20 Seeds Sown

Our friend, Dan Johnson, lost his mother to cancer this last week. She loved many and was loved by many. Dan gave me permission to share one of his Facebook posts about her.

“Was looking through one of mom’s journals today and came across this phrase:
Never suppress an urge to be generous.
Don’t know if she wrote it or heard it somewhere, but that is how she lived. Mom regularly gave away more than she spent on herself in a given month.”

His post brought to mind the seeds of generosity that have been sown in my life. Here are 20 of of the countless.

  1. My neighbor picked up the phone when I called and talked to me. Even though she was busy.
  2. When I was 22, the driver of a rusty tow truck rescued me and my car, which had stalled out yet again in the middle of a busy downtown Indianapolis freeway. He took me to one of the best mechanics at the Indianapolis Speedway. He refused payment. The mechanic fixed my car without charge.
  3. My mother came to take care of me and my family after three births and two major surgeries.
  4. After our youngest daughter’s traumatic birth, a family from our church cleaned our house, left supper in a crock pot,  and bought new toys for our toddler and preschooler (and assembled them).
  5. In 1995, a woman at the church I then attended, invited me to attend a monthly quilters group. I have been meeting with them for 18 years now.
  6. My husband took care of the children so that I could attend quilt meetings, quilters retreats, scrapbooking club, woman’s Bible Study, etc.
  7. Sometimes my art minded daughter shops with me for clothes. Her stated goal is to steer me away from the dark side toward cheerier colors. We are going shopping today.
  8. My friend recommended me to her boss, and I was hired.
  9. When I was a child, my sister defended me against bullies.
  10. Someone put their hand on my shoulder, and asked how I was doing, and wanted to know.
  11. One of my coworkers kindly told me yet again where to find the document template that I needed.
  12. My therapist encouraged me not to give up on God.
  13. My aunt helped me laugh before my first major surgery when the doctor told me it didn’t look good. I was 25 at the time and had just graduated from college. She made me laugh again after surgery, which when you have staples in your stomach, hurts a lot. It was still worth it to laugh. 🙂
  14. When I attended Michigan State University, I worked in the dish room in the basement of the ancient dormitory where I lived. The dishes came down to me on a dish conveyer from the cafeteria one tray at a time. On my birthday, a clean tray was sent down with a single cup cake with a lit candle on top and a Happy Birthday note. What generosity of creativity and thoughtfulness. Almost 30 years later, this still touches my heart.
  15. Another aunt and uncle opened their home to me for six months after my first surgery.
  16. In the face of impending job loss due to plant shut down in 1995, my husband caught influenza and then pneumonia during the holidays. The kids were running fevers during Christmas week as well. Meals were brought in. Someone from our church paid our electric bill.
  17. My parents took me back and forth to college for five years. My mother often bought 50 pounds of potatoes at the farmers market and would say, “We can’t eat 50 pounds of potatoes, why don’t you take 10. These peaches will go bad before we can eat them, maybe you and your roommates would help me out by eating some.”
  18. Kind words were said behind my back about me and my family.
  19. One of my neighbors watched my daughters when I took my son to the doctor.
  20. Many drivers have allowed me into the long line of cars waiting to leave a concert, fireworks, church, the grocery store, etc.

As I write these down, even more come flooding into my mind.

What are the seeds of kindness, love, mercy, faith that have been sown by others in your life?

7 thoughts on “20 Seeds Sown

  1. I have been thinking about Karen’s quote about generosity much lately too. I had limited my ponderings to financial generosity, but many of the things you cited … generosity of time, emotional energy, kindness … are almost more of a blessing, or at least equally so.

    This was beautiful food for thought this morning. Thank you. Your writing is always an inspiration, but particularly today.

    Thankful for you, and your family (and not just because you’re my most faithful scrabble partners). 🙂

  2. Great post, Cindy! Most of the things on your list are simple acts of generosity, but they obviously had a huge impact on you. That’s encouraging to me because I cannot do huge acts to help others, but you remind me that even seemingly insignificant acts of kindness can make a difference.

    • Prayer for others is a great kindness and demonstration of generosity. Several years ago, one of my Sunday School teachers, Ken Pelton, was suffering with a combination of debilitating health conditions that left him on oxygen, in a wheelchair, and in great pain. Once he told us, that in the watches of the night when he couldn’t sleep, he would bring each of us before the Lord in prayer. What is that, but love?

      I think that your writing, and your words of encouragement to your readers and other writers are also gifts of generosity.

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