“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38
When I was about nine, my dad gave each of his children an old Mason jar to hold our weekly allowance. The clear jar, placed on top of a kitchen cabinet, allowed us to watch our money grow.
Cash was scarce in our home. Dad could only afford to give us fifty cents a week, and we had to earn it.
My sisters and brother generally spent all their money on candy. I tried to save my cash for bigger items. The total in the jar slowly accumulated to two dollars, and then three. I never recall having more than five singles in that jar at a time.
Finances grew tougher for my parents. The allowances stopped. My dad asked to borrow two dollars from me on a particularly tight week. He promised to return it after payday, a promise he kept.
The next week he borrowed money to make it to payday again. I agreed, but noticed the concerned strain on my parents’ faces. My friends had more possessions than us. Were we poor?
Dad continued with the pattern of borrowing and returning the dollar bills, but my attitude about it gradually changed. If I had used my allowance to buy candy, it wouldn’t have been there when he needed it.
My parents’ goal to teach us about saving far exceeded their expectation as I learned a far more valuable lesson.
I learned how to give. I watched my parents give financially to others, far beyond their means. Dad borrowed money for family members when they requested help, never disclosing that a bank loan provided the funds. We didn’t have many material blessings, but I believe they gave us something of greater worth – the gift of generosity, the language of love.
Sandra Merville Hart loves to find unusual facts in her historical research to use in her stories. She and her husband enjoy traveling to many of the sites in her books to explore the history. She serves as Assistant Editor for DevoKids.com and is a contributor for a collection of stories about answered prayer in Jesus Encounters, (Spring, 2015.) Her Civil War romance, A Stranger On My Land, released on August 21, 2014.
A Stranger on My Land by Sandra Merville Hart
Carrie and her little brother, Jay, find a wounded soldier on their land after a battle which later became known as “The Battle Above the Clouds.” Adam, a Union soldier, has been shot twice in the arm. Though Carrie is reluctant to take Adam to their cave where her family hides their livestock from both armies, she cannot turn her back on him.
But her Aunt Lavinia, bitter over what Yankees have done to their land, urges Carrie to allow Adam to die. Carrie refuses, but cannot remove the bullets. Adam’s friendship with Jay softens her heart toward him. It’s not long until his gratitude and teasing manner spark a friendship between the young couple. Even though Carrie’s father fights for the Confederacy in far-off Virginia, her feelings for the handsome young soldier begin to blossom into love.
When Adam’s condition worsens, Carrie knows a Union surgeon is needed to save his life. How can she accomplish this and keep her family’s hiding place a secret?
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