There are some serious contentment issues happening in our house lately. Is it 4-year-olds? Like “terrible twos,” “threenager,” and “never satisfied number four.” Seriously, what is happening?!
That’s not entirely fair. My 4-year-old daughter isn’t like that ALL the time. Often, yes.
“Okay, do NOT ask me to buy anything in this store. We are not here to shop for you? Got it?”
“Got it.” …10 seconds later… “Can you buy this for me?”
“No. Why don’t you think about how much you already have instead of all the things you want?”
“Okay…Can we get this?”
My daughter is all…
And I’m like…
I get frustrated by her attitude of “I want, I want, I want!” But at the same time I’m often struck by her generosity too.
A few weeks ago, a friend of mine blew a couple tires on her way home from work. This poor woman, I can’t tell you how much bad luck she’s had lately! Right now, she’s home with her daughter (just the two of them) with a broken foot in two places. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. So a few of her friends and some acquaintances, rallied together and paid to have her car fixed. My daughter asked me what I was looking at on my phone, and when I told her the story, her eyes got big with excitement and she ran upstairs to her bedroom. I followed, and I found her with her piggy bank emptied on her floor because she wanted to give her money too. All 44 cents she had.
There’s this dichotomy taking place: one moment she wants and wants and wants, and nothing is ever enough. But then on the other hand, she gives and gives and gives until she has nothing left. While I haven’t figured out an answer to our “I want, I want,” problem, it has really made me think hard about the heart of giving. Why is she so greedy sometimes, but so generous others? What is causing that change of heart?
Every time our daughter has joyfully given, it’s been because she empathizes with those in need, raising money for babies, donating toys for a school, buying coloring books for missionaries, the girl GIVES when she GETS it. She loves babies and wants to help. She’s crushed to hear that some kids don’t have toys like she does. She loves to color and wants to give another little girl, just like her, the chance to color too. She understands the need, and then gives until it hurts.
And wow, if that isn’t a lesson for all of us! It’s so easy to skip over giving when you’re thinking, “I don’t want to lose this money I’ve saved up,” or “I can’t afford it right now.” But it’s so SO much easier to give when you get it, when you’re empathizing with those who need it more.
Children’s Minnesota gets it too. They’re a non-profit hospital system. That means their profits don’t go back to investors, making rich people richer. It goes to research. It goes right back to helping the kids in their hospital so they don’t have to be in their hospital. It goes to music therapy. It goes to transportation. It goes to meals. No donation amount is too small or too insignificant.
Right now, there is a wonderful way that you can give to Children’s while involving your children. You can have them color this printable Coloring Sheet and mail it in to Children’s along with a small donation of $5, which goes towards caring for patients and families. The colored pages themselves will also be sent to the patients to provide them with a little cheer this season. This is a wonderful way to demonstrate how to give while also having fun!
As parents, we never want our kids to be at a hospital, but if they were, wouldn’t you want your money to go right back to the kids they’re helping? To finding answers for future generations? Maybe even your own grandkids someday? I know I certainly would.
So this year, I’m taking a lesson from my daughter. I’m so grateful my family is healthy, but I know there are families with kids at Children’s Minnesota thinking and praying that they would give up EVERYTHING to just to see their kids healthy and happy again. And that’s the beauty of donating to Children’s Minnesota. You’re helping someone else’s kids, you’re maybe helping your own kid, and you’re definitely helping your grandkids.