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Ministry facilitator, hope disher-outer, social media sassafrasser, cardigan wearer, coffee drinker, dog lover & laughter junkie. http://EmandaSays.com http://twitter.com/EmandaSays

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  1. I have had many green jacket experiences. Each time I think I’m going to feel a “boost” in my faith, but I think you are so right that it isn’t about us at all. I want to learn to give and do because of God and for the sake of loving, not for what I might get out of it.

    One of the most memorable moments, I was driving, already late for Bible study when I saw a woman on the side of the road who needed food, I drove past her when God clearly said, “Go to her,” so I did a u-turn and when I went back, she wasn’t there. I don’t know why I she wasn’t there when I went back, but there have been few times when I have heard God that clearly, and I know I was supposed to.

    • Hannah, I’ve had those moments too! Where you feel compelled to do/act/give but when you take action it seems the opportunity is gone. However, it’s not gone at all…and we had the opportunity to feel God’s prompting amongst the noise of the day and when we act on it…it shows our obedience to Him. Amazing!

  2. As I read your post this morning, God brought to mind a special girl that I’ve prayed for and loved through the years. At the moment, we don’t have any contact…her choice. I’ve never stopped praying for and loving her. As I read about your green jacket experience, I heard the spirit of God tell me to reach out to her with a simple love email telling her Happy Thanksgiving and that I am thinking of her today. I trust God for a restored relationship with her and that she will hear God’s voice. Will you pray with me?

  3. That’s a very touching story. I think we all have those times when we expect to make a big difference and be thanked profusely… we can be so self-centered. Really what true giving is is doing it with no expectations at all. We may never be thanked or see the fruits of our kindness, but there are fruits none the less. Thanks for sharing that.

  4. I was moving to a new state and trying to decide what to keep, what to give away…and how to give away a treasure. Suddenly it hit me, (was it a voice from heaven?) you can easily give away a thing you love to a person you love more than the thing.
    After the wildfire in our neighborhood (Nov 13, 2008) some of our neighbors’ houses had burned down (it’s a faculty neighborhood) and I looked at the 4 sets of silverware I’d saved from moving across country and cleaning out my mother’s house and offered two of them by mass mail. Two families exactly responded. That was cool. To partake in their suffering by sharing my abundance. (And we use the other two sets when students come for meals!)
    God bless you!

  5. “… she was going to immediately change her baby’s name to mine.” Hahahaha!

    You have written excellent and timely words of truth, good year-round but especially as we enter into this season of giving: “When the acts of kindness are no longer attached to our self worth or ambition…. “.

  6. I am guilty of trying to do something nice for someone else and expecting to be recognized. Then I remembered what the verse said about not letting your right hand know what your left hand is doing…so then I realized I should be doing things for Him alone and not my own selfish ambitions!

  7. i loved the article. can so identify with the mental fantasies! after years in pastoral ministry with my husband, i can attest to many time when i expected more thanks. the event was life-changing when i realized that my thanks won’t be here on earth…and i shouldn’t expect it. as Jesus said about Pharisees, (paraphrased) when they get their thanks on earth, that is their reward! it is better to do for others and receive your reward in heaven…(from the Sermon on the Mount–Matthew 5-7 I think.)
    since i “got” that, i have handled not being thanked much better. Of course, it is nice to be thanked, but when i compare present thanks to thanks from my heavenly Father, it puts it all in perspective. I can live with being under-appreciated b/c the One whose opinion matters most will make it all right! (And I’ll realize how much I owe Him!)

  8. I’ll be the first (ok, not the first here) to admit that I’ve felt this many times. I’ve always had mixed feeling about giving and giving thanks or saying thanks. Sometimes I often wondered why God gave me a heart of generosity as well as a heart for justice. They conflict sometimes. I love to give, help etc but I also believe strongly in gratitude.
    It’s much worse when I see this happening to someone else.
    I may give a gift, a good deed, my time, finances or something valuable and I feel great, knowing that I did was I was supposed to do, I do not do it for a thank you however then the waiting comes. I end up wait for the thank you, or a follow up call, or a card in the mail. Many times good deeds go unnoticed, and it’s ok. They go un-thanked, it’s ok. It might not be ‘right’ but it’s ok because I know that my reward is knowing that I did what I was asked to do. I obeyed.

    Thank you for sharing this story. I think most, if not all, of us can relate.

    • So true. There is a conflict between justice and generosity. I think it’s a good struggle to have because it keeps us seeking, thinking and acting.

      I love that you can relate to this!

    • Absolutely! That’s the tough thing for me sometimes…I wanna see the dang fruit right away! But, we’re not called to be the Miracle Gro in someone’s life. We’re called to be the salt & light…and however that plays out in the life of another human being…we are blessed to be a part of the process.

  9. I totally relate to this…so many times, I think my giving is out of a heart full of God’s grace, when instead, it’s because I want God to “see” my good deed. I think Jesus warned about this… 🙂

  10. we all have the desire to “save” or “help” someone. but sometimes its not the person who looks the most vulnerable or most desperate that needs it or wants it. sometimes its the person who is standing right next to you or your next door neighbor. im stuck in a dark pit and cant seem to get out. i have recently lost my home and i can barely pay the bills due to a huge pay cut since i work for the state .the only reason why i see myself here is for my teenage son. i am the average girl next door. i stand behind you in line at target & at the grocery store. 9 out of 10 times when i smile at people, it is unreturned. that is where i live. i went to walmart last week to pick up some medicine at 5:30 at night and the nice lady at the desk asked me something and i responded, “yes, please”, she looked at me and said “do you know that i have been here all day and you are the only person who has said please”. that is appalling to me. this lady is older and should be retired, sitting on her porch swing somewhere. i smiled at her told her thankyou and to have a nice day. i hope i made her feel better. sometimes when im at my darkest hour, all it takes is a sincere smile or a few words. please know this. you have no idea what others are faced with on a daily basis. the average person DOES have to worry about food, shelter, heat. and that average person is all around you. thank you for your blog. i look forward to reading it. since this has happened i have forming a closer relationship with God. your blog is inspirational and often leaves me in tears. thankyou
    c.g.

  11. I have had many of these experiences where I sort of filtered through candidates in need with my own understanding instead of being led by the Holy spirit. Once I helped a young couple move across town and had to be corrected of my attitude. I had done all this work at my expense (gas, time, labor) yet was deficient in things like money, gas, etc. I started to complain to God how I deserved to be blessed because I had just given so much of myself, and whats the deal I thought you rewarded us for stuff like that, and I didnt understand how I “never” got anything back. Needless to say he was not moved by my pity party and instanly I heard that small still voice reminding me that yes what I did was a good thing but that my attitude had skewed my ablity to see the blessings I already had. I was reminded that whoever, whenever, and wherever I help someone in need I actually get to help Christ (Matt 25) and if I can keep the give as its been given attitude then I will never lose sight of the blessing I have in Christ Jesus.