The more time I spend with Addy and her family, the more I learn about generosity and the freedom that comes from the lack of need for money. I am truly inspired and awed by their kindness, and their willingness to share and give to anybody of what little they may have for nothing in return.
A few weeks ago, as Addy and I were digging up the blueberry bushes that she gave me, she was telling me how people will call her up every now and then and ask her if she has any blueberries to pick. When they are in season, she is happy to let anybody come by and pick all they want, for free. But she will get these calls from people asking her if she would have a gallon of blueberries ready for them to come by and get, and offer to pay her for them.
It surprised me as she went on to tell me that she will refuse to pick for these people. She will tell them that they are more than welcome to come and pick for themselves (at no charge), and she will even be happy to help them, but she won’t pick for money. As she put it, “I’m not for sale; I won’t waste my time for a buck! I’m more than happy to share anything that’s leftover after feeding my family, but I’m not going to pick for your family too!” She explained that she would much rather help you pick your berries, and enjoy good conversation and fellowship, than pick them all herself and meet you at the front door for a split second to earn a dollar.
I found myself pondering this mentality for quite a while. See, my thinking is just the opposite! To me, I would much rather make a dollar than give my hard earned produce away for free. But the more time I spend with Addy, the more I realize that their riches come from the blessings of their generosity and friendships, and not from any monetary gain.
As a matter of fact, they don’t have much need for cash, and they turn it down often. A few weeks ago Addy and her husband helped us with a project at our house for two whole Saturdays (a post on that coming soon), and we gladly offered to pay them for all of their help. They refused, saying that when they were young they had people help them when they were first starting out, and they were just passing it on.
They did spot an older dishwasher in a junk pile (from our remodel) beside our house, and they asked us what we were going to do with it. We were more than happy to let them take it with them. Addy told me that her dishwasher had just died like the day before. I told her I wasn’t sure if ours would work, but she was more than welcome to it. We also sent with them a bike for their son that we just had sitting around. It was such a blessing to us to be able to repay their kindness in some way.
Turns out, the dishwasher worked great for them. I was so glad! So, it was a blessing to them to be able to help us, and it was a blessing to us to be able to give them something in return that they could use. It was neat to see how the Lord was working through it all. I love how they trade for just about all of their needs. Of course her husband works, obviously they do need some money, but for the most part they see very little need for it.
What inspiring and awesome role models they are to me to have such little dependence on cash. It is my whole hearted goal now to follow in their footsteps: that by the time I am 40 we too will be out of debt completely; no house payments or anything! And it wasn’t because they made such a tremendous amount of money, quite the contrary. It was because of their wisdom, frugality, modesty, and I believe, even their generosity.