Ways to Give

Giving. We're asked to do it so often and from so many people. Sometimes it can feel more like a burden than something we do out of the goodness of our hearts. God even commands that we give and sacrifice for others. Isn't that what true love is? Putting our own needs and wants behind others? Sounds like a tall order, because it is. It goes against everything our culture tells us. But don't be discouraged. I'm sure you give more than you realize. That was the case for me on my birthday when Kelsey gave me a pair of TOMS shoes. I realized that this was my fourth pair of TOMS, and that meant that I had also given four pairs away to children who didn't have shoes before. And I think that's pretty cool.


It got me thinking about all of the other little ways that we give of ourselves. Not in a "self-righteous" kind of way. But more of a reflection on some good and cool things we've been able to do over the years. My hope is that you might reflect on the ways that you give as well. And don't let that pressure of giving weigh you down. I hope we can all give to whatever causes tug at our hearts and that we give with joy.

One reason we are so diligent with how we spend our money is so we can give more. We hope to do even more in the future.

Ways We Give

  1. Tithing: We tithe 10% of our income to our church.
  2. Cash donations: These come up at various points throughout the year. The most recent was a homeless man in Kansas City who needed a bus ride. We pray that he was blessed by the cash we gave him.
  3. Goods: About once a year we take a car load to Goodwill. Last year it was two carloads.
  4. Time/resources: I serve on my company's Philanthropy committee. We serve lunches throughout the year to make money and then give it away to local charities. We help out with a few other events around the community as well. Our Life Group helps out with our church's Shelter Sandwich Team three or four times a year. We make sandwiches and cookies for the homeless and the church gets them in the hands of those that need them. We also raise money and attend the MS Walk in Des Moines every year.
  5. Buying products: Our family has six pairs of TOMS shoes, one sweatshirt and one pair of sunglasses. We love the company and what they stand for, and they have stylish products on top of it. There are a number of companies that operate under this same principle. We've also purchased community coupon cards that help support local sports teams, popcorn, cookies and other goodies from neighborhood kids and family members.
  6. Sponsoring a child: We sponsor Venesuella. She was born on March 2 just like Rooney, but she is a year older.
  7. Sharing experiences: One of the big reasons we blog is to help others. We give our time and creative energy in hopes that we will help people in one way or another. This is affirmed by the stories you all share with us in the comments and emails that we receive. Thanks for being awesome!

Other Ways We Would Like to Give Someday

  • Leaving a gift from our estate: Embarrassing fact: We haven't completed a will yet. It's on our short to-do list. But I'm thinking we'll leave something for charity when we complete our estate plan.
  • Mission trips: We've never been, but really want to serve in this way someday.
  • Serve at a local charity: Something regular. Maybe serve as a family in the future.
  • Mentor some youngsters: We did this when we were first married, and I'd like to do it again someday.
  • Teach people about finances: We mentored one class of Financial Peace University and have talked about doing that again.

Again, be encouraged. We all give in our own way, and we're all in our own seasons of life.

In what ways are you or would you like to be giving?