Laura had just taken a job in town sewing shirts. It was her first paying job. All of her wages were given to Ma (voluntarily) to help send her blind sister, Mary, to college.
All the week, she looked forward to the pleasures of bringing home her wages to Ma. Often she thought, too, that this was only the beginning.
In two more years she would be sixteen, old enough to teach school. If she studied hard and faithfully, and got a teacher's certificate, and then got a school to teach, she would be a real help to Pa and Ma. Then she could begin to pay them for all that it had cost to provide for her since she was a baby. Then, surely, they could send Mary to college.
From Little Town on the Prairie in the chapter entitled The Month of Roses
The sentence that jumped out at me was that Laura "could begin to repay (Ma and Pa) for all that it had cost to provide for her since she was a baby." That is a profound concept! This thought, as well as the desire to help send Mary to college, came from a truly generous spirit.
It is a real testament to the selfless and loving attitude that the Ingalls family lived out in their daily lives. As I mentioned in my welcome post, each family member worked for the good of the whole family. They all had interests and talents, but none of them pursued them selfishly. They were a very strong family unit, and the comfort and good of the other members of the family were important to everyone.
Imagine the peace in a home like that! It is true that "it is more blessed to give than receive." When you give from the kindness of your heart, it truly blesses you, too!