“Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully . . . . God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:6-7)
I woke up at 6:30 this morning. I changed diapers, nursed a baby, made breakfast, dealt with tantrums, all before I had a chance to have that first sip of coffee. Then I went on to do three loads of laundry, clean the bathroom, make lunch, hold crabby kids, do nap time, tidy up the kitchen, etc, etc.
I know how to give. That’s not my problem. I am constantly giving of myself to my family. I’m giving up my time, personal space, my sleep, and hobbies that I enjoy. Some days leave me so exhausted that feel like I have nothing left to give. But when I read today’s reading I realize that there’s something I’m still holding on to.
You see, my giving is not very cheerful. In fact, my giving is usually accompanied by some loud sighing and eye rolling and occasionally some door slamming. My giving is not cheerful because I haven’t given all. There’s still a tiny part of my heart that I’m holding onto, fighting tooth and nail to keep control of it because if it I give it all, well, then I’d have to trust Him. And that would be terrifying.
But our Lord is not satisfied with most of me, He wants all of me. And as scary as it is to give it all, to trust Him with my future, my happiness, my life, it’s not until I do so that I can truly live. “Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life.” (John 12:25)
When I try to hold on to my life, people become annoyances, and my vocation becomes drudgery. But when I give everything, all that I am and all that I have, to Jesus, He gives me grace in “abundance for every good work.” (2 Corinthians 9:8) It is because of this grace that I am able to cheerfully serve those around me.
Sisters, don’t be afraid to be generous with God. God cannot be outdone in generosity. For whatever He may ask of us, in the workplace, at school, on the mission field, or at home with crabby toddlers, He’s always there, giving us the grace to get it done.
Anna Coyne is a Saint Paul native, wife, mother, and convert to the Catholic faith. When not chasing after her two young children you can probably find her teaching piano lessons, knitting, tripping over wooden train sets, or writing. Find out more about her here.