Giving, Receiving & Asking by Katherine Guendling

Giving and Receiving and Asking I was 40 when I found Unity of the Hills in Branson. I was the oldest of nine newcomers who showed up together for the first time one Sunday morning. They called us kids, it felt strange.

By 40, I’d traveled from the east coast to the west coast and back again; I had three sons who were living with their dad for the past two years since our divorce; I was married for the second time and about to divorce for the second time; and was moving into my fourth career field. I didn’t feel like a kid. However there was so much love and joy when they said it that I liked it.

They were the elders in Unity’s women’s group in Branson. At the time we joined the church Edie, in her late 70’s, had just returned from a cruise to Egypt on a merchant ship – by herself. Ione, also in her late 70’s, had just returned from California where her son taught her to hang glide over the Pacific. Brave, adventuresome, happy women like Edie and Ione were abundant in this small Unity church and I wanted to grow up to be just like them.

I learned so many lessons of Truth with these ladies. One that impacted me deeply was a Edie’s lesson on receiving. She complimented me on my dress one Sunday morning and, like usual and with zeal, I told how inexpensive it was and where I’d found it, and what a great deal it was.

She took me aside and explained that it was time for me to fully receive a compliment. She said the response I’d given her diminished the compliment. I hadn’t actually received her compliment, I’d by-passed it and turned the attention another way.

She challenged me to simply receive. When I was complemented, I was to simply say “Thank You”, breathe and receive. She said something that I’ve never forgotten, “If you are not a gracious receiver, you will never be a gracious giver.” Bammmm! Rocked by boat.

If you’ve ever just said “thank you” to a compliment you probably remember how challenging it was that first time. I had to bite my tongue more than once. And I stopped myself in the middle of a sentence many, many times to return to just saying “thank you.” Practice makes perfect, this is a lesson I’ve now aced. Got it!

And it’s true, I’m a much better giver these days, because I’ve learned to receive. It works when I work it, like any universal principle. Giving and receiving are two sides of the same coin.

Lately I’ve decided that I need a three sided coin. The third side is asking. Asking, giving and receiving go hand in hand.

Why is it so challenging for us to ask for what we need? We don’t have any problem asking for how we can help. Can you really be a good helper if you are not able to ask for help?

Recovery from a hospital stay made it necessary for me to ask for help. It has happened before. The first time it was really a challenge to let our Loving Care Team at Unity know we needed help. This time it was fun.

Randy and I found ways for everyone who’s offered to help, to help. We went so far as to ask helpers not only to bring us meals, but to eat with us so we could have a little time to visit. It has been the best idea ever! I asked and I received.

I receive and I give. I also receive when I ask. The three work together. Does anyone make a three sided coin?

Lovenough, katherine #6