1. Giving is a blessing. Ditz is a giver. She's generous to the point I feel I have to restrain her. I am far more cautious ~ but then I'm like that about lots of things.

  2. Heya! Looks like I have sorted the problem. You may yet regret this. :)


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