About the Author

Annie F. Downs is a bestselling author and nationally known speaker based in Nashville, Tennessee. Her most recent books include 100 Days to Brave, Looking for Lovely and Let’s All Be Brave. Read more at anniefdowns.com and follow her at @anniefdowns.

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  1. Annie,
    I am blessed to work with a Board of Directors who continue to show me what giving is all about. As the head of a non-profit ministry, I see these people give generously of their time and talent. They also give generously of their treasure. They cover any and all administrative costs so that every single dime that comes in goes directly to the children that we serve. No 20% going to postage and printing…no, all to the orphaned and impoverished children. We are a small ministry and the needs are many. My Board continues to blow my socks off because they so give until it hurts. And, it’s not a once and done….they continue to do so. I am also amazed at the generosity of givers – the ones with softened hearts who see hurting in others and give like Jesus does. Witnessing others who do so continues to inspire me and to raise my level of generosity. Great reminder Annie (oh the self absorbed early 20’s…dealing with that right now lol).
    Blessings,
    Bev

  2. I think even as an adult with a family of my own, God is still blessing me with other families who I get to be blessed by and also bless and pour into. ❀️ I’m also enjoying being a second mom to my daughter’s teenage friends.

  3. Giving is a gift that keeps on giving! For I know we all experience the Spirit soar when we give especially sacrificially.
    I will tell you as a recipient of generosity for the first time as anadult last year (now that was uncomfortable). But in His grace He reminded me how it blessed my Spirit to give and that humility was His when He walked this earth and when he preached and travelled He depended on the generosity of others. So yes I learnt to allow blessing on others generosity and to humbly receive it and one more thing be grateful! God is good always and He truly gives wisdom to those of us who seek it as we stumble but try to walk in His will. What a gracious God we serve!

  4. Annie, thank you. This really resonated. When I was 20yrs, a family took me in for half a year… I’ve never really figured out how to pay this kindness back or forward… I taught the kids art as part of their homeschool curriculum, at the wife’s suggestion, and I made art for each of them. But that was long ago. What other suggestions do you guys have to either pay back or pay forward this huge kindness?

    • Pearl, what a beautiful story and hope πŸ™‚ what does the Lord put on your heart? How can you use what talents the Lord has given to give back? You have art talents-could you use those talents to brighten a shelter or create encouraging cards for those looking for work, or experiencing a loss or illness?

  5. I too was the recipient of generosity that is life changing. When I was about 22 years old and in a situation where I was about to be homeless, a friend I had just met at a New Years Eve party in her home, not only helped me find a place to live, loaned me the money to rent it. I paid her back but her generosity taught me more than just gratitude. You see this was in 1968 in Los Angeles and she was of African American descent and I a white girl. Thankfully love is not a color. Let us go forth and multiply…the lessons of love and generosity

  6. Annie, Thanks be to the Lord for this encouragement, how I needed this today-it makes my heart happy πŸ™‚ I have been so blessed by the generosity of the Lord and others in my life-these posts are one of those blessings. Your words “Generosity, the real kind, gives until it is uncomfortable.” reminds me of Mother Teresa, who said “I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.” Her address to the National Prayer Breakfast in 1971 spoke of it hurting Jesus to love us, but that is what love endures to give http://gos.sbc.edu/m/mothert1.htm-. Ann Voskamp said it too: “Love always costs you grief; love is always worth the price.” All we have is gift to be given. May we give so much today as our Savior calls us to, out of love and gratitude for Him by Whom we have been loved from death into new life πŸ™‚

  7. My mother is the most generous person I know. She worked very hard to stay on her feet as a single mother and when I was 15 had the opportunity to buy a restaurant. She poured herself into turning it into a very successful business. She found Jesus during this time and has not stopped spreading his word. She recently purchased an old business office and turned it into a community outreach and thrift store. It is called “Hand of Hope” in Cordele, Ga. She raised money and farmers donated money,time, and equipment to help build a community garden that fed thousands throughout the summer. She has enlisted teams to build “micro houses” which are small “homes” big enough for a bed, desk, and window with air conditioner. For homeless people to use. In the store they have very nice items that they sell for very very cheap. Along with all of this she does church every day during the lunch hour to show the love of Jesus to all that come. I get frustrated at times because people take advantage daily, but I know she is doing it all for the right reasons, the Lord. She is truly the most generous person I know.

  8. Thanks so much for your bravery in putting this out there. This is so not me as well…sad to say. But, God is working on us. Unfolding His plan right before our eyes, using the generosity of others to make us “see the light”. Loved this.

  9. Annie,

    I moved to another state to attend college and got my own apartment. It was my first time being out on my own. Needless to say there was a wonderful couple down the hill from me that adopted me. The first night alone they brought dinner & dessert. They would take me out to eat with them, & invite me over for dinner. This family loved me like I was one of their own. God showed me a way to pay it forward. They won a Super bowl party and had me & others over. That night there was a blizzard and people got stranded at home. There was a nursing home right across the street from their apartment. The next day the mother and I went over there taking left over pizza to the workers & helping them serve the residents. I have never forgotten their kindness and try to pass it on to others.

    Blessings πŸ™‚

  10. When I was a teen, a lady in the church who had four boys I would babysit, was so generous to me. She would ask me to spend the night and come home and for an hour or so sit on the pull out couch and whisper and tell stories. She gave me good advice and mentored me on how to be a lady without being preachy. Next morning she would cook breakfast and let me help in a way that taught me how to be hospitable. She was a good second mom or older sister to me. She had faith in me and encouraged me.

  11. This really touched my heart today. I struggle over generously giving up my son’s out grown clothing. I have been the recipient of others’ outgrown clothing for my two boys and I truly appreciated it. I have since passed those along to a single Mom and also to my nephew with new clothing that my family had purchased for my son. Now that we just have the clothing we purchased (and having one income, and a very part time job) I feel in order to be able to purchase new clothes for our boys that we should sell the out grown clothing. We are now swimming in out grown clothing because the time it takes to have a garage sale is very limited because of sports commitments. However, I have a sister-in-law who asks me periodically what size my boys are now in… she knows that I have extra clothing. My sister-in-law works full time and also my brother-in-law so I feel they can afford to buy their child new clothing. Is God putting this on my heart to be generous and give them the out grown clothing?