It was the summer of 2014 and our little family had big plans. If you've been reading here for awhile, you might remember our exciting adventure of visiting all the little houses of Laura Ingalls Wilder. It was a big undertaking -- planning the route, packing the clothes, deciding all the details, estimating the $$....
Me being me, I was self-conscious of what people would think of our big trip. It was quite obvious we were not wealthy. In fact, there were people who knew some of our financial struggles. What would they think? Wasn't this a bit extravagant? Should we be spending this money?
The day before we left, we received a phone call. I don't remember the exact conversation but the caller wondered of they could drop by with something for our trip. I said sure and that we would be here, etc etc.
Chris wasn't at home, as I recall, so I answered the door and was the one to take the folded up bills from the visitor's hand. Again, I don't remember the exact conversation but something to the effect that they were so happy to see us making memories with our family and that we would never regret it and they just wanted to give us a gift to help out.
I thanked them profusely around the lump in my throat but that was nothing compared to the awe I felt later. Back in the house, I looked at the bills in my hand, and realized our whole trip had very nearly been covered by their kindness.
I could tell you more stories. I could tell you about money showing up in our mailbox at church when we didn't know how we would pay the bills. I could tell you about someone anonymously paying our school tuition during a time we simply could not have paid it ourselves.
There is nothing more blessed than a gift given out of no duty --- unless it is giving one yourself! I could tell you stories about that, too. There is no comparison between the excitement of following the nudge of the Spirit to slip the money to someone who has a need or to anonymously pay a bill, and dutifully putting the obligatory 10 percent in the plate Sunday morning.