Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Graceful Receiver

27 Days to a Happy Mom - Day 24

Several eons ago, my first husband and I found ourselves approaching the holiday season without our normal amount of anticipation.  He had been laid off from his job a few months previous, and was unsuccessfully looking for work.  We were unusually prepared for such a time, with money in the bank and food stored away for the winter to feed our family of chipmunks, but not enough to make us feel comfortable.

A few days before Thanksgiving, I answered a knock on our apartment door.   I found, instead of a caller, a brightly wrapped box containing a frozen turkey and all the trimmings.  I'm a bit embarrassed to admit that I was initially offended.  I didn't want to be someone's charity case.  The anonymous gifts - from different sources - continued through Christmas and into the new year.  There were little gifts for our three little boys, thoughtful surprises for us, plates of goodies, and more and more food.

As I complained about them to my sweet mother, arguing that we really didn't need these offers, she wisely told me to quit it.  She knew that I would much rather be on the giving end of a service, but taught me that in order for anyone to give, there must be a receiver.  I learned that being a graceful receiver is actually much more difficult than being a generous donor.  I worked hard at controlling my pride and allowing others to help.

I hope that now I'm more gracious than I used to be, and that I can continue to learn how to help and how to be helped.  How do you do at getting?  Really.

Just for today... be grateful - and graceful - about being on the receiving side of the service equation.

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