Even though our family is going through one of life's many valley's, we have been thoroughly encouraged by the experience. Truly, we have been overwhelmed by the generosity and support of God's people over the last few months. This begins within our local congregation, but extends and ripples out from there. As people of God, we are called to give, but I think it has been a good exercise in perspective to be on the receiving end of things for a season. Here are a few lessons I'm being taught. Maybe they will be helpful to you today.

Love to Experience The Simple. Learn To Accept The Extravagant.
Today we should all gratefully receive the simple gifts that God has provided. We love the feeling of warm sunlight pouring into a cool room, the sound of birds singing, or the first snow of winter. We also love healthy human interactions, in form of a card, a nice compliment, or a prayer. Learning to receive the extravagant however is an opportunity for growth. Our natural inclination is assume we can handle everything on our own. However, we have been created for community. God has built us to need one another, and be stronger together. Learning to accept an exceptional gift is not only humbling, but healthy. Not to mention it is a tremendous encouragement to the person doing the blessing as well!!

Love To Give Good News. Learn To Receive Bad News.
When given a chance to share something truly exciting with a close friend, or even a casual co-worker, it is medically proven that our body responds by infusing a surge of adrenaline into the bloodstream. This leaves both people with a great feeling, and it certainly isn't a bad way to start the day. Still, life doesn't always produce one adrenaline rush after another. God allows us, even nudges us to walk through the difficult, where we must hear and experience things we would never choose to go through on our own. Learning to process unpleasant information is part of the process the Potter uses in molding us into His image. The situation is hard, but the tension is good. Learn to lean in.

Love To Give Generously. Learn To Give Simply.
It is a tremendous honor to be able to abundantly bless someone else with a gift. It is a tremendous opportunity to share the love of Christ in a practical way. God loves a cheerful giver, and believe it makes him laugh when we pull out on the stops. When you are able, and even when you are not... give! However, sometimes a tremendous, over-the-top type of surprise is not only impractical and unnecessary, sometimes it just isn't helpful. Learning to give a simple, heartfelt gift might be the best way you can support someone. 

Remember, whether simple or extravagant, all gifts come from God. I pray that you would be a shining light for His greatness today. I pray that today, you would love and learn!

"This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another." 1 John 4:10-11