Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Very Ugly Can

Pin It Now! This is one of those giant sized coffee cans. And it's ugly. Not ordinarily a can I would use and set out on my counter.

I saved it because I intended to use it for a specific purpose after I took the time to cover it with scrapbook paper and some stickers. If I'd really sought my heart's desire, I would have bought a nice jar/container and been done with it, but I was trying not to spend extra money.

Last year around the holidays, we set out a "giving jar" so each member of the family could drop in loose change or dollars as they felt led. It wasn't required or anything, and at the time my kids were hardly getting any allowance. But still, my kids gave. We prayed as a family for God to show us what to do with the money and how we could maybe help a family or donate to a certain cause around Christmas time.

It was such a blessing to have our entire family involved in working together for the sake of someone else. I got this idea that for this year we could put a "giving jar" out starting in January. Again, we could pray as a family for God to show us how to use it.

This brings me to that ugly coffee can pictured above. It was the middle of January and I hadn't found the time to decorate the can, so I hadn't put it out yet. I had already told the kids about my plan, though. So last week sometime Lincoln asked me where that can was that I said I was going to set out. My vain response was, "Well, I haven't had time to decorate it yet?"

"Can I get it and go ahead and put some money in it?"

Without hesitation I said, "Of course." (Thinking at that moment how silly I'd been to wait to put it out just because it was ugly.)

Lincoln found the can and joyfully added way more than I would have ever expected. I was really touched. My kids still don't have a regular allowance schedule ~ he was giving birthday money. Wait the story gets better.

Shiloh wanted to get in on the giving, but Lincoln said, "But all you have is a quarter." Next thing I know sweet, little Shiloh is coming into the kitchen with her purse handing me her only coin. My heart was getting softer by the minute.

Later when I was cooking dinner, I heard Shiloh, who was playing in the backyard, tell her friend, Wyatt, about our giving jar and how it was for the poor. She asked him if he would want to give. He ran home and came back with a few coins in his hand. Wow, the can had only been out for an hour and not only had 2 of my kids donated, but now they were sharing with friends?!

When daddy came home and the kids were blasting him with news of the day, they mentioned the can. I was standing at the sink (still preparing dinner) chiming in about how touched I was, and I guess my heart just got too full ~ like a big storm cloud or something. My eyes filled with tears and a few stained my cheeks. Goodness, I am really becoming such a softy!

I share not to boast about what we are doing or how totally awesome my kids are, but because it amazes me sometimes how shallow I can be without even knowing it.

So. The can. It's still on my windowsill. It's still not decorated. It's still ugly . . .

But only on the outside. It 's beautiful on the inside, and I am proud to display it for all to see.

Okay, I would still like for it to be more attractive, but I am not ashamed of it or anything. I might decorate it, or I might just keep my eyes open for a really cute and inexpensive container. I did see a flower pot at Ross for cheap, and it matched my curtains exactly. I may go back and buy it. We'll see.

1 comment:

Ames said...

Awesome post with a Great story! Thanks for sharing. What a great idea. This made me think of what I always tell my kids (and try to remember for myself), "It is not the outside that God sees, it is only the nside."


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