Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Givers and Takers

(Sorry, this post was actually written on Tuesday, May 31, 2011)

Having just celebrated Memorial Day,
I am thankful for those who chose to give their lives
so that we may have the gift of freedom.

 "There are two kinds of people in life:"
he said,
"there are givers and there are takers."


It's funny how sometimes in life
you meet somebody
and it's as if you've never met;
you just feel like you've just known each other forever.

On the first day I entered the college dorm my freshman year,
I met a girl named Rachelle.

We quickly became fast friends.

She and I had similar humor,
outlooks on life.

She made me laugh.

 Rachelle and I were great friends for the next four years.

But we were good friends in that we didn't just cling to each other.
We had other friends as well.
Our lives were very full
and we appreciated that we loved being together
but that we also needed to each learn to fly on our own.
It seems that every memory I have of Rachelle
instantly brings a smile to my face.
She enjoyed life,
but she also was kind and sensitive to people.

Creative and smart were in here list of traits,

as was talented,
and a better bargain hunting queen
than I was.

Her humor was so fun.

We did skits together,
went on skiing adventures,
sang goofy songs in unreasonable outbursts at 
over-study-induced moments from lack of sleep,
made up ridiculous phrases to help keep terms in our heads.

We camped out by a lake with a bunch of us girls,
had countless snowball fights,
shared drying racks to save on laundry money,
planned events for our girls' group meetings,
grumped at each other when appropriate,
and could read each other's sarcasm to hysterics.

The friendships I made at college are as valuable to me as
the education I got there.
I treasure them!

It's funny to me how much Rachelle and I have gone through in common:

we both completed the 4 years of college,
while so many of our other friends and roommates left to get married;
we both entered college having never been kissed,
left college having experienced heart-ache relating to 
break-ups because our parents didn't approve the guys;
met the wonderful men we were supposed to marry after college,
(and are thankful for our parents wisdom)
got engaged rather quickly,

and then waited several years after we were married to start having kids.
We both married Christian men,
and our love for God is foremost in our lives.

We both have 3 kids now,
mine are very near in age to hers,
and we both married men who we're pretty sure are long-lost brothers,
they are so alike.

We have a small beef farm,
she and her husband have an orchard that they started from the ground up
with every other animal except a cow, I believe.

They live frugally,
and they rarely travel
(both things that are basics in our marriage as well.
what's that?
Can the cows go?)

I always call her when I need to laugh...


so that I cry.

As Rachelle and I talked when we were at college,
she'd always quote the greatest sayings.
She told me she got them from her father.

"If you are bored,
it's because you are boring."

"Stick to your guns."

And another that often rattles around in my mind is,

"There are two types of people in life:
there are givers and there are takers."

Rachelle's dad Dave was an orphan:
his father died when he was 5
and his mom passed on when he was 8.

His aunt dropped him off at a school for boys,
and that is where he spent most of his time growing up.

He could have chosen to be angry and bitter;
it would seem he has more of an excuse than most of us;
but he chose to be a Christian who loves God
to be a giver.

He has Rachelle,

one of the most amazing people I know,

because he chose to be a giver in life
instead of a taker.

He once took the time to show kindness
and give me advice
that truly helped me see past the fog that was besetting
my life at the time.

 He was right,
the advice he gave.
And I'm incredibly thankful for that gift.

Now every day I wake up to a new choice.
Often I fail.

But I know that God is merciful and helps those who call out to Him,
and He will help me...

... to chose not to be a taker,
in my attitude or frustrations to do my own desires,

but a giver
to the three wee folk that need from me all day long.

Thank you, Pastor Dave,
for choosing to be a giver.

And thank you,
for following his example
and being such a great friend.

 "And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones
a cup of cold water...
...he shall in no wise lose his reward."
Matthew 10:42(part)

 "And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name
receiveth me."

Matthew 18:5


  1. That was so sweet! I didn't realize the similarities in your lives. That is neat! You are such a sweet friend, I don't think of you as a taker, but always as a giver!

  2. what a nice tribute to Rachelle & her dad.

  3. You are fortunate to have a friend like Rachelle. And I'm sure she would same the same about you!


  4. Tonya,

    Oh my!!! Thank you for that and for being a great friend in return! I am honored and Dad will be too! You make me sound too good to be true! I too need to work on being a giver to these three blessings God has given us. Some days it is easier to do than others.
    I am so sorry for taking so long to read this. We are in the midst of pie making right now and between that and school with the kids, I have not been on the computer much at all. Many days, it doesn't even get turned on!
    Every entry in your blog is a blessing! Love you Tonya!


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