Hi there! This post is part of a 31-Day writing adventure I’m embarking on. I’d love for you to join me and read along. You can find the introduction to the series, and a “Table of Contents” as each day goes live, right here. Thanks so much for dropping in!

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Yesterday, I shared some thoughts on the concept of losing your life to find it — and ended asking if you, Dear Reader, perhaps get a little itchy with the idea that God wants all of your life. I’d like to take a little more time for that concept to “simmer” in the pot before it’s poured, so I’m going to switch gears and discuss something different today, and then come back to that when the timing seems right.

Sound okay?

Great, let’s dig in!

How do you feel about birthdays?

A few weeks ago, I celebrated a birthday. I really like birthdays and generally don’t struggle too much with focusing on the fact that I’m clocking additional laps on the track of life, and this one was just so special there was really no good reason to be bummed — other than it being my first birthday without my Dad, and there being a few moments where his absence was a little tough.

Hero Hubs, like always, lived up to his moniker by organizing a perfectly special day for me. My Mom, as always, blessed me in countless ways and reminded me for the hundredth time that week that I’m so fortunate she’s my Mama. And a new friend of mine made all these special efforts to make the day super-great and it was SUCH a treat!

Among the gifts I was showered with were some birthday cash, which I happily received. I regularly tend to avoid spending money on myself, but with everything arranged for my friend and I to get out of the house childless and go shopping for a wee while (very big deal people!) I was very excited to grab a couple of necessities for the change of season upon us, and pretty much some stuff that I like to call additions to my “Momiform.” Which is the uniform I found myself in almost every day — jeans and a basic t-shirt, because why not?

We scooted off to the next town over and found some deals (including a steal on a much-needed new bathing suit, which was not as needed as I thought since our beach vacation has been RAINY.) And after all that fun I still had some extra cash in my pocket.

For some reason, I decided to try to spend the rest of it on other people.


In the days and weeks that followed, I enjoyed paying for a friend’s coffee as we enjoyed an afternoon out without our kids. I bought my Mom some much-deserved flowers (it was on the to-do list for weeks) and enjoyed taking the Bear and my sweet nieceypoo to a movie.

And, it might come as no surprise, I think I got more joy out of blessing others than I would have if I’d found a few more options for my Momiform. My Mom’s flowers lasted for ages and brought us both a lot of joy. I loved getting special time with my niece – I don’t get to see her often and my son. And MAN OH MAN is it a treat to just sit down with another Mama and have an adult conversation sometimes!!!

In His glorious goodness, the Lord built a gift into giving.

But let’s be honest. Giving isn’t always easy. Sometimes when it comes in the form of serving, and especially if that serving seems to go unnoticed, you can begin to really feel like you’re getting the short end of the stick. {You remember that God is all-seeing though, right?} And sometimes, when you’re asked to give, you might also have concerns about whether there will still be enough for you.

Our photography business has been asked to give a lot since we did our first photoshoot in the Carolinas, and we’ve clung to one particular principal to remind us to keep it up:

The generous man will be prosperous, And he who waters will himself be watered. {Prov. 11:25}

As a result, we have been privileged to begin to catch a glimpse of this reality. We’ve answered nearly every inquiry by giving. Our business is growing and we’re beginning to get excited about the dream becoming a reality. {We already have four weddings booked for 2014 — and I could wet my pants!}

Remember that first giveaway we did, for a Quiver Tree photo session over a year and a half ago? The family we met, who won the giveaway have since become dear friends that we LOVE LOVE LOVE.

The hard part of giving — almost every time — is usually trusting that if you give, you’ll still have enough for you and your family at the end of the day.

This is where that hard “T” word comes in — Trust.

But here’s the promise you can stand on to help you Trust, so that you can enjoy the gift in giving and enjoy it often:

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. {Phil. 4:19}

Is it sometimes hard for us Westerners to recognize the difference between needs and wants? Probably so. But we can absolutely trust the God who sees everything (and knows everything) to supply what is best for us, and to water us when we demonstrate our trust in Him and water others.

Have you seen an unexpected gift from deciding to be a giver? I’d love to hear about it.

I’d like to challenge you to choose to be generous today — and let me know how it goes!