Give and Receive

woman sitting on brown stone near green leaf trees at daytime
Photo by Min An on

This is coronavirus time! We have been in this house for about five one-half months now, and I still have more projects to do. Perhaps I am slow. Nope! John and I just visit lots about the news that is continually changing or personal news about family and friends or plans we hope to have in the future. In other words, we discuss. Then there are the movies we watch or Netflix series that bring lots of laughter in the evenings. Maybe someday I will find time to go through our pictures and organize! Ha! At present, major projects include this blog, cooking dishes that I “used” to cook, cleaning up the dishes and kitchen, and sending many masks like the one I love to others. This is the way I spend my time these days. But something funny is happening at our house that I want to share with you.

I attempt to mail or hand out a mask every day. Many have gone to friends I have not seen for a long time while others have gone to ones here in town that I normally see. I learned long ago, as I slowly woke up to how Spirit works, that giving opens a space for Spirit to return to us what we most need just when we need it. It seems that when we give, with no expectation of receiving something in return and also freely give and have no design on what the receiver should do with our gift, amazing events take place. Gifts do return, and they may be on a large scale or a small scale. Think about this. We may be having a down day and then the perfect person calls us and that call lifts us up! That, remember, is a perfect gift. It seems that many people feel as if when they have somebody over multiple times for dinner, the gift must be reciprocated. Not so. When one gives freely and receives freely, all sorts of good things happen in new ways.

Just a few weeks ago, gifts began to come to us that we could use. A neighbor I love brought us a fantastic meal for dinner just as I ruined the one I planned to have.  Several other beautiful friends brought what we could have for dinner at different times. And they each came when I most needed a good meal for dinner. They left them on the front porch or rang the doorbell, and I got to see them in person. On the first day that we began to find surprises, there was a large bag of vases that we could use to take flowers to people when we have some blooming. I walked out the next morning and found a bag of homegrown tomatoes; the next day, cucumbers, and another day, muffins, and on another one, onions, then peaches, a platter of cookies, two pineapples, a gallon of milk, and even a jar of chow-chow. The list just continued with each day, bringing a surprise for the day from a friend that thought of us. How wonderful! Now I go out and check the chairs and table on the porch, making sure that no presents are waiting. When there is none, I grin and think, “Hmmm, I need to get the rest of those masks to others.” I love watching how Spirit works. I do know Spirit works in all lives and loves it when someone notices! 

In my past, I will never forget so many instances that surprised me. The first colossal help happened when Don went to Mayo Clinic before going to M.D.Anderson. A man living there drove our car all the way from Rochester, Minnesota, to Portales, New Mexico, so that we could fly home. He even paid for the gas. During the following six months, I was working, taking care of our teen children, getting Don back and forth to M.D.Anderson, helping with his needs at home (no hospice then), and attempting to spend quality time communicating with him about his feelings and future events. We had no money since he was on leave from his work and also had no sick leave left. Then unsolicited help came.

An elderly couple that had very little and were living only on social security gave me cash at times to help us. Some realized that we had no money and then miracles began. When we were still living in the home I loved and it had not yet burned, Don would have me go check to see what was happening with the building of his dream home he wanted and began before the diagnosis of his cancer. I was shocked the first time I went over there and found people cleaning up after the builders left for the day.  I didn’t know any of them. I drove up to the house once to see young people I did not know cleaning the windows. I could go on and on with my surprises during that time. An amazing cousin loaned the money to help us be able to complete the home before Don died. Why were we getting all of this help?  Perhaps it was because we had attempted to give gifts freely in the past, and the culmination of all we offered was coming back to us?  I always loved to give freely, but I had a much harder time receiving it. I had no choice. I humbly attempted to show my gratitude.  Everything, including the meals brought to us for weeks, blew me away.

I decided to check out what I thought was another example of how God and Spirit works. Two good friends of mine, both women, came to me individually and shared that someone stole their jewelry. The only thing they took was jewelry from their past. Odd! Nothing else was touched. However, robbers returned about a week later and stole everything in each of their homes. I listened carefully. Was I being given a sign? I might be next. If both of them were robbed, the robber may also know me. The three of us were often together. I ran a business out of my house and left my door open many times for people to pick up their products. I kept being nudged to give away my jewelry and share that information with others. Perhaps the robber might decide not to rob me. I listened and made the decision to put all of my real jewelry out on the table and freely give it away.  It felt right. At that point, I only had jewelry with genuine stones and diamonds from my past. I laid it all out and waited for someone to come pick up products. I planned to let the first buyer of the day have the first choice.

The first buyer that came was someone that I did not know. She telephoned and asked if she could come over to talk to me about nutrition. Of course! She purchased a few products and planned to leave.  I asked her to stop and choose a piece of jewelry.  Her initial answer was, “No, I cannot do that. I do not even know you.”  After I explained my reason for giving my jewelry away, she decided to participate.  I continued giving my jewels away until all were gone.  I felt great, and no one ever tried to rob me.  Surprisingly, without anyone knowing, I began to receive gifts of jewelry.  The first came in only a few weeks.  It was colorful, not plain, and I loved it.

Here is another example. I had a friend that was struggling financially and was looking for a position. She was a single mother with three children. She dropped by and we visited. She said that she needed money. I began sharing with her about “give what you want to come back to you.” She left and then returned to see me a few weeks later. She said that she went home and dec died to do what I suggested. She broke a $5.00 bill into five $1.00 bills. She wrote a note on each one blessing the person that might find it and saying that she hoped this money would help them expand financially after finding it. Then she went to the grocery store and hid each dollar amongst cans and other items on the shelves. A week later, she got a new job that would pay her bills.

LESSON: Give what you want to receive in return. If you want friends, be a friend. If you need money, give some. If you want more red velvet, give something you have of red velvet away. You generally will receive at a later date something better or even more than you gave away. Practice “letting go” and have no expectations and no design about how the recipient will use what you give to them.

GIFTS: Life is a great adventure and so much happens to fill those spaces we open as we give. Another gift is that I have many more stories and I get so excited when a God Moment takes place in my life, in John’s life, or our lives when we are together! Obviously, we are together all the time these days, and I still have fun watching how Spirit works!

I love to give, and I learned to receive it.  I see that it is as blessed to give as to receive. When one gives, it increases the strength of the giver while supplying power to the receiver. It brings joy to both!

2 thoughts on “Give and Receive”

  1. Lynn Lee says:

    So many lovely memories of life’s lessons. Reading your blog inspires me so much, Susanne!

  2. Diane Noble says:

    Susan, I love your blog. Each one brings wonderful memories of time we spent together. This one reminds me of our one of many discussions we had. I love the power of “Give and Receive” . Thank you so much for sharing, always from your heart. Love you. Diane

Leave a Reply