it's been a heavy week. heavy with friendship and conversation and laughter and tears. heavy with self-doubt, questions and prayers. I feel that through it all God is teaching me about generosity.
right now, in this unemployed stage of life, we are living solely in the generosity of God. it's obvious in every aspect. yet, in truth, we all live in this constant state of absolute dependance, every life has claim to God's generous nature.
I have been reading "Living the Christian Year" by Bobby Gross, which walks me weekly through the liturgical calander, with Bible readings and really insightful comments/questions, and prayers. the readings this week are on, you guessed it, generosity. here's the opening lines Bobby writes:
God is generous. He gives us his image in our very being. He gives us the bounty of creation to sustain our lives. He gives us himself in the incarnation of the Word. He gives us redemption through the sacrifice of his Son. He gives us his very Spirit to indwell us. He gives us the promise of resurrection and life forever in his presence.
here's the parts that stand out to me: God is generous in the very structure of my body/mind/spirit - because I'm fashioned after Him; he's generous in the cosmos and in history, and he is moment-by-moment generous by indwelling me. there is a part of me that is actually God alive, that's actually not me at all, but HIM. these are areas my mind is starting to meander through.
I want to be generous. I want to be a generous friend and mother and wife and neighbour. i want to be generous in grace and acceptance and love. But here's my quandry this week: when is it that my generosity turns to enabling? can I be too generous? too accepting and giving and sacrificing? the short answer i feel is "no". but then there's this balancing line, this verse that is sitting on my shoulder: "you do not belong to yourself" (1 Cor. 19).
i do not belong to myself. you do not belong to yourself. we do not belong to ourselves.
its a hard sentence for me in my western-2010 mindset to swallow, and maybe even harder for me to express to others. in one sense, it motivates generosity. but in another, it encourages me to confront, to call out, to hold truth tighter than happiness and personal fulfillment. i'm finding it a hard balance.
but here's the personal good news I'm experiencing from this verse: if i don't belong to myself, i belong to this generous, all-loving, all-good God. this God that is residing in and around and through me.
i don't have to control my justice, my image, my finances, my joy. and lately, i've been tasting this a bit. i've been experiencing the truth that the more i hand over, the better life works for me - not in surface-level ways, but in deep-gut peace, confidence, thankfulness ways. is there anyone out there that resonnates with this? i need some solidarity :). some communion of the saints.
it's been a heavy week, and this is a heavy entry. i will lighten up soon I promise!
as i'm writing about generosity i've been less than generous with my children, so i need to sign off. whoopsie daisy!
i'm adding a photo of my latest painting commissioned by my friend Dawn to signify "home" - through lily of the valley (her grandmother and mother both had this beautiful flower in their gardens). i am currently starting three paintings - another of the succulents, but this time nice and big (20x30), one of my kitchen window, and one of a little purple flower. I'll post them as I finish them - they're all for sale, so let me know if you're interested!