Living Generously

Mom and her delicious Finikia!
Mom and her delicious Finikia!

“Give , and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” Luke 6:38

I would have to say that my mother has set the best example for me of living generously.

She does not have all that much but what she has she will share with you unselfishly. Preferring not to spend money on herself, she will lavishly offer to spring for lunch or try to give me money when I buy her something that is really a gift.

Case in point, my sister Mary is coming to town in a couple of weeks and my mom already has the itinerary pretty much finished (this is why I am an event planner!). One day’s activities involves going to our church’s mini food festival and mom has already told me she is paying for dinners- lamb, pastichio, stuffed grape leaves, etc.

Over my objections (it does no good) she has told me she will take care of the food bill that night.

I used to think my mom financially cut herself a bit too close at times but as I get older, and closer to God, I think honestly she has the right idea. Everything she needs has been provided to her. She is well taken care of and in good health now (thank you!). Happy to be with her simple things, she is content to have just enough.

I firmly believe the old wives saying of “you can’t take it with you”. I love how wealthy people are giving their money away in clever and creative ways, not leaving it all for their children but making them earn it themselves.

I found this link recently to an article about wealthy people who have decided not to leave their fortunes to their kids. Warren Buffet for instance has pledged to give away 99% of his wealth either during his life or before he dies. He has already pledged 83% of it to the Gates Foundation.

What about simple folk like me? I am still finding creative ways to be generous, despite my limited income these days. Giving of my time (without expecting payment) to good causes is my favorite generous act of late. I also like to treat to things that are only a few dollars- coffee or dessert for a friend, a nice book from the used book store. I love these forms of generosity; they keep my feet firmly planted where they need to be, in service to others.

If I am tempted to be selfish with my time or money, I remind myself how generosity will come back to me multiplied.

Blessings to you today! What is your favorite act of generosity?

Join me on my graceful journey.

14 Replies to “Living Generously”

  1. A beautiful post, Joanne. Yes, your mother has the right idea, and it seems that she passed that legacy onto you. I love being able to give little gifts to my friends or loved ones…I always wish I could do more for others; for anyone who needs a bit of help to see them forward. It’s interesting how poverty helps no one, and never allows anyone to flourish or blossom to full potential. It certainly is never the will of God who is so abundantly full. I love your ending sentence about remembering how your giving can will multiply if you ever feel tempted to hold onto what you have a little too tightly. I always have to remind myself that, too.

    Blessings for flourishing, multiplying and fulfilling purpose,

    Marianne xo

    1. Hello Marianne, yes, I believe my mother has passed onto me a good legacy. I am grateful that she has shown me the abundance of a simple life.
      Thank you so much for your beautiful blessings!
      Joanne xo

  2. I expect your mother feels that her financial contribution to the day is as nothing compared to the priceless value of the company of her daughters. I am glad she is in good health now.

  3. Joanne–I’m so grateful that your mom’s health has returned to the positive–for you and for her—and I’m happy that you are now being able to shift gears some what—sounds like the birth of a new career… what I’m really interested in are some of your mom’s recipes —what’s this finikia that looks so tasty…..perhaps a family cookbook is in the offing 🙂

    1. Cookie, Finikia are my mom’s specialty Greek cookie that she makes. She has made them for as long as I can remember. I wrote a blog post about them a while back and attached a photo of her hand printed recipe. However, it’s not a good step by step example so I looked up a recipe and found one at:
      If you feel like trying to make them, let me know how they turn out!
      I am living my dream of starting a business and I am in love with weddings right now. Pinning alot of wedding pins on Pinterest and educating myself on lots of ideas. I still have a dream of writing a book though and I honestly think that will happen some day too.
      How about you? Any dreams?
      xo Joanne

  4. Thank you Joanne—I greatly appreciate the recipe…I don’t know why I didn’t think to look up a recipe but thought perhaps it was a family secret recipe 🙂 I’m going to try making them this week.
    Too bad you’re not down here, you could help Abby (my future daughter-n-law) plan for June’s big event in Savannah 🙂
    As of right now, I have no unfilled “dreams” per se—I have always wanted to be a writer so the blogging is helping in that area—-I’m just waiting for God to revel the next step….Thank you again for the cookie recipe–I’ll let you know how they turn out OMPA 🙂

  5. Absolutely, my thoughts too. I live just like your mom. He provides all my needs daily. i give in the moment as God presents an opportunity. It is up to the receiver as to how they will receive the blessing. I just do my part as prompted. I do not have much, but it is always enough. I do not have worldly things, nor care for fancy baubles or things. I love your postings. thanks for sharing.

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