Hope for your financial life and beyond

The Boy vs. the Blog – Exercises in Giving

Hidden Nugget Series #10 – “And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward.”  Matthew 10:42

800px-Football_on_groundToo often my thoughts degenerate into believing that only quantity has value. In other words, I mistakenly believe that when giving, it needs to be done in great amounts. While there are times and places to give generously, perhaps even exorbitantly, I’m convinced that isn’t the norm.

Last week I’m seated one evening at our downstairs computer pounding out another Luke1428 blog post. I’m on a roll as each sentence is coming quickly. (Oh if it were only this easy to write every blog post.) Then half-way through my glorious blog-writing experience, disaster struck.

My 10-year old son peeks around the corner and asks me to throw the football with him.

Ugh. Major cognitive dilemma.

Do I go play with him and risk losing my train of thought? (It’s incredible frustrating to have a writing groove interrupted.) Or do I simply tell him “Sorry bud, daddy is working and can’t play right now?”

What would you do?

On this occasion, I chose the “Sorry bud” route. Undeterred to find a partner, he went and asked Mrs. Luke1428 to throw with him – which she of course did. Major points for momma!

Next night, same scenario happens. Except this time he doesn’t ask me…just wanders into the room, football in hand. Sensing I’m in danger of becoming that “neglectful parent who raises an angry and bitter son because his workaholic father was NEVER there for him…” (hyperbole duly noted)…I dropped my writing and motioned him out the backdoor. He sprints to the driveway and we spend 10 minutes before darkness falls throwing the football.

We both had a blast even though our throwing session lasted only 10 minutes.

I’m constantly being reminded about what Jesus said in Matthew 10:42 about the nature of giving. He stated that something as simple as a cup of cold water, given to a child would produce a blessing. I interpret that to mean even a small amount of time, money or effort, given to someone in need, can yield big results.

Sure, there will be marathon bonding sessions, times when I spend the whole day with my kids. Those build up loads of relationship capital. But so do the 10-minute sprints. Truth be told, I probably have more of those to offer anyway so I should take advantage of them.

Don’t be fooled into believing that giving only matters when done in abundance.  Many times, it’s the simple, small ways we give that bring the biggest return.

How have you given to others in small ways? What’s a fun, minor thing your kids love doing with you?

Image from Dsw4 at WikiMedia Commons

Next Post: High Risk Investing: When I Turned One Thousand Dollars Into…

Prior Post: Be Fearless


Here are some Luke1428 posts that were mentioned in recent blog carnivals:

“The Secret Weapon to Contentment” at Aspiring Blogger and The Outlier Model

“Why Won’t You Tweet My Post” at Bloggers Classifieds

“How to Get Out of Debt” at Planting Our Pennies and at Wealth Note

Thank you to these blogs for hosting and including my posts!

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  1. I love to lay down in bed with my daughter at her bedtime and ask her about her day.

    • Man, I love the right before bedtime interaction! Of course the kids love it because it means they can hold off bedtime for a few more minutes. But I have found our times of reading and telling stories before bedtime to be precious. An awesome time for bonding.

  2. I don’t know if my brain is fried from traveling, but I’m having a hard time coming up with anything! Is that sad? I think if anything I hope that I’m kind to people. OK, my plane is about to board. Gotta run!

  3. Kim@Eyesonthedollar says

    We cleaned out the closet today. My daughter thought it was the most fun thing in the world. I hope she feels that way when she is a teenager! We also try to go for a short walk in the evenings when there are no activities going on. It’s good conversation time.

    • I’ve found my kids love cleaning and pitching out old stuff also. Until they uncover that one thing they have forgotten about for several months because it was pushed to the back of the closet. Once they remember about it they don’t want to part with it.

  4. Student Debt Survivor says

    You only get so many moments in life to do things like that. The computer will always be around, your 10 year old will grow up. You made the right call!

  5. I completely agree with this. Reminds me of what Mother Theresa said, “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”

  6. There is no small giving I believe…that simple or little you give might mean the whole lot for the reciever. Its all in the small simple guestures; the smile, the short sprints of time you spend together, the hug etc

  7. It is all about the little things. This example just shows that it doesn’t matter how much time you spend, as long as you just spend time.

  8. This is really a great reminder of how giving a small amount of time can make a huge difference. I don’t have kids, but one of the biggest fears I have about having them is that I won’t give them enough time and they will be bitter about it later in life and I’ll be full of regret. It’s good to know that sometimes giving even just 10 minutes can make all the difference in the world.

  9. Good for you, recognizing the impact you can have on your son. For me, it’s early mornings. My son isn’t a good sleeper in the mornings, so I often am presented with the “tell him to stay in bed? or let him get up and hang out with me?” dilemma, when I had planned to get up early for other reasons. It’s always worth the time to hang out with him for a few minutes though.

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