Today didn't turn out the way I planned for it to... that seems to be the story of my life right now. I've had moments of my own little pity parties and then I've had moments of perspective and dealings within my heart from a loving Heavenly Father.
I've been waiting for 11-11-11 to come so I could do this cute little thing I came up with. I had planned to ask everyone this morning to get involved in 1,000 Miles of Albania through giving $11.00, praying for 11 minutes, and sharing the vision with 11 friends. It seemed simple enough, something that I thought many people would try to do and all of it- the money, the prayers, and the free publicity- would soon add up and Albania would receive additional support through the idea.
I returned home today after many moments of stress and a few pity parties our family has thrown in our own honor today to receive a bit of perspective and a change of heart.
We checked the mail just a few minutes ago and to my surprise there was an envelope from my Granny in it. If you've never met my Granny, I pray that one day you will be fortunate enough to. She is 86 years old and completely amazing.
Growing up, she and my Grandpa were net fishermen (picture some of the disciples on a boat before they left to follow Jesus). They worked extremely hard and had very little to show for it. They lived on "government cheese" and years before I came along she worked in a school cafeteria and would take home the lunch leftovers to feed their family. They never had much of anything, but they have always been generous people. My Grandpa and Granny would sometimes take my brother and me to the candy store. I remember buying orange slices or circus peanuts. I never realized as a kid that they were in fact "poor". They always took care of us and the candy we got to buy every now and then was always a special treat because they were the ones that took with us. They were always the people who if they saw someone in need, they would do whatever they could to help- even "give their shirt off their back" if they needed to.
Today, my Granny became one of my sponsors and I was reminded of a very important life lesson. It's about the heart. It's about the sacrifice. It's not about the amount, the fame, or the praise. It's about being generous with whatever God asks of you. Granny's check will never compare to some of the donations I have received for 1,000 Miles of Albania, but it is in many ways a greater seed to plant for the harvest of Albania than anyone else could have given me because of the sacrifice it represents.
Today was also very fitting being Veterans Day. She has been the wife to two veterans- one she lost in WWII when she was only 16 and my Grandpa that she was married to for almost 60 years. I love the statement we hear from time to time in reference to our heroes. "All Gave Some and Some Gave All"
Generosity is truly "Some Gave All". It doesn't always show up in huge amounts, but it does always show the condition of the heart and how freely one will obey what God calls them to do.
My entire life is about heritage that is from my faith, that has been passed down to me, and that I will pass down to my own children. My Granny is so much of the strong woman that I've become. I know you will never read this, Granny, but thank you for your strength, love, and grace you freely give to all around you. May I live as generously as you always have...