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Munificent Acts



Naomi, a munificent friend, with Aria and Nia (Dec 2010)

It was Tuesday. Sausages were in the oven, peas were being thought of, and my weary arm was mashing masses of mashed potatoes; Tuesday—Alpha day. Of course, Tuesday hasn’t always been Alpha day for me, but since the last weekend in April, John and I have been running an Alpha Course for our church. It’s been the first time I’ve done this and I foolishly did not do enough team-building. As a result, I have had most of the details to take care of myself: set-up, cooking, leading the discussions (thankfully a friend has been faithful in doing the clean-up afterward!). It’s not every Tuesday that is difficult; however, every second Tuesday John works evenings so it leaves me to do dinner for the kids and put them to bed in the midst of prepping the house for the group that meets here on a Tuesday night (to babysit the kids while we’re out!) and cook the Alpha meal.

As I frantically mashed those boiled potatoes into fluffy submission I heard some thumping in one of the bedrooms upstairs—Kiera. I hurriedly wove my way through the downstairs mess, opened the door for Lizi who’d just knocked, and rushed upstairs to deal with a mischievous little girl. I came back down into the chaos of my kitchen, racing against the ever-ticking clock. Lizi immediately pitched in to help and gave me the welcome news that her group wasn’t meeting tonight—welcome merely because I didn’t have to worry about the house being left in its current state. With the extra pair of hands, I managed to get out the door, utilizing the double pram as a wagon for transporting piping hot sausages, mashed potatoes, and just steamed peas, not to mention all the other bits and pieces needed for the evening. I got to Custom House just in time and our Alpha group enjoyed a filling meal before delving into the pursuit of theology (ie, discussion about God).

A munificent friend, Lizi, with Kiera (Aug 2010)

I got home with my clean dishes (thanks to Hanny!) just after 10 p.m. wondering how long it would take to tidy and wash up before I could hit the sack. I walked into the quiet house and immediately noticed a difference. Not only had Lizi done all my dishes from the whole of the day that I’d left stacked about my little, square kitchen, but she’d also tidied up every room in the downstairs of the house. I’d left a place that looked like a little whirlwind had swept through and came back to a tidy calm. I hadn’t felt so loved in ages, especially knowing that Lizi doesn’t even like doing dishes!

I often hear from people, usually strangers, that I must have my hands full. They see me out and about with my four kids and wonder how on earth I cope. The truth is, it has a lot to do with God’s grace and a lot to do with my munificent friends. Some of the words that define ‘munificent’ are ‘generous, open-handed, unstinting’ amongst others. It describes those with characters of immense generosity and those who display a giving nature. I am so thankful to the people in my life who display these qualities. So often our culture has this prideful need to be indepent of all others. I know this often comes into play in my own life. But the truth is that we all need munificent friends as much as we need to be the same to others. Since becoming a mother, this is even more true.

Mike, a munificient friend, with Aria and Johnny (Aug 2010)

So this is a little note of thanks to the COUNTLESS people who have helped me, whether it’s been that they’ve watched my kids for me for an hour or a full weekend, helped with my housework, been a listening ear, or spoken some encouraging words. Usually these munificent acts come from friends; other times it comes from the hand of a stranger or an acquaintance. Even as I write, acts of kindness come to mind and I’m left in a place of deep thankfulness.


3 Responses to “Munificent Acts”

  1. Jessica
    June 20th, 2011 14:47

    i’m so glad you have such munificent friends around you… wish i could help out a wee bit more! as a mother of 2 little ones, acts of service and kindness are deeply appreciated, more than many could possibly know. beautiful writing, dear sister. i love you.

  2. Rachel
    June 20th, 2011 15:57

    Well, you definitely do help out when you’re around… how many piles of dishes did you do, not to mention all the laundry we folded together?:) I think only another mother can grasp how helpful acts of service are!!

  3. Susana Clancy
    June 29th, 2011 11:56

    One of America’s famous women wrote “It takes a village to raise a child” I didn’t read it but it’s pretty much true. You and Jessica are doing a wonderful job raising your children….i only hope someday I can come and see them all. They are happy and healthy and are loved….having help with the mundane tasks is as you say munificient and allows you a little oasis in which to catch your breath.

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