Gran's Apple Butter Blog

May 24, 2011

Going Home, Excerpt: Spirits (5/XI)

Filed under: Abundance,Book Series,Books,Front Porch Rambles,Giving,Going Home,Gran,Gratitude,Marbles,Packing,Receiving — Mary Batson - FrontPorchRambles @ 8:32 am

Chapter 5 ~ Spirits
from Going Home, by Mary Batson

What was left in that little marble bag? Gran had almost emptied it with all her stories. But here came three more – one each for the spirit of giving, the spirit of receiving, and the spirit of gratitude. Gran said they came together ‘cause they worked together. The more we become aware of how much we’ve been given, how much we have to be grateful for, the more we’ll want to share this abundance with others. This can also work the other way, so it’s easy to see how important these three marbles are.

There are two kinds of gratitude, Gran said. There’s the I’m-not-worthy type, which she believed was below us, below the spark of God we carry inside. Then there’s the humble thankfulness that comes with an awe of the abundance that surrounds us when we’ll open ourselves to it.

This brings us to the two forms of receiving. Most of us don’t learn how to receive well, Gran said. We’re usually either a little too grabby or a little too no-thank-you, I’ll-do-this-on-my-own. Somewhere in between was the balance point of right receiving – saying thank you and accepting what is offered with a loving spirit of gratitude, like flowers soaking up dew on an early spring morning.

 There are also two kinds of giving. There’s “giving of,” for which Gran was a proud proponent, and then there’s “giving up,” about which she had a clear opinion. Like using an oxygen mask in a plane crash, if we want to truly help others, we’ll put ours on first. This isn’t greedy, Gran said, it’s wise. This wasn’t something she was taught, but she’d gotten better at it over the years. Not everyone agreed with her, but Gran had made peace with herself on the topic, and she was good with that.

Based on her experience, the whole giving up part came with strings, ‘cause whenever she’d given up herself for someone, she wasn’t ever really able to let go of whatever she was giving or whatever she expected in return. Not being ready for sainthood just yet, she’d settled for the mere mortal version of giving from a good place and with a sure heart, with no strings attached. After all, giving with strings doesn’t really count.

What does? That question led Gran to the circle of good medicine – to give as she received, it didn’t matter which came first, and it didn’t always come and go from the same place or person. All things were not always equal, and that was fine. Over the years, Gran said she’d been so blessed she could hardly keep up with all her thank you’s. Sometimes she just felt like she was walking around in a cloud of love, with all that goodness around her, although she could remember a time when she’d have given her eye teeth for that feeling.

Today as I write, I find myself whispering: Well, Gran, you did it – good for you. How did it feel to live your dream? There is no greater success than to touch someone by sharing yourself,  and I think you proved that.

© Mary Batson, Going Home, Front Porch Rambles, and Gran’s Apple Butter Blog, 2010. All rights reserved.
NOW AVAILABLE: Going Home, The E-Book & Going Home: The Tour LIVE – 2 CD set – Mikey and Gran’s story put to music!


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