Tuesday, June 23, 2009

ode to nina

so we have this family in our small group bible study who is in a pretty difficult situation and in some serious need. i'll spare you the details, but they have a 4 year old girl and a 2 year old boy. so i told ella and bennett there were kids just like them that were going through a really tough time and didn't have toys or furniture or a car and maybe we could see if we could give them some of our toys since we have so many. wasn't sure how excited they would be to part with stuff so i sorta expected them to bring me like a pipe cleaner or an old plastic easter egg.

but no. my special little kids warmed my heart. bennett picked out this cool car transporter thing with 4 individual cars that load and it makes all kind of annoying sounds. he really liked it and yet was happy to pass it along.

and ella...

(pardon me while i get choked up)

she walked out with...


nina, for those of you who don't know, is only her most favorite childhood doll. nina has been around for a few years and although doesn't make as many appearances as she once did, still has a special place in ella's (my) heart.

i mean, nina goes way back...

they laughed together:

ella fed her:
performed doctor check-ups on her:

slept with her:
"grocery shopped" with her:and...

of course...

breastfed her:

so when i saw my daughter standing there with her doll, i seriously got tears in my eyes. and then she said, "can you help me find some more clothes for her so the little girl can change her and stuff."

a valuable lesson was learned through all this. by me.

when i am faced with a need (such as this family) i respond by thinking about the extra things i have. i mean, i want to be helpful and meet their needs, but i tend to do it with stuff i don't need or necessarily want. i often give from my excess.

ella gave from her essentials. (yes, i know a doll isn't an essential, but to her it was.) this is generosity. when faced with a need, she met it head on. she showed me the meaning of sacrificial giving. you know, to give when it hurts a little. ella could have given a toy without much meaning, something she never plays with, and it still would have been nice of her. but giving nina shows some serious love.

so later, when i was telling her again how proud i was and asking if it was hard for her, she kinda grinned and said, "a little bit. i mean, i wanted to keep her, but i know that the other little girl needed her more."

when ella is caught doing good, like anytime we tell her we are proud of her for cleaning her room, being nice to bennett, etc... she always asks, "so can i have a penny." she never asked for one this time. i think that says a lot.

i try to tell my kids that everything we have is a blessing from God. we don't deserve it and it all comes from him. it sure makes it easier to be generous when we recognize that our "stuff" isn't actually ours. and i'm pretty sure ella has grasped this concept far better than i have.

we also heard that this little girl has not put nina down since she got her. she even took her to church this weekend. its nice to know when a sacrifice made is really appreciated, but its great to know that ella would have done it anyway.

"We should give as we would receive, cheerfully, quickly, and without hesitation; for there is no grace in a benefit that sticks to the fingers." ~Seneca


Rachael Schepemaker said...

OK, so that post totally got me. Your kids are precious. What a great way to teach Godly principles. And I really enjoyed seeing the older photos of Ella as a toddler. Good job mommy!

Mama Kat said...

Awwww...so precious! And what an eye opening lesson Elle provided for ALL of us!

Christie said...

What a sweet, sweet post. I love that you're kids were so giving. What a wonderful memory to treasure as a mom!

Megan O. said...

That is so humbling. What an awesome lesson from your kids. They obviously have a great mom (and dad!)

Jen said...

oh what sweet kids you have. you are really doing something right.