Not many granddaughters have the opportunity to get to know their grammas on a deep level. I am one of the lucky few who not only knows my gramma but also considers her to be one of my best friends.
We live in separate states, which can make getting together difficult, but every Thursday is “Phone Date with Gramma Day,” and our conversations make up for our time apart. This is always one of the highlights of my week. It’s a special, sacred time, and it’s something I will be forever thankful for — that I get to know my gramma in such an authentic way. There are few people who have as beautiful a heart as my gramma and she’s taught me so many things about life, love and faith.
National Grandparents Day isn’t until Sept. 11 this year, but today I wanted to spend some time talking about my grandparents because I think we can learn a lot from them about what it means to be a cheerful giver — something God has been teaching me lately.
You already know my gramma is a cheerful giver of her time (she usually stops whatever she is doing to take my phone call). But that’s not all she and my grandpa give generously to.
When I was little I had the blessed privilege of going to their house every Sunday afternoon for supper with the entire extended family. Aunts, uncles and cousins all gathered round the table to talk about Jesus, enjoy delicious food and pray for one another. It was like something out of a movie — so lovely, so perfect, so right.
About once or twice a month they invited friends, even strangers, to come enjoy food and fellowship with our family. Then one Sunday my grandparents told us that two of the “strangers” would be temporarily living with them. (They needed a place to stay while they got back on their feet.) This mother-daughter duo were the first of many guests who eventually became adoptive family members.
I don’t know many people who would willingly let strangers live in their home, but my grandparents did, and their willingness to do so changed many lives. Under their roof I saw a single mom became stronger and give her life to Christ; I saw a young woman developed confidence; I saw a man propose to his now wife.
Generosity changes everything.
The thing that’s even more amazing and inspiring about my grandparents is that they aren’t just generous with their time and home. They are generous with everything they have. They have the true heart of a cheerful giver, which in 2 Corinthians 9:6-8 is described as:
The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.
As business owners they could’ve easily retired by now, but they choose to work. Not so they can collect more money for themselves, but so they can give it all away. I can’t tell you how many times a family member or friend’s life has been saved from despair because of my grandparent’s generosity — and that includes my own life.
God calls each one of us live life with an open hand, but how many of us actually answer the call? Can you imagine what this world would look like if we all followed the scripture’s instruction to give generously without a grudging heart (Deuteronomy 15:10)? Not for our own pleasure or recognition but for the glory of His name (Matthew 6:3-4)?
My grandparents don’t give because they want to feel good about themselves or have people think they are cool. They are generous because that’s just what cheerful givers do — they realize their stuff is not really their stuff at all, and so there is nothing stopping them from spreading the love and blessing to others.
Our time, talents, money and possessions are free gifts from God, so why would we hesitate to give it all away for His sake?
Being a cheerful giver is also a matter of trust. We have to trust that God is the one who is ultimately in control of our schedules, checkbooks and belongings. We have to know deep in our hearts that when we give authentically, we will be blessed (Proverbs 22:9).
We have been given so much through the gift of salvation in Jesus Christ. Who are we to not freely give to others in return for all we’ve received?
God is calling us to release our lives — our everything — to Him so that He can use us to minister to others, like He has used my grandparents. And we all have a choice to make: Do we want to leave a legacy of stinginess? Or do we want to leave a legacy of generosity that’s contagious for generations to come?
What are some ways you can be more generous this week? Perhaps you could invite people into your home and serve them some of these Shrimp Boil Foil Packs — ready on the grill in 15 minutes!
- 1 pound large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 (12 oz.) package smoked Andouille sausage, thinly sliced
- 2 ears corn, each cut crosswise into 4 pieces
- 1 small onion, quartered
- 1 pound baby red potatoes, halved
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- Preheat grill to high heat.
- Cut four sheets of foil, about 12-inches long. Divide ingredients among each sheet of foil and toss with your hands to combine. Pinch foil together so that ingredients are completely covered and sealed.
- Place foil packs on the grill and cook until potatoes are fork tender and shrimp and sausage is cooked through, about 15 minutes.