...self care is never a selfish act- it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others. Anytime we can listen to true self and give it the care it requires, we do so not only for ourselves but for the many others whose lives we touch.

Parker J. Palmer, Let Your Life Speak

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Giving/Generosity- the stuff isn't mine

This week's habit of the heart is giving- practicing generosity with our money and time. It seems a natural extension of simplicity because uncluttering frees us to be more generous with people.

We become whatever we worship. What we worship is not about being in church on the weekend, but what has our attention most of the time. It's our ultimate concern. As we think, so we are. If our mind is filled with possessions, other people, responsibilities, then we will take on the nature of that stuff. We will be possessed by whatever owns our thoughts. Addictions destroy our humanity, our freedom. If you're an addict, you're decision making is radically compromised. And so is God's image in you.

But becoming dispossessed includes the additional, proactive step of giving away. In worship of the One and Only, we are free to do so. Because of the affirmation in Psalm 24 that earth is the Lord's- and everything in it- we don't really own anything or anyone.The stuff isn't mine! So our relationship to possessions can be healed to one of caregiver, regardless of whatever we learned and experienced in our family of origin regarding them.

One of the most helpful ways of practicing this habit is, of course, doing it. Donate your stuff, your time, your services, your money if you can. Also, discipline your self in a regular practice of gratitude of some sort. Gratitude is a vaccine for the entitlement virus which saps our spirit and twists our relationships. It's not only good for us, it does good.

Try revisiting one of the prayer practices we have already experienced for this week: daily breath prayer, a prayer walk, or prayer and fasting.


  1. ClergySpirit has been included in this weeks Sites To See. I hope you like the image I featured, and I hope this helps to attract many new visitors here.


  2. Thanks! Enjoyed checking out your site and like the photo you have there. Thanks again!


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Having been in ordained ministry in the UMC for 34 years, I've experienced the truth that although, clergy are frequently present for others, no one can offer what they don't have.That's why if you're a clergy person, you need someone who will listen to you. Not the random next closest person available, but rather someone like a spiritual director, a therapist, a peer who can be fully present to you. I hope the links and posts you find here will give you ideas, humor, hope and encouragement. Scott Endress

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If you want a formula for making the best of the less-than-perfect and making the most of what you have been given, then begin to compare your lot to what you were before you were born, and it will empower you with wonder every time. John Claypool

Making Good Decisions