Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Pay it forward

Some friends invited our family over for dinner a couple months ago. They hosted, they fed us, they gave us some wonderfully sweet gifts - not only for the kids, but movie and dinner gift certificates so Ryan and I could go on a date.

One of the most memorable parts of the evening was when our host explained to us why they were doing what they were doing: a few years ago they too went through a difficult season financially. They also have two young children and when they couldn't pay their bills, they were blessed with help from other people.

This so greatly impacted our friends, that they felt compelled to 'pay it forward' to us. And pay it forward they did. We were blessed by an evening of fellowship, delicious home-made food, gifts and being in the presence of friends who did not judge, only listened and encouraged us. They validated us, our marriage and our struggles. It was a night of unexpected blessings.

I was able to 'pay it forward' to a friend a couple weeks ago with a small gift that blessed her heart. Today coworkers (and friends!) paid it forward to me with the most simple, wonderful things...a diet coke and some Dove chocolate from one friend, and an iTunes gift card from another.

Small things. Sweet things. Wonderful acts of kindness for a friend.

Sometimes paying it forward is through a financial or a gift that tells a friend you love her and are thinking of her. Other times it's a selfless act of service - caring for someone's children, helping a friend with a task (like organizing - love you D!), making a meal for someone who is sick or having an extra busy week.

I am so encouraged by friends who have learned through their tough times and are now paying it forward.

I am so grateful I can continually learn from the generous acts of others.

I am so amazed at how God creates us to be community for one other - to live out His calling in caring for one another. 

I am so incredibly challenged to pay it forward - even in this season where finances are tight. I am learning to be creative in the ways I pay it forward to others.

May we all strive to pay it forward...for a co-worker, a friend, a parent, a sibling, a spouse, a neighbor...in small, simple acts that show we care and that demonstrate the love of Jesus.

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