If you were to spend any time in my house, you would hear me saying phrases like this a lot:

” Please share with you brother “

       ” You need to give someone else a turn “

       ” He asked nicely, now please let your brother play with it too”

      ” There are enough Star Wars guys for everybody to have one ” 

My kids have trouble sharing.  Sometimes they do better than at other times, but generally their desire to hold onto whatever thing they have is so great they are willing to risk getting in trouble with mom to keep it in their possession.

But I am a mature, 35-year old adult, so I don’t have problems sharing.  That’s only an issue with little kids . . . Or is it?

Really, who am I kidding?  I may not start a fight over who gets Darth Vader’s lightsaber, but I am tight-fisted with many other things in my life.

The fluffiest pillow on the couch.

The last cup of brewed coffee.

My free time.

My compassion.

If I’m honest with myself, I tend to believe the lie that the best way to get and keep what I want is to have a tight grip on anything I possess . . . to not be too generous with sharing what I have with others because that will diminish what amount of it remains mine.

But that’s just not true.  Offering some of what I have to another or allowing someone else to enjoy for a time my possession doesn’t lessen my lot at all. It just spreads it out.

It’s so refreshing to be around people who have learned, better than I have, to live an open-handed life.  Receiving their generosity helps remind me that the real way to experience the joy of our possessions is through sharing them with others.  It seems counter-intuitive, but being open-handed with what I have generally results in a greater bounty coming back my way.

My husband and I were blessed this past weekend by the open-handedness of some friends from our church. For the past 3 years, our friends have hosted a weekend getaway for our church small group at a lakehouse owned by some of their family.

The first year we went I had a certain picture of a lakehouse in my mind–a log cabin type of place with bunk beds and a dock with a ladder where you could climb down into the lake to swim and cool off.

Well, this is not that kind of lakehouse 🙂

 

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It is literally the nicest place I have ever stayed, including where I spent my honeymoon and a few other “luxury” vacation spots.

The home is owned by my friend’s parents, and they spent several years designing, building, and decorating it to meet their specific vision.

Seriously–it’s gorgeous.  And whatever you could think to want at a weekend at the lake, it’s available.

 

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Each year that we go down I love taking some time to wander through the house and look at the collected treasures scattered throughout the space.  My friend’s mother has a passion for customizing her space with antique elements and adding character through vintage collections.

 

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So I had the thought yesterday that I would spend some time photographing some of my favorite spots in this beautiful home and sharing it with you (with my friend’s permission, of course).

 

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This pine cabinet, filled with ironstone and copper pieces, is probably my favorite thing in the entire house.

 

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These little copper measuring cups are exactly like the ones I found a few months ago at a local market.

 

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There are also beautiful, grand spaces.

 

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There are antique furniture pieces to die for . . .

 

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Little treats for the eyes around every corner.

 

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Wouldn’t you love to wander around and discover all the other treasures around this home?

What amazes me more than this gorgeous home though is the attitude of my friends and their family that says, “What’s mine is yours.”

This lovely home is opened up free of charge to 5 couples, for them to enjoy a relaxing weekend surrounded by beauty and calm.

 

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Does this family have to share this beautiful space with anyone, much less families they haven’t even met?

Certainly not.  They could keep this treasure of a home tightly locked away.

But instead they live with an open-hand.  While away from their home they allow others to freely come and enjoy the beauty as well.  They share.

 

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I may not have this lakehouse to share with others, but I do have gifts and possessions I could open up to bless other people.

I can open up my yard for the neighborhood kids to come in and play.

I can help a friend who wants to try painting her daughter’s dresser.

I can sit on the rug and do puzzles with my 3 year old when he’s bored in the afternoon.

I can pass along all of the baby gear we are finished with to other young moms who could use it.

I can speak kind words of encouragement to the lady behind the counter at the grocery store.

As I try and help my kids learn that there is always enough to go around, I want to live out that truth more myself.

Living with an open-hand doesn’t take anything away from me.  Rather it brings peace, ease, and a warmth of spirit knowing that I can bless someone else by sharing what I have.

So let’s all practice taking turns . . . There’s enough beauty in this world to go around.

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