A Lifetime of Givers by Joyce Abernathy

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For the past few days, I have been pondering the word giver.  A giver is someone who gives to others.  I have been richly blessed as the receiver of gifts from many givers in the past.  The givers were family, friends, acquaintances and even strangers.  And the gifts I was given included love, prayers, encouragement, time and sometimes material gifts.

In my ponderings, I recalled some of those givers.  One was an older gentleman my family met at the little corner store in our neighborhood when I was about four years old. He became my substitute grandfather, who I called Granddaddy Johnson. 

And the insurance salesman who witnessed to my Dad for several years and eventually led Daddy to the Lord, when I was about 7 years old.  I also remember my Dad as a giver, especially when he would occasionally surprise me with a candy bar from the vending machine at the GM plant where he worked the night shift.

There was my 6th-grade teacher who cared enough to give me some encouraging advice. My first year in high school, my older brother who was in the Army volunteered to pay for my school yearbook when my parents were not able to afford the extra expense.

I have come to realize it is not the nature or size of the gift that really matters, but the heart of the giver.
— Joyce Abernathy
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Much later after I was married and had four children, there was an amazing group of anonymous givers who replaced the leaky roof on our home while we were out of town for a couple of days.

There were many more givers in my life and I thank God for them all. I have come to realize it is not the nature or size of the gift that really matters, but the heart of the giver.


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Meet Joyce Abernathy

Joyce Abernathy has been married to her husband Dana for almost 40 years. They have four grown children and five grandchildren. She just recently retired after working as an elementary school secretary for 20 years. She enjoys spending time with family and friends and learning new craft skills.