Friday, February 3, 2012

A Giving Heart

I am continually amazed at my daughter, Lily. She is hands-down one of the biggest givers I know. No, she doesn't have millions of dollars to donate or the ability to work for some big mission organization (she's 5 1/2 years old for heavens sake), but whatever that girl does have...she gives.

I've seen her draw smiley faces on tiny pieces of paper and give them out to a grieving family she doesn't know at a viewing in order to try to give them a smile while they were sad. I've seen her take her birthday money and put it in the offering at church. I've seen her give her toys to other little girls. I've seen countless numbers of colored pictures and cards walk out the door of our house for the librarian. I've seen snacks shared with her brothers. I've seen her wrap up 4 of her stuffed animals for Micah and I to open at Christmas so we would have stuffed animal friends to sleep with (since she noticed we don't have any). I've seen her collect a ton of toys to give to the bus heading to Haiti so the kids didn't have to play with toys made out of trash. I've even seen her offer her beloved "Lammie" blanket she has had since birth to us to take to Nora as a comfort blanket while she can't be with us. The list could go on and on and on. Lily is no doubt--a giver.

I was blessed to watch the latest example of her giving spirit yesterday. Lily has been growing her hair out for Locks of Love for a long time now. It has gotten very long, but we kept it growing thinking she would want to wait until the weather warmed up before cutting it off. Two days ago, however, she came to me and asked if we could measure her ponytail again to see if it was long enough to cut (it had to be at least 10 inches long). I said we could and we measured...yep, long enough. She proceeded to say, "Okay, good, Mom, let's cut it right now! I'm ready and I want to cut it right now." Well, this was at 8:15 p.m. and I was certainly not going to be the one to hack off 10-12 inches of hair so I told her we would have to wait until we could make an appointment at the hairdresser's. She got a very sad look on her face and said, "No, Mom, I want to do it now." I inquired further why she needed it done that moment and she explained..."Maddie's going to be losing her hair this week and I want to cut mine right now so I can put it in a wig for her to have hair. It would be perfect, Mom, cause my hair is the exact color as Maddie's and she's going to need hair!"

Wow. I was smiling and crying all at the same time. I was proud and humbled and blessed. My 5 1/2 year old daughter has a heart as big as the ocean and when she knows what she wants to do, there isn't a whole lot stopping her. Well, we didn't cut it right then, but I made the appointment for her yesterday and we did indeed make that giving heart full as she cut off those long locks for love. No one would have been able to wipe the smile off of her face and I'm pretty sure I haven't seen it off of her yet. She was so excited to donate it and have a whole new look for herself at the same time. She is truly beautiful inside and out. Maddie won't actually get Lily's hair for a wig and Lily knows that now, but she was still excited to give it for another little girl who needs it. The point is not who got her hair, but that she was so freely willing to give it. Such a beautiful thing to witness...

Today is a new day and with that, her big, giving heart continues on as normal. This morning she came out to me in the kitchen with her new hair cut, huge smile, and a penny in her hand. "Mom?" she asked. "Yep, honey?" I replied. She continued, "Mom, I was wondering if you could use this money to help bring Nora home." Again, with a smile and tears, I answered, "Yep, Lily, I sure can. Thank you for being willing to give your money to help bring Nora home. That's so sweet of you." Seriously...cut your hair off one day, give a penny the next day...what will tomorrow bring?

One more hair donation, folks, that's how it works for a little bald-headed beauty to become Rapunzel. One more penny to the pot, folks, that's how it works to get Nora home. (and let me just say that's not the first penny Lily has put towards her sister's homecoming either). Every day is a chance to give to someone else and I'm so grateful my daughter "get's it". She gets the concept that nothing is really truly ours anyway--it's on loan to us from the Lord and when He says "give it to someone" she answers that calling with a big ole' grin on her face. It's truly priceless.

Lily, my dear, you inspire me, you bless me, and you bless the Father with your willing and giving spirit. With you, He will be able to touch the lives of many. Thank you for being...well...exactly who God has made you to be. I love you.

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