Monday, January 19, 2015

Give Of Your Best

Pattern: Honey Cowl
Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh DK (Madly, Truly, Deeply)
Needles: size 8

This is the sixth Honey Cowl I've made. It's a great project to work on while traveling. Simple to knit, but not boring. I have given most of them away as gifts. But this one was mine.

I was wearing it and when someone admired it—for the second time—I took it off and gave it to her. It even matched her blouse. I really liked this cowl and it wasn't so easy to part with. It's not so hard to give away something you don't love, or to give something that was made for that purpose from the start. This felt different. But it felt right.

My mother was always giving. And, one thing I remember about her was that she gave "of her best." It was not the cast-offs that she passed along. She always said to only give things you would want for yourself. Once, when I was in about 2nd grade, she bought two new dresses for a classmate that desperately needed them. So much better than giving that child old clothes. There wasn't a lot of extra money in our house. Often there was no extra money. But she always could find a way to be generous. Extravagantly generous.

We studied "extravagant generosity" at our church. Reading and talking about it is one thing. But I watched it in action every day when I was growing up. I'm still trying to come close to what my mother did. I've always been fairly generous. Especially when it's easy. This year I want to be extravagantly generous.

The best acts of generosity are done in silence. But I'm writing this here as a challenge to myself. And as a reminder to myself to be aware when opportunities present themselves. By nature, I am deliberate. I act carefully. I like to think things through. In choosing to be generous, sometimes there is ample time to think about what to do and how to do it, but there are other times it's best to take action in the moment. Those are the hard ones.

I know there are people who love the city. 
But, goodness, I love seeing the sunrise 
from my kitchen. 
The view is different every morning. 
Sometime spectacularly colorful. 
Sometimes it's only gray. 
I love them all. 


  1. What a lovely thing to do. I can understand that it felt different. It wasn't something you bought or made with the intention of giving, but yet you gave anyway. I have never heard of a church teaching extravagant generosity, but it is something that I have come to learn on my own. Just lovely!

    1. You might find the book we used interesting, "Five Practices Of Fruitful Congregations." There is also a similar book written for individuals. The two practices that stuck in my mind were Extravagant Generosity and Radical Hospitality.

  2. Thank you for your book suggestions! I will look them up!

    1. Both books are written by Robert Schnase.

  3. A wonderful post and a good reminder. My mother was also extravagantly giving. I am still practicing such generosity which requires no acknowledgement. Giving without ego is its own reward.

  4. I have benefited from your giving--those beautiful photos you publish. It's like a tiny vacation for me. A moment of serenity. Thank you.


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