Saturday, July 7, 2012

When You Don't Think You Have Any More To Give

Do you consider yourself a generous person?

I'm not talking about being generous with your financial resources, although that is certainly important.

I mean are you generous with your self: your time, your efforts, your energies, YOU?

If you have a family, then you may be thinking, "Well, yes, I give and give and give all day every day. What more do you want from me?"  You may think most days that you don't have anything more to give. 

Today, I was spent. Completely and utterly wiped out. Our eldest daughter has a sinus infection. Ants are invading our house. Our middle child has been incredibly fussy. I'm up at night nursing a newborn. And, well, frankly, I'm tired. 

So, when my daughter did not thank me for getting her dress out of the closet--a simple thing, I know--I lost it. 


Because I wanted to be appreciated.   
Because I had been giving and giving of myself all day and just wanted someone to show some gratitude. 
Because I believed I deserve better. 

In the midst of giving to others, do we expect their gratitude?

Or can we generously, sacrificially, give of our selves because it truly pleases us?

I freely admit that it does not truly please me to clean, clothe, cook, and nurture day in and day out. 

Yes, I know I am blessed to be able to stay home and take care of my family. 

However, I do not always feel like being generous with my self. My sinful nature feels entitled to self-fulfillment.

The world does a remarkable job of telling us...

"You deserve to be happy."

So, when I do not have the time to myself that I believe I deserve, then I become stingy with my self, wanting to keep my energy, my body, my time completely to myself. 

Not ironically those are the times my heart (and priorities) are not in the right place.
Instead of snuggling up with my husband, I'm snuggled up with my book.
Instead of playing with my kids, I'm checking my email.
Instead of folding the clothes, I'm reading a blog.
Instead of reading my Bible, I'm browsing Pinterest.

Sure, we all need time to ourselves, but how is your heart when that time is interrupted?

To be generous, we must change our focus from self to others. 

We must be willing to sacrifice our own desires for the good of others.

We must give without expecting anything in return.

We must serve with a generous spirit even when we don't feel appreciated for what we are doing.

It's not easy, but we will be blessed; the Lord promises it. And I don't know about you, but I'm clinging to that promise.

"The world of the generous gets larger and larger; the world of the stingy gets smaller and smaller. The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped." 
Proverbs 11:24-25 (The Message)

What about you? Is it easy for you to be generous with your self? Or do you also struggle with stinginess?


  1. I definitely have moments like this too! It is hard to give selflessly- I have a sense of entitlement that rears its ugly head from time to time. I deserve to have _____ because I have done ______. Depending on the day different things can fill those blanks. Good reminder- and so encouraging to know that I am not the only one feeling this way- and that other Moms are out there trying to fight against the "I deserve to be happy" lie and trying to live according to the Spirit.
    God bless you Keri! :)

  2. I agree. Some days I feel like I deserve more ______ (sleep, new clothes, time to myself, etc.) because I have done __________, but God has a different plan. He wants me to trust Him with the things I think I deserve. That seems to be my biggest problem: trusting Him completely. When I lean solely on Him, then I find I don't have the attitude of "I deserve..."

    Blessings to you!

  3. I was reminded this week of the value of those "foot washing" things we mamas do. It's easy to start feeling resentful or taken for granted...Motherhood, like Ann Voskamp says, is so often done in the hidden places. Yet washing feet is so essential and important, even when we don't feel like it, or we are just spent. Thank you for the reminder.

  4. I agree, Stephanie. Foot washing is a humbling, undesirable job but also an act of service that shows our love and devotion for the person we are tending to. That's a great analogy. Thanks for sharing!