Who am I to be sending out gifts to random people very week like I’m some sort of rich housewife shacked up in a mansion with nothing better to do with her time (Like most of those women do this anyway lol – jeez imagine if they did!).
This could not be farther from the truth. Let me share somethings about where I come from and where I’m at right now, so you may better appreciate where all this is coming from – in short – the heart behind me.
Surprise surprise I grew up with mostly nothing. Yes there were times my Mother hit the jackpot (well once really when she married a Doctor who used money to keep a young girls mind confused and mouth shut), and there were times when things weren’t so hard. But mostly I remember HARD.
My memories are dominated by a very stressed out mother who was always trying to get us out of the bottomless pit, but hardly ever succeeded – unless a man came along to save the day. That's the sad truth. In saying that she always did have the best intentions.
Nine times out of ten when this happened we would pack our things up and move into their residence, which may or may not have been liveable. Our home base – the place where we would pack our things and return to when things inevitably went wrong - was my Grandparents tractor shed on their Kiwi Fruit orchard in Waihi. To be fair, it was a one bedroom flat built on the end of the tractor shed, but it still smelled like a tractor shed, and I lived in the laundry where the mouse (or were they rats?) often came out to play and leave their stinky pebble trails. If I wanted to go into the kitchen/mums bedroom I had to walk out into the big scary tractor shed just to get there.
It sounds dismal, but really, apart from having to deal with an unhappy mother – I had the best memories of that place. That place was HOME to me – not because it was our Castle, but because just up the hill were two people who represented home. Who represented safety, security, and something else I didn’t know much about at the time, but felt it all the same – the love of Jesus.
At 16 I moved out of home because the truth was, I got sick of being dragged around to different love nests – and also because mother dearest tried to ground me for 6 months just for having a party while she was away for the weekend. I get why this would be a ground-able offence for most teenagers, except the fact was she let me have parties all the time so that was just weird. She also threatened to kill me so there was always that. Probably not one of her finest moments, but now that I am a mother to a teenager I can kind of appreciate the inner turmoil when our little darlings do something that makes the blood boil. Only difference is I know how to control the crazy.
Going out alone at 16 with no money and not a lot of prospects is a stupid crazy thing to do. Easy to say in hindsight. I don’t want to get into it on this blog, but for the sake of painting an accurate picture of my situation, let’s just say I didn’t have pocket money to buy lunch at the canteen. Like ever.
I then went to University and thought I was RICH just because I got the student allowance. That bubble burst pretty quickly when it all went flying out of the bank account into board, food, and bare necessities. Growing up is also not so easy.
Fast forward past the poor struggling student stage, the “I inherited a lot of money when Mum died and blew it all on drugs and alcohol because I was depressed and didn’t know how to handle money” stage, past the years on the DPP as a solo Mum to my daughter trying to figure out where our next meal was going to come from stage, and right on to when I met my husband and we entered into a new era of going without – but this time in as slaves to the credit cards and bank loans.
Sounds ominous right? Well, we weren’t gamblers if that’s what you’re thinking. No we just were extremely dedicated and committed to our then-church for 13 years. Oh man. Is she gonna go there? Yep I sure am….! Let’s just say right now for the record – I BELIEVE in giving to the church, or at least the one we’re going to now. Because I know the money is not going into the back (and front) pocket of the pastor, and our money is going to where it should go – to reach our community and help the poor. The proof is in the very large and generous pudding! There is no pressure to give and that is a massive difference between this church and the one we came from. We’re not expected to go tens of thousands of dollars into debt that’s for sure!
Fast forward again and I finally got a good steady job with a decent pay packet. We were finally on the right track – then boom!! CANCER struck and I couldn’t go back to work. We had to move to a matchbox house just to be closer to the hospital and make many sacrifices along the way. But in the sacrifices there were countless blessings that we remain so thankful for!
As it stands today my husband has finally got a great job, and while I’m not working full time at my bodies request, I do make a little money through my part time job at The Parenting Place. We are finally able to breathe and enjoy loosening the belt just a little, and BOY DO WE APPRECIATE IT!! Even though we are really only on one income, we finally have enough to do something we’ve always wanted to do – give a little to those in need.
So my house is not flash, my car is not flash, and we’re technically only on one income, BUT we still have something to give, and boy do we love giving it.
You don’t need to be rich to be generous.
It’s all about the posture of your heart and your willingness to open that fist up a little. There is NEED all around us, and there is always someone worse off than you. If I can do my wee bit to contribute then I get to play my part, as small as it may be.
What we give may not be huge in terms of size and value, after all we aren’t some big business who has a massive marketing budget to work with HA!! But it is from the heart and therefore far more valuable. I also enjoy giving a little encouragement along the way, because this is just as (if not more) important than the physical gifts.
So that is why we give. Because we finally can, and because we’ve always wanted to. I say "we" because even though it’s me running this wee side blessing, it’s with the hubby’s blessing and my kid’s approval. But most importantly it’s the heart of God that compels us, and enables us.
I hope that gives you some insight into why I keep doing these giveaways on Facebook. Thank you for participating in them and spreading the word. I would appreciate it greatly if you did spread the word as far and as wide as you can. Like I said, there are people in need everywhere so you never know who you might be helping just by jumping on this little Life and Insights train. It’s not just about the giveaways (obviously), it’s about the opportunity to encourage and spread that thing called hope. Will you help me do that?