Reflections from the Daughter of a Generous Mom


Juliana Ryan

I'm the daughter of a generous mom!

When I was twelve years old, my mother took a trip to Kenya that would radically change my life.

Before her trip, my life was "normal." I grew up with my sister and was cared for by two Christian parents with well-paying jobs who loved me dearly. We took great vacations, celebrated extravagant holidays; I never lacked anything.

All that shifted in October 2012 when my mom, Delta, returned from a medical mission trip completely transformed by what she experienced. I attentively listened to her stories but never imagined she would actually make a lifestyle shift.

Throughout my childhood, my mom had a passion for missions. She spent time abroad and was ready to share the Gospel around the world. Even in 2011, my mom spontaneously canceled my sister's 16th birthday party and bought us tickets to go on a mission trip to Bolivia for Christmas.

I was no stranger to sacrificial giving, but this time was different. It became a constant topic of conversation, and it was annoying at first. I enjoyed getting pedicures, going to the movies, and buying new clothes.

But my heart began to change... slowly.

I'd like to say that my attitude completely shifted, and I fell radically in love with Kenya after one trip. Actually, it has taken about seven years of God softening my heart and teaching me what it truly means to give cheerfully.

I used to think I was missing out on "more," but now I see we had everything money couldn't buy.

Psalm 84:10 reads, "For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere…"

I would never trade my time in Kenya for a bigger house or newer car. Better is one day living generously than a thousand days ignoring God's call to know Him and what His heart breaks for.

The first time I attended a Journey of Generosity last summer, it was groundbreaking for me to realize I don't have to sell everything I have and move halfway across the world to be a sacrificial giver.

I have learned that it's about my heart. It's about opening my hands to God's beautiful plan for my life.

It is a privilege to have a generous mom. And now, through my own journey of generosity, I look forward to continuing the legacy.


Juliana Ryan

Juliana serves on the operations team as a marketing intern creating digital and print design collateral, updating social media accounts, and writing for the web. Juliana is a senior at the University of Florida where she studies public relations with a concentration on nonprofit organizational leadership.