By: Ginger Hughes

The Tooth Fairy visited our house again this week.

Our little girl lost another tooth, and she was thrilled.  She wrote the sweetest note to the Tooth Fairy thanking her for the money she’d left for her previous teeth, and pointing out the fact that she had indeed lost one more.  She laid the note, along with the tooth, there on the table and went to sleep. The following morning, on top of the note, were two crisp one-dollar bills.  And though clearly the price of teeth has been adjusted for inflation since I came along, my daughter was thrilled.

However, as excited as my daughter was, my son was less than enthused.  “Mama, I didn’t get any money from the Tooth Fairy,” he grumped, his little lip extending in a pout.  “Mama, will you look at my teeth and see if any of them are loose yet?” he asked pitifully.

Overhearing the exchange, my daughter walked over, smiled, and said, “Here brother, you can have one of my dollars.”  And just like that, she handed over half of her prize.  This isn’t the only time she does this.  Many days at school, she earns a trip to the prize box for some sort of recognition or accomplishment, and almost every time she gets something for her brother, rather than for herself.  Needless to say, all these prizes make my son happy, but it’s my daughter’s thoughtfulness, generosity, and the attitude in which she gives, that really catches my attention.

It’s made me wonder, do I give generously?  And not only generously, but do I give cheerfully as she does?

When the plate is passed at church, do I give from the first of my earnings or do I toss in a token gift if there’s any left over at the end of the month?  Do I give generously, or do I hoard what isn’t mine anyway?  Do I give of my time to worthy causes, or do I spend it all on myself or my family?  When I give, do I give joyfully, or is it with a begrudging heart?

Preachers tend to talk a lot about tithes, tenths, and how much to give.  But I’m curious about one thing: if we focused less on the appropriate amount, and more on having the appropriate heart, would the numbers take care of themselves?

If our hearts are truly grateful for all God has done for us, wouldn’t we give generously?  If our hearts are overwhelmed with thanksgiving for the abundant blessings bestowed on us each day, wouldn’t we give cheerfully?  If our hearts are full of love for a God who loves us recklessly, wouldn’t we give out of our love for God?

I watch my daughter these days as she holds her most precious possessions. If an opportunity to share comes along, she opens her hands and freely gives. No wonder Jesus said that to enter His Kingdom, we need the faith of a child.

-Ginger Hughes is the wife of a pastor, a mother of two and an accountant. She is a Georgia native currently living in the foothills of North Carolina. Her passion for writing is fueled by the desire to offer encouragement, grace and a deeper understanding that we are all God’s children. Her blogging for Nurturing Faith is sponsored by a gift from First Baptist Church of Gainesville, Ga. Additional writings may be found at nomamasperfect.com.

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