Giving Tastes Like Turkey

Love Offering. Thanksgiving, 2012.

A Secret I Kept From Myself
Rich and I host Thanksgiving every year. We’ve hosted it every year of our married life, beginning in 2007, just two months after our wedding. I love it. The usual suspects are my brother and his family, my sister and her family, and my dad (and this year, for the first time, his bride.) Our youngest Seiler nephew, Craig, will likely never remember a Thanksgiving dinner anywhere but at our table. 
And if you asked me why I love it so, I could have given you a long list of reasons. But none of them would have been the reason. I didn’t know the reason myself, until I found myself telling my brother, as I checked the turkey’s browning and he set out the appetizers they had brought to our feast:
This is my favorite day of the whole year. I spend the day cooking for the people I love best in the whole world. It’s my love offering to my family.

And then I let out a little gasp, because I realized I’d uttered a truth that I didn’t recognize before that very moment. 
My love offering to my family. I’ve used that expression a few times since then, usually when someone puts on sympathy for me that I cook the whole meal: Oh, no, I enjoy it, I protest. It’s my love offering to my family.
I like “love offering” better than “gift” because it sums up why we give, doesn’t it? 
Giving makes our hearts happy. And when I can, I like to multiply the love offering. Example: My niece was selling magazine subscriptions to raise money for her school just before my brother’s birthday this year. Guess what we gave him for his birthday? A subscription to Car and Driver. The same dollars reminded my brother that we love him and supported his daughter’s school. 

My friend Jennifer Lee has a daughter who was working to raise money for kids in Haiti by selling ViBella jewelry. Now, ViBella jewelry is made by women who are lifting themselves from poverty, both in Haiti and in the USA, so any purchase from them is a love offering. Buying it through Jennifer’s daughter’s fundraiser made it doubly so. I gave the necklace to my co-grandma for her birthday–further multiplying the love. 
Here’s a great way to multiply your love offerings this year: Choose your gifts from Compassion International’s Christmas gift catalog
That girlfriend who’s always trying to simplify her life and has a big heart for orphans? Spend just $13 and provide emergency care for a malnourished child in her name. 
Those new parents on your list, overwhelmed by the space-hogging baby gear they’ve acquired? Provide an impoverished baby’s medical care for a year for $55 in their honor. 
You get the idea. 

I don’t know about you, but I have enough stuff. Maybe even too much stuff.

But there’s no such thing as too much love, especially when we can send it halfway around this hurting world. 

Take a look at Compassion’s catalog, and make this Christmas all about giving the best love offerings of all. 

7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 9 As it is written:
“They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor;
    their righteousness endures forever.”
2 Corinthians 9:7-9 (NIV)