Giving from the Heart
Shirley Long, Parkview in Frisco, Collin LIVING WELL Magazine
The holidays are over and we have begun yet another year. The months and years seem to pass so quickly and all of our good intentions sometimes get crowded out with our busyness. I am writing this article the week of Thanksgiving knowing that it won’t be printed until February. With that in mind, I realize how the season of giving and generosity (November and December) is so closely linked to the month of love (February).
When I reflect on generosity and giving, I realize there are different reasons to give and attitudes toward giving. There is generosity from the soul and there is obligated giving. Generosity of the soul is entrenched within the heart. It is irresistible and usually spontaneous. Your heart compels you to give in a way that is meaningful to you personally. You respond freely as you recognize that someone else’s need is greater than your need. It is a movement and response deep within your heart and soul.
Obligated giving is a more disciplined giving, such as tithing. I do not mean that just because you feel obligated, it does not mean it isn’t from the heart. Structured giving is training and duty-bound by your faith. It is very important to participate in planned giving.
I want to address heartfelt giving. Because we live in a money-driven society, we tend to think of generosity only as a question of reaching for our checkbook. But, as with all character traits, generosity is embedded in the soul; therefore, it can find expression in many ways. Generosity is evident in how you share your time, your wealth and your energy. You will always find a way to respond when your heart is guided by the recognition of the needs of others.
I read an inspirational article once that was along this line of thinking. You give money if money is what you have. But if you have no money, there are always other ways to give. Maybe you have extra food in your home; therefore, you give food. If there’s no food in your home, but you have time, you give of yourself. The most outstanding message of all is that if you have nothing else to give but the love in your heart, you offer your heart itself.
Our hearts yearn for ways to fulfill its role. What you do for others is actually a great gift to yourself. It is a “win-win” situation and no one loses. When an opportunity arises to be generous, don’t over analyze the situation. Just do it. Your heart and ability to share love grows with each new act of generosity.
It isn’t enough just to give money or an object; we must also give of ourselves. Wrapped up in our hearts are the inner qualities that can adorn our generosity. At Parkview in Frisco, the ladies have organized a sewing group called “In Stitches.” This group of senior ladies meets regularly for many sewing projects. One of these projects is to knit or crochet baby caps, blankets and booties to give to Frisco area hospitals for the preemie babies and to church organizations for less fortunate new mothers. M’Alice Peil, one of the ladies who is so dedicated to this mission, expressed that she does this as a gift from one mother’s heart to another mother’s heart as she holds her new baby close to her. Mary Burns expressed that it brings her a lot of joy and satisfaction to be involved in the camaraderie instead of sitting alone at home. Gail O’Neill said it has been a lot of fun relearning to crochet. They all agree that they receive immense personal blessings from making the items and giving them away.
When you undertake to give your heart, you change an element of yourself. With each act of generosity you make yourself into a more giving person. Ultimately, the reward we reap for generosity and heart-felt giving is that the presence of God dwells among us.
Author Shirley Long is marketing manager at Parkview in Frisco, located at 7450 Stonebrook Parkway, Frisco, Texas 75034. To learn more about Parkview in Frisco, an all-inclusive lifestyle community for seniors, call 972-377-6744, or visit www.parkviewinfrisco.com.