The Giving Box

My parents visited in November and brought this box. They unloaded pies, pears, apples, oranges, Cool Whip, a Christmas poinsettia and a resurgence of much-needed hope for the winter months. They returned home to Missouri and left their box.

I know my mom must miss it. It’s large. It’s sturdy. And it has handles. I imagine she’s taken vegetables from her garden, clothes to new moms and meals to the sick in this box. It’s meant for giving.

The gifts from her box carried me through the longest days of winter, pushing me forward in the continued economic disruptions to our lives. Now, as spring emerges, so have chances to use her box.

A new baby born.

A neighbor in need.

The unexpected death of a humble friend.

My mom left more than a box; she left me with a desire to give again.

It’s so easy to become self-absorbed when I struggle myself.  Too little to do. Too much to do. Not enough resources to do anything. These circumstances didn’t take away my capacity to give. Turning inward, rather than outward did. My self-absorption suppressed the generous spirit I learned from my mother.

Something has changed in me. People right in my path had needs that I could see and fulfill more easily than in the past few years.  Even though my box appeared empty, I acted on generous thoughts and gave what I could.

And when I did, the box replenished itself.



  1. KH
    Mar 12, 2011

    I love it Mom! You’re really a great writer! Your writing is like poetry, hey that gives me an idea…

  2. Tami
    Mar 13, 2011

    Isn’t it wonderful the things that can inspire us. The other day I was a bit grumbly about washing the dishes again, yet after a moment I was humbly reminded that it was a true blessing that we had food to eat to make those dishes dirty. I shall try to look at all my household chores a new way- more Thankful.

  3. L Jensen
    Mar 17, 2011

    It is amazing how ordinary things can trigger feelings and thoughts. Thnaks for sharing your thoughts and feelings. We all need reminders of the importance of reaching out and to not let our own daily challenges deter us from the good we can do. I have felt a need for that reminder as I have spent 11 hours a day at or traveling to work. I often pray that I will be attentive to the Spirit prompting me of things I can do. Your beautiful way of passing on a reminder is appreciated.

  4. Carrie
    Mar 21, 2011

    Thank you for sharing that. Very inspiring, it makes me motivated to get outside of myself and serve in the little ways that I can. Thank you.

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