We Don’t Just Give; We Receive

God loves to bless us around every corner. He just can't help himself.

When you approach Cherry’s home, it’s like walking up to a garden of Eden.

Although she lives in a city apartment, her green thumb outgrows her small space.

I love plants, too. We share that.

So when Kay and I visit with Cherry for a few minutes each Wednesday, we marvel at the beauty of her plants.

Last Wednesday night after we handed Cherry her supper, she said she had something to give me.

It was this!


Cherry started this coleus cutting for me. I love it. Now my responsibility is to keep it growing.

It will be my living reminder that relationships are always give and take.

We don’t just give; we receive.
We don’t just receive; we give.

No matter how limited our resources, our hearts can outgrow their bounds.

It’s how God designs it. He’s at the root of every good gift (James 1:17). He loves to bless us around every corner. He just can’t help himself.

God gives; we receive; we pass it along to others.

Around and around it goes.

Although Cherry thanks us for blessing her with a meal each week, she blesses us, too. She’s always kind, always grateful, always looking out for others.

Including me.

I have the plant to prove it.

* * *

What have you received unexpectedly, when you thought you were the one giving? Please share in the comments.


24 thoughts on “We Don’t Just Give; We Receive

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I’m not sure why that is, Linda. Perhaps it’s our pride? We’d rather see ourselves as the ones with the gift rather than the ones in need? But in reality we are always in need and are always receiving from our Father!

  1. Bill (cycleguy)

    I don’t do things to receive something back but it is events like this which give a new meaning to giving and receiving. We give not knowing if there will be any reciprocity. Glad you have had love come back to you Lisa.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      You’re right, Bill: we don’t give to receive something back. It’s just that God gives back to us anyway. 🙂 He’s like that. Now to keep this plant alive.

      (I left a comment on your TrailBoss post but I don’t think it stuck. I’ve noticed my comments don’t seem to be going through on several blogs today. Kinda weird….)

  2. floyd

    Awesome. It really is the smallest of gifts that mean so much, that create bonds that will survive this physical dimension. “Little things mean a lot”, is so true. Thanks for sharing this, it’s also a gift.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Those little things do mean a lot! I’m so grateful for the gift of the cutting. I’m hesitant to put it in dirt for fear of killing it, but hopefully it’ll flourish. 🙂

  3. patti

    A little over a year ago, I began taking a weekly meal to a gal in my church who was on bed rest with a difficult pregnancy. I barely knew her, but I felt the prompting of the Lord to reach out to her and her family through a weekly meal.

    As I took a meal to her each week for three months, our relationship grew…and blossomed. She told me recently that “family isn’t always blood.” She told me that their family looks upon ours as family and that they love us. We see them often, and they are very dear to us.

    I got the unexpected gift of family in return for a few meals from my kitchen. Talk about a beautiful gift!

    Patti @ Embracing HOme

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      What a beautiful story, Patti! And what a blessing you have been to this family. I don’t have to cook the meals we deliver, so just the thought of you cooking an extra meal for this family each week is a huge deal. I’m glad you received the gift of family in return!

  4. Michele Morin

    What a sweet reminder, and here’s some motivation to be faithful in your coleus care: I was visiting with a friend yesterday and she had salvaged cuttings from a dying coleus last fall, and now has nurtured a lush and colorful plant that is sitting on her deck looking fantastic!

  5. Terri Presser

    What a lovely testamony to how giving to others is such a blessing. I remember one week i really felt to make a meal for a lady with breast cancer. When we delivered it she was so blessed that i did that, she was feeling under the weather and it was her birthday as well. It really deepened our relationship and i was blessed beyond belief with how God works in our lives at just the right moment in time. Thank you for sharing this with us at good morning Mondays. Blessings

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      How beautiful that you listened to the Lord’s leading in taking a meal to your friend. People don’t forget kindnesses like that. I’ve had friends do similar things for me in times of need, and it makes a deep impression. Thanks for sharing, Terri!

  6. Mary Geisen

    I love to give but find it difficult to be on the receiving end especially if someone is helping me with something. Your story with Cherry reminds me that recently when I brought my friend flowers, I was blessed by her simple reaction “These make me so happy”. I don’t know why exactly but those words touched me.

    Cherry’s gift to you of the plant cutting is a simple gift of passing along love to someone else. Beautiful words, Lisa! Blessings!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I know, Mary: it’s harder for us to receive than to give. Yet if everybody felt that way, even the givers would be out of luck. 🙂 So the moral is we all need to take our turn in both giving and receiving, right? What a beautiful thing to give your friend some flowers. A gift that kept giving for days!

  7. Betty

    This is so true. I remember one Christmas one of the mother’s of our church gave me a timer shaped like a small skillet. She said she did not know what to give me and thought I had everything. I told her that was the right thing, because the timer on my stove had broken. So she was right on time.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I love your timer story, Betty. I often don’t know what to give people. Maybe I should add a timer to my list of things to give too. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  8. June

    What a blessing, Lisa! That coleus has more meaning that it knows. I think every time we give sacrificially and selflessly we are blessed in return. When our motives are pure and our focus is on the one we are serving, what we receive in return can’t be measured or counted. Inspiring post, my friend!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      You’re right, June. We can never outgive God, and every time we give to someone else, we’re giving to God and he gives back. He blesses us. What a Father he is!

  9. Lori Schumaker

    I always smile at how you speak right to my heart, Lisa! I love giving. It makes me happy. But I struggle with receiving. I feel guilt! What is that?

    Thank you so much for coming alongside me and sharing hope each week at #MomentsofHope! I love what you bring and am honored by the messages God is gathering!

    Blessings and smiles,

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I’m not sure why we often feel guilty receiving! But I know many of us do, myself included. Maybe we think we don’t deserve it? I don’t know, but I know that I like for others to receive what I give to them, so I need to give others the opportunity to do the same. Thanks for sharing, Lori!

  10. Karen Del Tatto

    Thank you for sharing this uplifting post!

    Recently, I had responded to an email from my Pastor who had asked his congregants to give input about an ebook that he had distributed, and that’s all I did or so I thought…

    The Pastor appreciated the fact that I had taken the time to respond and presented me with a book the next morning, which was Sunday service, as a gift for my response. I was so taken aback. It seemed like such a small gesture on my part and he responded in such a special way. It meant a lot.

    Thanks for the reminder to be gracious receivers and intentional givers.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      That’s an awesome story, Karen. We never know how much our few words can mean to somebody. I’m glad you were able to see how much your words meant to your pastor! Keep being an encourager. You’ve encouraged me today!

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