They Learned A Valuable Lesson
John has been priming and prepping these two all week. Each night at bed time he would tell them a new story in the Bible about how someone gave their all, or gave up something super valuable to bless someone else.
I had no idea what his goal was, not until this past Friday night when Julia was in tears. She found a brand new barbie that she had never opened from her birthday in the garage and John was hoping she'd forget about it. But she didn't. When she found it he said to her, "Maybe you can give it away to a little girl in India who doesn't have one." Well, that was a horrible idea apparently! How could she give this beautiful new barbie to someone else??? It was still in the box and she NEEDED it.
John told her it was her decision. But he laid on some pretty thick guilt (I thought) and told her to pray about it. She was so torn. I could see she wanted so badly to share and give to others but she just couldn't part with this doll for some reason.
Well, the next day, the big kids had their opportunity to do something great. John told them he was bringing them to the bank to empty all their coins and cash them for dollars. Then he was bringing them to the mall to buy Legos for the children in India. They had a choice. They could give some of their dollars or all of their money to Daddy for the payment of the Legos we were buying. They could not buy anything at the store for themselves. We were there only for the children in India. In the car John handed each kid their dollars. They both had $11. I thought for sure they would give John maybe a $5 or a $1 bill.
We picked out the Legos. The kids chose really cool ones for the other children. Then we got to the register. The moment of truth. John asked them, "Julia, how much are you going to give towards the purchase?" No hesitation..."All of it." "Mark, how much are you going to give towards the Legos?" "$13!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" he shouted. To which we all laughed and said, "Buddy, you only have $11." John and I were SO proud of their choice.
The minute we left the store (this is my favorite part) John scooped up both the big kids. "We are so proud of you two. Do you remember what God said through Malachi: To test him in giving and that then He would open up the flood gates of heaven and pour out a blessing on them. So guess what? Guess where I am taking you right now?" Julia and Mark looked so confused. They had no idea.
"Daddy is taking you to the candy store and you can pick out anything you want!!!" Oh, the excitement and cheers!!!! Even I was happy!!! Even Micah was blessed. He got to eat his first chocolate covered pretzel.
I don't think Mark fully grasped the extent of his gift. He is still learning about the value of money. He is only 4. But to see the struggle that Julia had and to see her heart so raw. And then to see her the next day give so graciously made me so thankful and proud. I honestly couldn't believe it. I was so glad to be a part of that moment. I was so thankful that John took the time this past week to tell them stories in the Bible about giving, tithing, and being generous. It was just so super neat to see. Julia even told me that she prayed about the Barbie situation and asked God to help her to be more giving. Bless her heart.
So this weekend the big kids learned a very valuable lesson. They learned that it truly is better to give than to receive. They learned that God does reward good deeds. They learned that their Daddy is awesome. And I learned that sometimes even bystanders (like me and Micah) get a blessing from the goodness of others.
Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.