I’m a giver. I have gone into a profession where I give of myself: I give my attention, consolation, gifts, blessings, you name it. Giving to others is easy for me. But, receiving – from others, and especially from God – that’s something I still struggle with.
When I was in fifth grade, my sister gave me a soft pink cable sweater that had ribbons woven into it. I was still into toys not clothes, so getting a sweater was not my idea of a great gift. I opened the box and faked a smile to hide my disappointment, and gave a weak “thank you.” That was my lame attempt at gratitude. I grew to love that sweater, it was well worn by the time I grew out of it three years later. However, receiving gifts back then and even now, was not my strong suit.
I do the same with gifts from God. Oftentimes, I don’t see, nor appreciate all of the abundance that God has given me. I “cry poverty with a loaf of bread under each arm.” I must confess, it vexes me because I have so much. And still, I wait with baited anticipation for the other shoe to fall. And it only does in my mind, not in real life.
There’s the story of the frog who lived in the well. All he knew of water was the limited amount contained in the well. Then one day, the well frog met an ocean frog who described the ocean as vast and unlimited. The well frog didn’t believe that such vastness existed. So the ocean frog brought the well frog to the ocean and the abundance overwhemed the well frog.
Here’s what I learned about how one can cultivate an “abundance mindset:”
- Stop going to God with a thimble. Visualize instead a larger vessel that is overflowing with abundance.
- Open your mind to Gratitude. I write a gratitude list of 5 things I am grateful for, each day. The only rule is, I can’t duplicate something I’ve listed before. The first few days are easy, but by day 15, you will notice and appreciate the ducks crossing the road and the way the leaves blow in the wind…
- Be willing to give and receive equally. There has to be a balance of both – otherwise we are out of balance.
Do you ever struggle with receiving and appreciating all that you have?