Sorry, this one is a bit late. We decided to go to the pumpkin farm instead of staying at home and getting things around the house. Better late than never...right?
I want thank Lydia for teaching me how to give. And I mean giving with a joyful heart (as God calls us to) and not just giving because it is the right thing to do. She has taught me that giving is so much better than receiving on a much larger scale.
Before Lydia I was a very selfish person. I was taught how to look out for myself, that is not always a bad thing. However, when I am already consumed with myself, it is not a good thing. I was a business lady and I was always looking out for me, how to make the next buck. I was completely consumed in me and this unattainable reality that was never meant to be. But I tried.
The journey of Lydia has taught me how important it is to give with a joyful heart. It has taught me how good it feels to give when someone can't pick themselves up. It has taught me that giving is more rewarding than receiving.
When we were in the hospital people gave to us a lot. We had nothing. We had drained our entire savings. From day one we decided to not let money be a factor in how long my husband was off of work. We did not want to look back and say that the Lord only gave us ten weeks with our daughter and not have any memories of that because we were trying to make a buck. I will never regret that.
The Ronald McDonald house is a wonderful place. But without people who give, it would be nothing. The gifts, the meals, the opportunities for the other girls. A place to call home when you have nothing, when your entire world is shattered. It is an amazing place. There are countless things that the house did for us that I will always remember. I will always remember those who gave.
There were strangers that heard about our story that wrote us letters to encourage us. Those are stories that touched my heart. They gave us a little piece of themselves. There were classes and classes of people who wrote letters to our families, who gave us Bible verses and encouragement, who prayed for us. I will be touched by those letters forever. They gave us exactly what we needed.
There were family members and friends who gave us gift cards and helped us however they could. Meals and watching our kids. There were friends and strangers who finished our house while it was under construction (a major project that we had started right before Lydia was born that we would finish before she was born). There were countless people who cleaned and got our home ready to bring our new child home.
I have all of these stories that have touched me and changed me. I have a journey that I have been placed on that has completely shown me new way of living, a new me! I am so blessed. And it would be a complete travesty if I experienced all of this and I was not changed. However, praise God that I live a new life.
I am not perfect, nor will I ever be. But I give with a joyful heart. When we give to church or a missionary, or another cause, I always praise God that I am able to do this. I thank Him for blessing me enough that I can give. I thank Him for teaching the joy of giving. I will never be a millionaire, nor do I even want that. I want to give of myself to help others in need. I want to be able to make an impact to others just as they have done for me.
And as Lydia has taught me, it is not just money. The countless letters and prayers that people offered were often times much more important than the gift cards. The fact that people took time out of their lives to think about us meant so much.
Lydia gives to everyone. I look at her share with her sisters. I look at her giving hugs freely to strangers. It brings a tear to my eye to know that I once was so selfish I could not see this great gift. I praise God that I am changed, that I have learned the joy of giving.