Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Giving Tree... Thoughts on giving till you're useless

This isn't one of those posts where I know what I'm talking about. Let's face it, there aren't many posts like that. This is just a thinking out loud kinda post.

The last year and a half I gave... I mean I really gave... I mean I gave until I really had nothing left to give and there was a point I felt like I might lose it. No. Let's get real. I did lose it.

I wanted to give. I take joy in giving. I have a strong tendency to feel guilty if I'm not giving my all...all the time. So I gave and gave and gave and gave and then gave out.

During this time I was really wrestling through the guilt of being so worn down and feeling so useless.

One day, in the middle of this inner struggle, my daughter brought me the story, "The Giving Tree" and I read it to her.

Honestly, my first thought was that it was probably a great lesson for her. Then as the days went on that dang tree kept nagging at me. Was that really what we are supposed to do? Are we supposed to wear ourselves down to stumps to meet every whim of the people we love till we are good for nothing but to be sat on??? Really? Is that Christ's goal for us? Is that what Jesus did?

And I genuinely wasn't sure what to think... But I'm sorting through it.

Wouldn't the tree have done better to continue being healthy and bearing fruit year after year? Wouldn't the boy have been better served by a tree honest enough to tell him the truth of who he was while continuing to serve him with healthy fruit?

I know, I'm beating a dead tree. :-) I just have a strange feeling that maybe there are other moms that struggle with this like I do.

Taking care of myself... Dying to myself... Giving to others... Living for Christ. I get all jumbled up on what's right.

Here's what I think. I think that Jesus did lay down His life but ONLY when His Father told Him to do it. He also was a slave to no one. He didn't always say yes. For 30 of His 33 years He was a carpenter in a small town. He could have made everything perfect. He could have healed everyone. He could have worked day and night. He didn't help everyone. He didn't heal everyone. He did what his Father told Him to do and served those He was called to serve. He was no stump chopped to the ground. He was overflowing with fruit. He gave that fruit away in season with joy.

I don't get it. I'm trying to learn. Sometimes I want to be able to give it all without becoming useless but I can't... And I don't think it's what God has asked of me.

I think I'm done being the giving tree. I think I'd rather be fruitful.

Hugs, Angel


Marissa said...

Love your thinking about loud. :)

Owlhaven said...

I've always been disturbed by that book. And the thought that comes to me after reading your post is the verse:
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."
"In Christ, my hope is found, He is my rock, my strength, my song."

We have to be tapped into the source of all strength to be able to keep giving in the way that our kids need.

Mary, momma to many including 2 from Korea and 4 from Ethiopia

Vicky said...

Soooo true! Made me think of this vlog I saw recently:

Taking care of yourself and prioritizing your relationship with Jesus better equips you to take care of others.