Wednesday, March 10, 2010

My Money

I knew from the beginning of this truck fundraiser for Fatima in Zim, that my Heavenly Father would be teaching me more about money. I knew He would, and I have been praying that. I believe to my core that if we earnestly seek God's will, that He will begin to show it to us with a little more clarity, and that He will also have it make sense. I'm covered in goose bumps as I type this. He means for our lives to glorify Him. He intends for His light in me and His light in you to illuminate. A light that doesn't shine simply isn't a light.

The bible says both that we are supposed to not let our left hand know what our right hand is doing....meaning that we are not supposed to brag about our good deeds or acts of giving....but we are to give and serve joyfully without drawing attention to ourselves. But the bible also says that we should let others see our good deeds so that they can come to know Christ. That is confusing, right? I think maybe there are times for each of these examples. And I believe in our hearts we will be convicted to know when and how and where to share the experience of our deeds....only when it can glorify God. Only when others can see the evidence of the provision and the generosity of the Father in such a way that they would beg to know Him.

There are some things going on in my life, with me as a giver...that I have not been sharing with you because if my right hand isn't supposed to know what my left hand is doing, then I'm pretty sure I'm not supposed to blog about it. But then that leaves me unable to share with you the way that God is working in me....and that is no good. So here goes my best attempt to share, because I want to glorify God. I do not want my acts to be glorified. I do not want my faith to be glorified. I want you to read this and to know that my God in Heaven is your God in Heaven, and He is so eager to bless your giving.

I'm crying.

We are in debt. We have struggled through this economy. There have been times when I wasn't sure we'd ever get out of our mess. Last year I even wondered if we should walk away from our house and let it foreclose. We didn't. I'll spare you the description of every worry.....but it has been hard. Slowly but surely, I sold a few houses last year and have paid off a couple of things, paid down a couple of things...and still we have continued to struggle. I had to let one credit card go into default because we were robbing Peter to pay Paul and it got to be too I sacrificed my incredible credit history and impeccable score and watched it plunge. It has been humbling, eye-opening, scary, and well....educational.

So......that part is just key in you understanding this. Remember...if I cannot be authentic, I really don't even want to be here.

Right before I began the truck fundraiser for Fatima God impressed it on my heart to give financially to a family who was in the midst of adopting 4 children from Ethiopia. They had revealed how much money they still needed via their blog and I knew that I had to step out in faith and give them money that my family literally needed. I made a pledge and then the very next day, they had a donor that gave them the remainder of every last penny that they needed! Great for me, right? I could keep my money. But no.....that isn't how it worked. They have friends who are adopting...and those friends need to still raise a lot more money. So, even though I don't know them, don't read their blog....I knew that I was being led to just redirect our pledge to this other family. It is $400. Do you think I would love to give that $400 to the truck fund? Absolutely. Do you think I could use that $400 to pay down some debt? Uh, duh! I made the pledge in 2 installments of $200 each and mailed the first a couple of weeks ago. That week, my husband got an unexpected bonus of $440. This isn't a co-incidence. This is a God-incident!

I am covered in goose bumps again.

A good friend of mine, Jay, lives in DC and is currently in the process of training for a 100 mile bikeride in the Northwest, to raise money for Leukemia and Lymphoma cure. Jay supported me on my last trip to Zimbabwe....and I want to support him on this effort....because I care about him. He is good people. He is a great encourager for me through facebook. He's a husband and a dad with a great heart. He works so hard. I don't know much at all about Lymphoma and Leukemia, but I know that it matters very much to him. I sent him a little money this month and will send a little next month to contribute to this cause for him. Again....would I like to add that to the truck fund or pay down a bill with that? Yes. But my money is really just God's money and I am diversifying because He has asked me to. I am investing in His people for His purpose. It is not about me. He has strengthened my faith to know that He is in control....and if I am giving in His name, His accounting cannot go wrong.

Yesterday, we received a very unexpected refund for something we had overpaid. It is $600. This is not a conincidence, this is a God-incident. I could not make this stuff up if I tried. So, my family's personal contribution to the truck fundraiser, just went up again. But I'll be honest....God told me part of this is a my momma and I are going to Massage Envy in Bellevue later this week and we are each getting a massage for $39 each (their introductory rate). And before that we are grabbing breakfast. My mom helps so much with our kids. This is my "thank you" to her, for now.

Do you think He won't provide your daily bread? He will.

One of my dear friends put this very well in a recent text to me. She gave a donation and I sent her a text thanking her. She replied by stating that "it is all God's money". She understands that her money is blessing and she uses it to bless others.

Proverbs 30:8,9
"Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, "Who is the Lord?" or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God".

Lord God, praise your name and thank you for teaching me about trusting you with my finances. Thank you that you are slowly but surely providing what my family needs to get out of our "bad" debt and impressing our hearts to give at the same time. This alone makes me feel so rich and so blessed. It is all your money Lord. Everything we have is because of you and it belongs to you. Everything we will ever have will be for you and because of you. Please Lord make material things ugly to me. Make fancy cars a joke and make castles a soreness to my eyes. I pray you will remove every material want from my soul. I pray Father that you would guide me to feed others before I feed myself. I pray God that you would make me entirely self-less instead of selfish. I pray Father that I will never spend a dime for the remainder of my life that does not honor your will. My treasures are in Heaven being prepared by your hands. May this life I am living here on this earth be joyful, peaceful and full, with sprinkles of tiny treasure here and there. Lord, I don't want to be so rich that I think I don't need you, or that I would think I earned it all on my own. And I don't want to be poor, Lord, and feel like I would have to sin, steal, cheat or lie to survive. You are my wealth. You are my treasure. You are my accountant. Thank you Lord. In Jesus name, So be it.


Sarah said...

I believe that with a heart like the one you demonstrated in your prayer, and with the way you are blessing others with the resources you've received, God is going to set you free of your debt! God doesn't lie. He said to seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things (that you need) will be given to you. That's what you are doing.

Your provision is coming, sister!

The Clicks said...

What a beautiful post, Melissa! I love the phrase "God-incident". That's a great way of putting it. I always call it a "God thing". You will be blessed beyond measure, Melissa. In fact, as you know, you already are so very blessed!

Keep doing good with that great big heart of yours. Your a wonderful example!