We put The Daughters to bed and as soon as we do, we hear, "I need a drink."
I have a water bottle on my desk all day long and a cup full of ice water on the table beside me all night long.
We are heavy drinkers, and we take it for granted. Today, I wanted The Daughters to understand that some people don't have the luxury of a simple drink of water at their disposal. We went to our favorite small grocery store and bought a few cases of water and delivered them to the homeless shelter in our town.
"What will they do with them?" Daughter 2 asked.
"Give them to anyone who's thirsty," I answered.
"They should give them ..."
And that's when the rules started.
Give them to people who aren't staying the night--only passing through.
Give them out first thing in the morning. Give them out last thing at night.
Put them in the fridge so they are cold.
Leave them at room temperature so the bottles won't sweat.
Make people refill the bottles.
Make people recycle the bottles.
Make people turn in one bottle to get another.
This wasn't the conversation I had intended, but it worked out well. This was the perfect opportunity for me to explain to them that when we give, we don't attach strings or rules or regulations. We give for two reasons and two reasons only: We want to and we need to.
And when we give our gift, we let it go. It's not ours anymore. We have to trust that what needs to be done will be done.
So, we delivered the water, and as one of my favorite people, Misti Pryor often says, we blessed it and let it go. That may be the hardest part of giving--letting it go without our strings attached. It's also the most beautiful part of giving.
For next week's #ThankfulThursday, we're going back to the same shelter and serving a meal with our church. Daughter 2 has done this before. Daughter 1, I'm hoping, will understand just how blessed her life is that she has a choice in what she eats for dinner.