A Leaf and a RockMy children spend hours playing and exploring our backyard.  They frequently are covered from head-to-toe in mud from making “delicious” mud pies and from digging up muddy treasures.

The other day my daughter ran inside with a huge, proud smile plastered across her face and said, “Mama! Look at this beautiful leaf and this shiny rock I found! They are for you!”

I graciously accepted her precious gifts and I acted as if she had brought me rare gems.  To the everyday person she brought me a dirty stone and a dingy bug-eaten leaf, but to her it was a truly marvelous find.

It might seem strange to celebrate such an odd gift; however, she cheerfully gave me her most precious possessions.  Instead of stashing these items away for herself she chose to give them to me, and she was more than happy to do that.  That dirty little white rock and the leaf were some of the sweetest gifts I have received.  As a five-year-old she doesn’t have a whole lot of gifts to give, and she selflessly chose me to be the lucky new owner of these prized possessions.

It is so important to encourage our children to be cheerful givers.  I want my children to grow up and continue to see the importance of happily giving to others, whether that be money, time, or using their God-given gifts.  How much more special is a gift when it is given cheerfully rather than out of pure obligation?  That is why I will continue to make a special point to celebrate the simple treasures they bring me.

“Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
2 Corinthians 9:7 (NIV)

I encourage you to relish and celebrate your children’s little treasures and gifts!  What are some ways that you help your children continue to develop into cheerful givers?

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x

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