Sometimes I give but I really don’t.

Scenario #1: I’ll tell my husband, for example, to go enjoy a night out on his own — no kids or work to worry about. (He frequently does the same for me.) But when the kids start acting up (imagine that!) or I start to lose my cool … or my sanity … the internal monologue begins. Do you know how much I could use a night out? Hope he knows how much this costs! Lovely, loving thoughts, I know.

Or maybe he’ll get home, and I’ll drop hints about the things that went wrong so he’ll appreciate my sacrifice. Hope you enjoyed your night, Honey, because you should have felt guilty for actually doing what I said you could do!

Scenario #2: My kids ask me for something. Again. May I have another drink please, Mom? Can I play one more computer game? Or even better, Owww! I hit my noggin while doing something rambunctious that you told me not to do! Will you please kiss it? I say yes, but in my heart — and even with my voice at times — I don’t really say yes.

Scenario #3: I’ve volunteered to do something for someone. Bring a meal, watch their kids, stuff like that. But when the stove’s boiling over while the baby’s crying, or when five kids get a little nutso all at once, I can start complaining inside about the work, which I actually wanted to be doing for God in the first place.

So lately as I’ve found myself in a situation where I’m temped to feel like a martyr, I ask myself, Am I really giving cheerfully here? Am I giving with my whole heart, or am I actually taking back what I said I’d give?

I have it on good authority that God loves it when I give cheerfully … and I’m thinkin’ He’s not the only one!