After turning down the heat this summer (see previous blog, Summer Simmer) I was finally able to slow down a bit, and what a gift that was. More walks and workouts; less work and worry. More reading and reflecting; less running and reacting. And through it all I re-learned an important principle. About giving and receiving.
For those of you who have been reading this blog for awhile, you may remember one back in 2018 on Giving and Getting. Here is a brief excerpt from that blog:
"Are you a giver or a taker? Do you give to give or give to get? Or only give in proportion to what you get? Quid-pro-quo. I believe in the law of generosity. To give. I believe it really is better to give than receive. But what I've discovered is that I am not always as clear on this as I think I am. In some cases I do give to give. But in others, I was clearly giving to get..."
As I slowed down at the end of the summer, this principle came up for me again, but in a slightly different way. Specifically, in order to give our best, we need to receive first. Here is an except from my journal as I wrestled with this a bit over my summer break:
"It's not about giving to get. And it's not about giving to give. Because giving to give doesn't always work, as we are human. I am human. At times I am needy and selfish. At times I am tired. And therefore this giving to give is not always sustainable. When I am depleted or not feeling great about myself, or feeling taken advantage of, I sometimes struggle to give. Or I give and expect to get something back. Or am not a cheerful giver. What I am realizing is that while giving to get doesn't work for me, giving to give doesn't always either. First I need to receive. I can best give when I first receive..."
This was a great reminder for me. To receive first, give second. And for me receiving during my late summer break was full of rest, peace, play, joy, love, forgiveness, reflection, strength, and much more. All preparing me to be in a position to give again. I am so very grateful for this late summer break, and in closing want to share a portion of a poem I wrote inspired by the simmer time as well as Exodus 31:17 "It will be a sign between me and the Israelites forever, for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed." I hope you enjoy.