Love Given Is Love Gained

A few months ago, as we traveled down to Southern California to see family for Christmas, we stopped at El Pollo Loco for lunch. Steve placed our order while I got David settled in the booth and pulled out his pre-prepared foods and a spoon. Because of his disability, David eats a special diet and all his meals are blended to a smooth texture. As I began spoon feeding him a woman come over to us. She looked at David’s small hand with only two fingers and compassion filled her eyes. I could feel her love towards him.

As she approached us I wondered what she would say. Would she ask for a hug from him? Every thing about her seemed like she wanted to wrap her arms around him and snuggle him.

“Hello,” she said with a tremble in her voice. “He is so precious. Can I give him a gift?” She pulled out a crisp $100 dollar bill and handed it to me.

“Thank you, you are so kind, but that is not necessary.” I said with a smile.

“Please,” she said, her eyes pleading with me to take the money.

“He is fine, don’t worry. Someone else must need this money more than he does.” I tried to explain.

“I want to give it to him. Please, please take it.” She pleaded.

“Okay. Thank you. Wow. God Bless you.” I stumbled over my words as I stood up and hugged her. We embraced and as we said goodbye she wiped a tear from her eye.

This isn’t the first time someone has given David a generous gift. I’m unsure what to do in these situations–we don’t really need the money–David has everything he needs and more. But, how can we reject a gift given with so much love? So much bravery?

We finished our food, gathered our things and headed back to the car. As we continued our journey Steve and I talked about what we should do with the money. Let’s keep our eyes open for the right person. We’ll find someone who needs this $100 and pass it on to them.

God please bless her, I prayed as we drove. I pray her gift comes back to her tenfold. 

Later that day we picked up our family from the airport. We shared the crazy story with them and talked about the kindness of strangers. We also talked about David’s beautiful heart and how he draws people to him. It’s something I can’t explain but I’ve seen it happen again and again.

A couple days later we woke up in a hotel room, threw on sweats and headed down to the hotel restaurant for breakfast. We had been exploring Los Angeles with our extended family as we were all wiped out. It was Christmas Eve and the hotel was mostly quiet.  We were seated at a big table and our server came over quickly to fill our mugs with hot coffee. He smiled at the kids and made small talk–asking us what had brought us to town on Christmas Eve. We went around the table and each of us placed our order for an omelet or waffles. When he got to David I told the server David was fine–I had brought special food for him. Our server smiled at David and then headed to the computer to put our breakfast order in.

This server was extra attentive with a kind smile and a gentle heart. He kept checking on us, but specifically asking after David, making sure he had everything he needed. When I finished feeding David his pre-prepared blended food, the server asked if he could take the containers to the kitchen and wash them for us. We have never had a server ask to do that! It was so thoughtful. Steve and I were both touched by his kindness. We looked at each other and smiled. This was the person who needed the $100. This gentle soul, who noticed David and went out of his way to show kindness, should be the one who received this generous gift. When the bill arrived, Steve paid with a credit card and left the crisp $100 bill as a tip.

As we got ready to leave, the server made his way to Steve.

“I think you made a mistake.” He said, showing Steve the credit card receipt next to the crisp bill.

“No, no mistake. That is a gift for you.” Steve replied.

The look on the server’s face was a mix of genuine surprise, sheer joy and overwhelming gratitude. When I saw his face I thought I might burst into tears right then and there. I’m tearing up right now thinking about it. I am confident, this was the person who needed the $100 bill. I have no doubt God put this person in our path.

I wish we’d had time to tell the server the whole backstory–that it really wasn’t a gift from us, but a gift from a stranger we had met a few days earlier. I wished we could have found a way to explain that David, our son who only has two fingers on his left hand, our kiddo who is non-verbal, has a spark that brings out kindness in people. This kindness, this love, is bigger than David–big enough to connect strangers in different cities. Every good deed comes back bigger and better. Love stretches and grows and binds us together.

Love Given is Love Gained

Generosity brings freedom
Bravery makes us stronger
Smiles are contagious
Kindness rubs off on others
Gentleness calms the soul
Creativity inspires creativity
Laughter is infectious
Honesty breaks down walls
Forgiveness fortifies the heart
Love given is love gained
Good never goes to waste

It comes back bigger and better
Love grows and stretches and
binds us together 

This is the meaning behind the Let Love Grow Cuff.

Have you experienced the kindness of a stranger?


