When we were in the NICU for the twins a few of the older kiddos got into a conversation with one of the doctors about football. The doctor was very impressed and asked J is it would be ok if he sent a few tickets for a game during pre-season. J warmly nodded his head thinking that this kind offer would soon be forgotten. Two months passed and low and behold two pre-season tickets showed up. This was such a kind thing to have happen. We felt so honored.
You can imagine the trouble that this caused. None of our children had ever been to a professional football game pre-season or regular. Everyone hoped that they would be the one that would get the ticket. The twins and mom knew we would not be using the other ticket, but dad had to pick one person. At first the conversation was "me, me, me" but after a few days a remarkable thing happened. The older kiddos all started to express that they would rather offer the ticket to someone that loved football and forgo the "oldest one that hasn't had the experience should get it" rule.
J was sharing this with a friend that offered him two more tickets. So now we had 4 tickets and the balanced changed. J could take the older three and they could have their first game and enjoy that time with dad; dad could take his three boys; or dad could take the three true football fans in the house. This is where our conversations stalled for several weeks. The day of the game was upon us and no one knew if they were going. I watched true generosity from some of the kids and I watched some younger ones want the experience yet want to be generous. For a few it was a very real internal battle. Wanting to go and not wanting to share was understandable to mom and dad because this was such a big deal for the kids.
Two more tickets were given to the group. I didn't tell the kids but I knew this would actually make things harder. Who would dad take? I approached Bagel, she is just 8 years old. She LOVES football and was one that originally had a conversation with the doctor about the sport. I wanted to ask her to be generous and allow the older kids to go without a fight. This would be so hard for her. She sobbed at the thought of not being able to go and grew even more jealous at the idea that most of her siblings would be going. I knew she would have the hardest time being generous because of her age and love of the game. Through her tears we talked. I tried to assure her that no matter what, God always rewards generosity. I can't explain it but in my life it has always been true. I could not promise when God would reward her generosity but I knew it would happen, and when it did that she would know it was a direct response to her kindness.
Thank you to all those kind people that helped us to teach Bagel about God and his generosity.