You see these items below? These are all the items my nephew freely, and happily gave to me while we were on vacation.
Lately I’ve been asking God to show me how to have a giving heart (see previous blog). To show me His heart for giving. God indeed has started showing me. He has used my little Nephew Evan to begin this process in me.
Each item in this picture below has a story. Each story shows a little bit of Evans heart and a little bit of my heart in response to his giving. Enjoy!
The Stuffed Turtle:
Evan arrived in Ocean City a day before i did. When i got there, i got the impression that he was pretty happy to see me. He gave me a hug, and as usual, ran away. He returned just moments later with this stuffed turtle in his hands and said, “Here Aunt Colleen, I want you to have this.” To which i responded, “Wow, Buddy! Thanks! This means so much to me!” Even though I have no need for a little stuffed turtle, the fact that he wanted to give it to me because he loves me, gave me so much joy. My sister later told me that she was very surprised that Evan gave me that turtle because it was one of his favorite toys.
The Silly Bands:
Just a few hours later he showed me all of his silly bands. He had about 24. He had animal ones and music ones (the mermaid one he had given me a few weeks ago). Evan asked me, “Do you like Silly Bands Aunt Colleen?”
I replied with “I do, buddy.”
“You may have some.” he said matter-of-factly.
Without taking his favorite out first. He allowed me to choose from all of them – any two I wanted. Struggling in my heart (in fear that i would choose his favorite) i asked him which ones were his favorite. He removed about 5 of them. From the leftovers i chose the clarinet and the turtle. I wore them all week.
The Big Brown Mermaid:
No, your eyes do not deceive you. The mermaid is a beer bottle opener. One day Mike and Christine took Evan to the Boardwalk where they did some shopping. Even came across this big brown mermaid, and thought of me. He asked Mike and Christine if he could get it for me. They allowed. When they came back to the Beach House i was on the porch reading. Evan reached in to one of the shopping bags, pulled out the mermaid, and said “I got this for you Aunt Colleen. Its a Mermaid. I know you like them.”
The Quarter (not in the picture):
A few days in to our vacation, Evan and i were sitting on the porch playing with his finger monster toys. Mike, Evans father, came up to us after his trip to the beach. Mike turned to Evan and gave him 60 cents that he had found. Evan then turned to me and said, “Here Aunt Colleen, You can have one of my quarters.” I hesitated taking it, knowing how valuable quarters are to little kids. Also, i was thinking “Ive gotta whole bunch of quarters sitting in my bank account. I have access to more quarters then Evan can even imagine.” So i sat there struggling thinking “how can i explain to a 5 year old that i appreciate the gift but i know the quarter would bless him more then it could bless me because i have endless amounts of quarters. So, i told him to keep it.
The moment the words “Buddy you keep it and by yourself something awesome with it” came out of my mouth, i wanted to smack myself in the head and say “STUPID! STUPID! STUPID!” Because it was not two seconds later that God entered my thoughts and said, “From now on accept everything that he gives you to encourage his giving. Then, buy him something that is worth more quarters then he can even count. Something that would really bless him.”
So i did. I bought him a little wooden dinosaur thing that he could paint. He loves to paint and he loves dinosaurs. It was worth 45 quarters.
Evan asked me if i would come to his room to look at and play with all of his toys. When we were there he pulled a dime off the bed stand. ”My dad gave me this but i want you to have it.” Remembering what God told me before, i accepted it. Of course the whole time i knew i was going to bless him with something great. Then as we were sitting there, he looked up at me and said. “Aunt colleen? May i buy you something else? I saw a heart-shaped-thing at a store that i really thought you would like.” I was holding back tears as his words hit my ears. I responded, “Buddy you may buy me anything you want.”
These pills are toys that you can race on a track? i guess? I’m not quite sure what the heck they are. What i DO know about them is that, on the back of them they are ranked. They are ranked according to how rare they are. They can be - not rare, somewhat rare, rare, really rare, super rare, and ultra rare. My nephew had bought a pack of them on the Boardwalk and wanted to show me them. He had about 7 of them. Mike and Even took the time and explained all of them to me.
Then mike got to the last one. It was a little fat green one with a leprechaun on it. Mike picked it up in his hand and said, “This one, this one is ULTRA rare. Meaning, its very hard to find and have.” Then he placed it back in Evans hand.
Even, looking at me, says, “You know, you can have one Aunt Colleen.” Again, as before with the silly bands, he gave me the option to choose which one i wanted first, before he choose. Knowing i would never play with these pills, I tried to look for one that i didn’t think he would want or miss, but, i just wasn’t sure. So i said “How about you choose for me?” Without hesitation he picked up the rarest of them all, the ultra rare leprechaun, and said, “i want you to have this one.” I looked at Mike, knowing it was his money used for these toys not Evens, and said “Are you sure Evan, this is the most rare of all! its the most valuable, best one.”
Mike looked at Even and said “its up to you buddy, they are your toys.” Even looked at me and said, “I want you to have it.” But alas, I let Evan know that the green pill would be really valuable one day and that i thought it would be best if he kept it. So he chose to give me the pill with the blond hair.
The little Yellow Thingie:
I don’t know what to say about this one. i have no idea what it is. Evan found it, was playing with it and then said, “i want to give this too you.”
At the end of the week, my heart was so blessed and wrapped up with emotion because of my nephews giving that i couldn’t help but smile and feel so proud of him. He captured my heart every time I saw his heart to give. In the end i realized that my hearts response to give back to him was not because he gave, it was because he gave all he had, which was motivated by his love for me. He gave things that meant something to him. He gave even if it cost him something, because he loves me
*sigh* i couldn’t even get through typing this with out shedding a tear or two.