  1. Love the story, I too am a parent of a non-verbal, special child.. so beautiful.. she is perfect, just like your David. Love your jewelry… as soon as I can confirm my ring size I am ordering. xoxo

  2. Love the story, we all have the ability to be generous in many ways. Jesus loves generous givers and it need not always be money, it can be a hug or a big smile. I guess we all see someone everyday who needs a bit of love or a quiet prayer. I believe that we pass by Angels in our lives that are the unnoticed and unappreciated people. You just never know.

  3. What is the meaning of the pearl on some of your necklaces and bracelets? I tried to find it on your blog but I am a new customer and there is a lot to read.

  4. Thank you for sharing your story! It was powerful and made me think about my life and it’s challenges! As I wept, I realized that you have been chosen to be David’s mother for a reason. He is so lucky God chose you! You inspired me today………thank you!

  5. I love to hear stories like this. There’s a song I hear on the radio “…I believe most people are good.”

    Our grandson has Autism and one of his stimming behaviors is twirling ties. He will twirl, twirl, twirl a tie for days on end. And then out of the blue, he rips it all apart, completely destroying it. My son would just go get inexpensive ties from Goodwill so he always has a new one.
    But one day a fellow church member dropped off a huge box of ties for him. There were maybe 50 ties in there.
    She said they were mostly her father’s old ties, and they added some extras in there also. My son was just so touched by that lovely gesture.

  6. ❤️This story brought tears to my eyes. I can feel the love that you all share and it is truly uplifting. Thank you for giving us a peek into your life and these very special moments ?

  7. I love stories like this, they just confirm that things happen for a reason and we’re put in the path of people right when we need to be.

    A similar thing happened to us although we went’t gifted the money, we were gifted a wonderful vacation to the Dominican Republic and were in a special VIP area of the resort that had a private lounge. We would go there in the morning and afternoon for their special treats and delicious coffee, there was a hostess there that was so attentive to our every need and when she wasn’t busy we would chat with her. Over the week we were there, we would see her later in the day come around poolside taking drink orders after her shift was done in the VIP area. During our chats we learned that she had 3 children and that she had to take a bus 1 hour each way from her home to the resort to get to work. We left tips everyday for her, but before our last day there, my husband and I both got a powerful message that we were to go and give her $100 and to say good-bye to her. We told each other and just smiled that we both got the same message. The next morning we went up to see her and gave the the $100 bill, she cried and gave us the biggest hugs. She told us that she had been working extra hours to try to get extra money. Her son was ill and needed medication that her & her husband couldn’t afford to buy, but now because of the money we gave her she would be able to get for him! I can truly say that was the best part of the whole vacation and that it is better to give than to receive. God is good.

  8. This is just beautiful.
    I was once the server who was left a $100 tip after a very small meal was ordered. I have always been deeply grateful for that gift and the sweet comments of kindness when I tried to correct the “mistake”. I hope they enjoy telling the story of giving just as much as I enjoy the story or receiving. I often pray someday I will be in just the right position to be the giver.

  9. Such a sweet story…a lovely reminder that there’s so much love and grace in this world. You, your sweet family and your jewelry all share this grace and light. Thank you. ❤️

  10. This story is so beautiful and inspiring! I love that you did not just spend the money on yourselves! I can hear in your post the joy that giving this to someone else gave you, far beyond the joy you would have received had you purchased something. What an amazing role model for your boys! I love how you guys love each other so well! Thanks for sharing your make a difference!!

  11. I am so touched and inspired by this story and your hearts not to just spend this money on yourselves! The world needs more people like your family! I love the way you guys love on each other!! Thank you for sharing your life, it makes a difference!

  12. Lisa,
    I don’t know you personally but through your post about your family I can feel the love. I can see the kindness in your family’s eye’s. May Heavenly Father wrap his arms around your family and pour down the blessings of Heaven upon you all.

    Iva Albrecht

  13. Wow! This story is so powerful. It brings tears to my eyes. David has a unique way to reaching people–without words, he somehow touches people’s souls. What a beautiful to pass on the blessing to someone else.

  14. Thank you for sharing your every day life stories. It helps ease the pain of loosing my sister. She also had special needs. We loved and took care of her until she passed just before 18th birthday. She passed Feb of 1989. ????

  15. Your beautiful and tender stories of your beautiful family always touch my soul, and leave a footprint on my heart! God Bless you all today and always!

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