Generosity As A Way of Life


As we approach the time to make pledges to the church of time, talents and treasure, I ask you to contemplate the theme of this year’s Stewardship Campaign, “Generosity As A Way of Life.”

This is a mindset toward which I am personally constantly striving, though I often fall short. I want to give an example of a recent success.

One of my sons was having a moment of what we Californians call “big feelings,” but my parents would have called a tantrum.  I spent some time trying to listen as he repeated, at the top of his lungs, the things that had happened to make this “the worst day EVER!” As my patience started to wear thin, I took a big gulp of air and thought about generosity. This child needed me. He needed me to listen, with my full attention and empathy, for as long as it took.

Frankly, I wasn’t sure I could do it. But I pressed on. I put down my phone, looked him in the eye and let him know I was all his if he wanted to keep talking about it (thanks for coming home just in time to take the other boys, Chess!).  Then I watched as magically, his anger faded and it seemed in no time, he was smiling, telling me “this day isn’t so bad after all.”

When we adopt an attitude of generosity, it can change our view of the world. When we are generous with our feelings, becoming generous with our treasure, time and talents will follow naturally. And the rewards of living with an open heart cannot be quantified.

Jennifer Stetson





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