Posted in focus on faith

Generosity Part 1: the legacy

Mom and dad with first child, PauletteMy mom and dad were generous people. Considering they had little money, their generosity extended far beyond writing a cheque.

They raised eight kids in a self-made house that grew, to keep pace with the family, from a one room shack into a three bedroom “palace”. Eventually a fourth bedroom, smaller than most prison cells, was added to the back porch so our one brother could find some solace from the estrogen-charged atmosphere of a tiny abode bulging with females.

As the kids grew up, moved on and married, my parents, who barely kept pace with their own bills, were creatively and sacrificially generous. Although they had little treasure to give, they gave what they could and freely shared the valuable resources of time and talent.

When they knew that one of us needed a couch or a bed or some kitchen appliance or perhaps just linens and cutlery, they would “discover” that they needed something new. Once they purchased their item, the old one was generously offered to us, and gratefully received!

Mom generously spent the majority of her life hunched over a sewing machine so her seven daughters could be well dressed and even trendy! She could copy any design and we kept pace with fashion thanks to her tireless effort.

They were generous with their home, often welcoming people for meals or parties or overnight. They once took in a teen girl whose parents moved away and she wanted to finish high school in our town.

They generously made the effort to visit their grown children and families, realizing that travel was costly for a young family and babies (and tired mommies) are usually most cheerful at home.

They gave to their local church and volunteered countless hours in service at events, building projects, and spiritual formation.

Mom and dad left me a legacy of generosity that I have tried to emulate with my own family. I recently purchased a new-to-me couch from a local charity  and passed IMG_3478along my still-great-condition-but-I’m-really-sick-of couches to my oldest daughter. She has plans to paint the woodwork so as to blend with her decor.

Gerry and I have tried to set an example of generosity for our three kids — all grown and married now — and we are gratified every time we see them being generous with their time, talent and treasure.

What legacy of generosity did you receive from your parents? How do you pass that on to your kids?


Christian writer and speaker trying to follow God one yes at a time.

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