Giving and Gratitude

People can tell you all sorts of things about living, about what to read, or say, or do… But being the one who actually does the doing, that’s why this experiment in giving has been a profitable one for both me and my family.

Not profits–as in money. No, there’s very little financial gain in giving away bread, but I believe our souls have benefited from the stretching out of our hands and hearts. And it’s not just our hearts that are being changed.

Often, not always, not even half of the time, but often enough to notice, I will bring bread to someone and they will immediately want to give me something in return.

  • When I took a loaf of bread to a new neighbor, little Owen’s mommy, she wouldn’t let me leave until she had loaded me down with peppers and parsley and lettuce from her garden.
  • And the time John Ronan chose to give pumpkin bread to our neighbors, Mia and Noe, and we returned home with two fresh eggs.
  • Nataliya, who still needs so much as she recovers from her awful illness, but she wouldn’t let us out of her home empty handed…
  • And then there’s little Ben. Every time I try to offer him something, he wants to split it in sixes or sevens and take it home to his family.


And just last week, when John Ronan was touring the neighborhood giving away Valentines, we received a return visit from Dolores, a neighbor who loves to garden. She surprised my son with a beautiful bird book, hoping to inspire him to study all those birds that make their way into our backyards.

All these movements of sharing, of giving, of love, must help to hold up the universe and keep the sun shining. These small acts of kindness, and even prayer, mean more than we imagine. That’s what I believe.

So her bird book sparked an afternoon outing. Well, it really was midday, and we decided to take our schooling on the road. We headed to Douglas Family Preserve to birdwatch, and we weren’t disappointed.

Gratitude. Thankful for the gift. Thankful for the Giver. One little book spurred all this?

Lovely, what a little giving can do…


5 thoughts on “Giving and Gratitude

  1. Thanks for sharing this, Jane.

    During this Lenten season, I pray to be more giving and to develop a better sense of thankfulness and gratitude for all that God has been so kind to bestow on me and my loved ones.

  2. Thanks for sharing your lovely day, spurred on my such a noble and Christian ambition. You and your family are an inspiration.

  3. Oh, Jane, thank you. I think God is knocking on my heart’s door to open up to do more giving. After all…it is Lent. xo

  4. Pingback: Teachable Moments from The Hunger Games | Illumination Learning

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