May 26th, 2015

Generosity Lessons from My Mom

Graphic for Todd's Mother's Day blogI recently published my first book, Leading A Generous Church, which I dedicated to my mother and father. A year and a half ago I lost my father to Alzheimer’s and Congestive Heart Failure. During this time of loss I screened countless calls on behalf of my mom and was blessed to hear so many touching stories of how my mom and dad lived a life of significant impact. I especially remember one caller whom my mom and dad took into their home along with her family during a very difficult personal struggle. The caller shared through tears that my parents are “the most generous people she had ever met.” I want to share a few generosity principles my mom has modeled for my family.

  1. Start each day ready to be generous. My mother is constantly meeting people and learning how she can be helpful to them. It can range from inviting them to a group she attends or a place she volunteers. Or it could be to connect them with my wife, the realtor, or to help someone earn a little more money by selling their crafts without charge. Any day, any person becomes an opportunity to be generous. It’s that Proverbs 31 thing.
  2. Share a meal. I would be hard pressed to tell you what my mother’s favorite foods are. We have a family with a wide variety of unique dietary needs. My mom knows exactly what you like or what you are allergic to. She will hunt for substitute ingredients or recipes and create a meal just for you. (Or an experiment as she calls them.) Then she will sit and eat with you as if it is her favorite meal.
  3. Don’t let principles get in the way of serving. My mother is a very principled woman. She definitely believes you reap what you sow. This principle can be used by some to provide a reason not to serve others. However, my mom is faithful to disciple the hurting while serving them. I have seen her time and time again reach out offering generous grace, after being intentionally wounded by others.
  4. Don’t let church get in the way of the generous life. I know this sounds strange, but church activities can sometimes guilt you into a false perception of participation equaling the “good Christian life.” One of my favorite stories to hear my mom tell is the time she and my father had to resign their church positions because they were keeping them from serving their community.
  5. Don’t stop giving financially even when it’s scary. Some would say that through the journey of watching my dad leave this earth in a hospital bed in his home and the expenses it created, then to embark on the path of a widow, she could take a pass on financial generosity. Many months while she was home bound I was blessed to carry her offering to church then watch her continue to think of ways she could physically bless others while her life was so hard.

Generosity isn’t for the rich or special occasions. It is the path of freedom, impact, and happiness every day. (Photo is an image of a wool rug hooked by my mom of my house.)

Comments are closed.