Friends! Have you ever been the recipient of a pay-it-forward scenario? Or perhaps you started a giving chain in a McDonald’s drive-thru…
One very cold Monday morning, sportin’ a severe attitude, I had to haul myself way out east for a mole check with my dermatologist. Who wants to do that, much less on a cold Monday morning?
Further aggravating the situation, my rushing around left me no time to eat breakfast. Horrors.
Appointment finished, I hightailed it to McDonald’s for a not-so-nutritious-but-oh-so-good bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit. Surely the unsweet tea canceled the biscuit’s calories?
Fishing a five-dollar bill out of my wallet, I pulled up to pay.
The drive-thru employee said, “The car ahead of you paid for your meal, ma’am. Have a nice day!”
Stunned, I could barely articulate, “Wow! Thank you.”
Still holding my five-dollar bill, I grabbed my breakfast and drove on.
Oh dear. Why didn’t I give the guy my five and offer to pay for the person behind me? I’m ashamed to say it never crossed my mind…until I pulled out of the parking lot.
I blew it. Period.
I rationalized, “That has never happened to me before. No wonder I couldn’t think on my feet.” Oh brother.
Later that day I picked up dinner for our friends Liz and Bill. As I sat down at their table, I relayed my gaffe. Bill confirmed my act, “Wow, you broke the chain!” Yes, well, that helped tremendously. We all laughed in spite of ourselves.
Oh, but then I rationalized again, “Well, at least I’m taking dinner to friends.”
Enough of my saga, allow me to introduce you to the perfect antidote for when you flunk generosity 101. My dear friend, Sherry Leavell, has just written a marvelous little book that packs a punch. The book?
Grateful Living: 30 Days to GRATITUDE
Sherry’s written thirty short devotionals which offer help via God’s Word along with excellent questions and ideas on how to apply these Scriptures to our daily lives. I’ve highlighted, underlined, and dog-eared many a page.
Pictured here left to right are: Yours Truly, Sherry Leavell, and Judy Russell. This was a fun rendezvous for lunch in Fort Myers, FL one day in January while our hubbies played golf.
Sherry shows us the longer we walk with the Lord, the more our gratitude grows. She takes us on a thirty-day adventure causing us to consider, “Because Jesus paid it all, and all to Him we owe (like the hymn says), what is the best way to live that out?”
Grateful Living also includes a gratitude journal in the back with thirty spots to record small or big things you’re grateful for. Sherry’s own experience, from a challenge thanks to Ann Voskamp’s book, One Thousand Gifts, profoundly impacted her gratefulness.
I’ll share a few of my favorite entries, and pray you run as fast as you can to The Living Word Bookstore ( www.livingword.org ) or call the gals there to order: (502) 253-8220. You may also contact Sherry via her email: Sherry.Leavell@gmail.com .
My first favorite entry is #16: Life as a Bouquet. Scripture given is Psalm 86:12:
Sherry tells a story about Corrie Ten Boom and how Corrie handled receiving accolades for her books and speaking engagements. She accepted these “as if they were flowers. She would present all these compliments (flowers) to the Lord as His bouquet at the end of each day.”
I love that visual! Sherry adds, “Each success, victory and compliment can be accepted as a flower to be arranged in a lovely bouquet and handed to Jesus on a daily basis…sharing it’s Christ’s love which compels us to love others.”
I didn’t expect my toes to be stepped on, but after my faux pas at McDonald’s, clearly I still have much to learn. In entry #17, Sherry has the gall to suggest (kidding, sorta) we are ALL missionaries. Yikes.
She proves this by giving us Matthew 28:19,
We readers learn about a young missionary named Val who said, “I keep thinking about what you said that many folks have never met a missionary before. I feel honored and privileged that the Lord has called us to this and then provided, so it can happen. But I hope we all realize that we are all missionaries.” (Please take a moment to pray for our dear friends, Val, Clark, and Hannah Sleeth who are serving at Tenwek Hospital in Africa. www.wgm.org )
Sherry gently reminds us, “As followers of Christ, we’re ambassadors for Him…missionaries who are to share the Good News of Jesus Christ every day, everywhere, with everyone we meet.”
Not only does each entry begin with a Scripture, it also ends with a prayer. These are so helpful as many times I can’t come up with the best take-away from a devotional and Sherry helps us do just that.
Entry #17 is the perfect example of applying the Word to our life:
Three more of my favorite entries are: #20 – Walking Like Jesus (Glean helpful ideas to take with you the next time you walk with a friend), #22 – Seeking Answers (You won’t believe how specifically God answered one of Sherry’s prayer requests. Discover Liz Curtis Higgs’ connection in this entry. Liz is also who challenged Sherry only a year ago to write this book!), and #28 – Living the Life That is Truly Life (Uncover Sherry’s incredible bad timing with her first job, you won’t believe it! Plus grab lifelong advice from Jess and Angela Correll. www.angelacorrell.com )
Finally, here are 3 of a gazillion pearls Sherry equips us with:
Grab your own copy of Grateful Living and see which entry is your favorite! May all of our eyes be opened to grateful living, passing Generosity 101 with flying colors.
’Til next time!
P.S. Sherry’s first book is one you moms don’t want to miss: A Mother’s Mission: Thirty Thoughts for Thirty Days.