There are some moments where I just want to freeze time so that I can remember every detail. Last night we experienced such a moment.
“You’re far happier giving than getting.” Acts 20:35 MSG
Beginning this month, Jeff and I have started giving Zoe and allowance of $1 a day for helping out with chores around the house. She’s only four so they’re easy chores…making her bed, getting dressed by herself, helping to clear the table etc…Prior to this, every time we would go shopping, Zoe, like any regular kid, would persistently ask us to buy her things that she clearly didn’t need. We thought that giving her an allowance would make her more aware of how saving for items worked. So, last night, after saving seventeen loonies in her pink, plastic piggy bank, we went to the dollar store to see what kinds of treasures she could purchase.
Zoe was so excited to be a “big kid” and wheel her own cart up and down the aisles, all the while tossing in a random assortment of items. Eventually we had to tell her that $17 did not translate to buying 17 items. Her big blue eyes widened in puzzlement, “But why? It’s a dollar store.” Good point, kiddo. However, try explaining to a four year old that a dollar store means typically $5 and under per item (not $1 each) and then sales tax over and above it all.
Thankfully, we finally managed to get to the checkout where she perched on her tippy toes, reaching into her cart to put each item on the counter.She then unzipped her pink sequined Hello Kitty purse, popped out her Frozen coin purse and painstakingly plunked fifteen of her seventeen loonies out on the counter, totally oblivious to the growing line-up behind her. That picture is snapped in my memory and every time I think about it, I want to scoop that precious little girl up and tell her eager, innocent soul to never grow up.
Once we got home, she was so excited to dive into her purchases – two lollipops (one for her and one for Elsie), a ginormous tinsel Easter egg wreath (which she wanted to give to Jeff and I to use for Christmas decorations next year until I explained that it was actually for Easter), two pink Valentine’s heart decorations that she put on our bedroom doorknob because “Mummy’s favourite colour is pink and I just love Mummy,” a big Valentine’s heart wall sticker with googly eyes that she stuck on our bedroom wall next to Jeff’s side of the bed so that it could watch out for Daddy, a huge bag of chocolate heart candy “for Mummy and Daddy because I love you both” and a collection of six Frozen stamps that she and Elsie started playing with immediately.
As Jeff and I listened to the girls playing together from the kitchen, we just looked at each other and marveled…How did we get a kid with such a giving heart? Here we thought we were going to show her the importance of saving and buying the things she wanted and she turns around and spends most of her money on her parents simply because she loves us so much! It left me teary eyed and kind of speechless to think that she unknowingly taught me a lesson on what it means to give our all to our Heavenly Father, simply because we love Him. She gave so excitedly and so passionately, without regrets! There were no strings attached, no bargains struck. It was pure and simple generosity. Yet too often it’s a struggle for us to even give our leftovers to God…much less our all! And when we do, what kind of attitude do we portray? Certainly not always a happy, excited spirit! And so I thank Zoe for reminding me that my Father, the One who created me and gave me life, deserves so much more than I offer. He deserves to hear me say, “Father, this is all for you! Because I love you so much!”