Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Freely Giving

I get so many requests to support different causes. In all honesty it can get pretty overwhelming.
Sometimes people come across while trying to plea their cause in a guilt trip type manner. If you buy Starbucks then you're not compassionate. If you get a manicure then your selfish-because that money could have gone to a charity. I think people get tired of this type of plea. The truth is there are going to be the people who will sacrifice their conveniences and luxuries to help and then there are people who won't in that way.

So, if I have ever used guilt to motivate some you..Please forgive me. Giving should never come from feeling pushed against a wall.

I'm going to be real honest here. I'm not sharing this for glory nor pity. I'm simply sharing.
We are going through a tough time financially right now. This past year we gave away about half our income to various causes including Gedese. Before you form any preconvieved notion of how much we make..let me paint a picture of our lives. I drive a 1991 BMW. My husband a1994 Land Rover. We also have a paid for 12 passenger van that I try not to drive that much because of gas. Our house is 35 years old and is in need of constant repair. We don't have cable. I have a limited grocery budget. I rarely buy new clothes. I sometimes get manicure 3x per year. I don't feel guilty when I do and don't feel bad when I can't. I do buy an occasional cup of coffee from Starbucks and don't feel guilty when I do and don't feel bad when I can't afford it for a few months. I don't buy paper products-except toilet paper. There are times I fill my cart with food only to see someone in a different line have their card denied and not be able to feed their family. If I feel like God is tugging at me I will quietly pay their bill which means sometimes I have to put my own groceries back and sometimes I have enough money to keep mine as well. Sometimes I can spend money on a splurge like a David and Sheku bag and other times like last week I had to cash in all my change I had been saving in a jar to go have lunch with a woman God had put in my path to minister to. In our business we have 50 employees that get paid-. We try to treat them well. We contribute to their health insurance-not as much as I would like, but at least something. Our business runs in cycles-Sometimes an abundant income(which we use to pay back the bank for the time it was lean). And other times like now-It's very lean. We don't have credit cards. So everything we buy for ourselves is planned and saved for.

What's my point?
What I have in my pocket right now should NOT dictate if I should give. I guess God called me to give and live recklessly. I started really thinking about the FEED THE FORGOTTEN program Brandi is working tirelessly for. I was in tears a few days ago while I was at the store trying to make $60 stretch to feed my family for the week. I had to tell my kids No 100 times. No Popsicles. NO chips. No! juice. ETC.... BUT- THEY DID GET TO EAT!!!!!! They never went hungry. I can't begin to imagine day after day not being able to feed my kids at all.
I was in tears over Popsicles for crying out loud. The people in the Uganda region that FEED THE FORGOTTEN is trying to support have nothing. Talk about perspective.

So how do you figure out what cause you give to.
1. PRAY.
2. What does your heart tell you? Do you have that huge lump in your chest. That feeling like you're choking on your own breath?
3. Do you WANT to give to this charity?

Give! Do it recklessly and do it in faith.

But if you're feeling pushed into giving or you're not feeling led to a certain charity. Then don't give. It's okay not to give $$. Maybe you just want to pass along the information to a friend or family member that you think would feel that prompting to want to give. Just because you don't give to a certain charity doesn't mean God still can't use you to help.

Give because you want to freely give. I did not put my groceries back because I felt guilty. I give often what I don't feel like I have because I want to. God called me to it.

Just my thoughts.

Will I be able to give as much as I would like to FEED THE FORGOTTEN.
In all probability-NO, but will I give something? YES.

As I was typing this God put a thought in my heart. Since all I seem to come up with at this time is a little bit of change (Remember only.14 cents for 1 meal) so any change WILL make a difference.
What if I got everyone I knew that had a desire to help just give their spare change. What kind of difference would that make?


So do you have any spare change in your pocket?

*I really hope this post comes across how my heart meant it to.*


*Overflowing* said...

beautifully said...thank you friend!
btw...Josiah is home...more results expected by thursday...God is healing this sweetie!

crispy said...

You are often an inspiration to me.

"He gives and He takes away...blessed be His name."

We all go through different seasons of life and God is calling us to be faithful to Him.

Jman's momma said...

I am in awe of the way you wrote this!! AWESOME - I am speechless... I pray that we will make a trip to Africa together some day - I would love to meet you!!! Thrilled to be on this team with you.

Love, Anne

Kami said...

I just wanted to thank you for everything that you put out there for those of us who read your blog and many others like myself who consider you a friend. It is amazing that you share so much of yourself and I appreciate all of the posts about people and organizations in need. XOXO!

emily said...

Truly one of your best posts ever- so well written and REAL. Thanks for the transparency--you do that so well.

Leah Dooley said...

It did. It does.

Robbin said...

another amazing post that serves to remind me just how little is needed!!!! Thanks

Salzwedel Family said...

Beautiful post. God wants us to lose ourself like this and it is what I strive for. I don't always do as well as I should, but He is always working on me. Thanks for sharing this program.

amber g said...

I guess my comment earlier didn't go through... But I need to leave another one 'cause this was seriously one of the best posts I have ever read. It was so smack-on with where we've been the last six months as a family... and what God's been saying to me lately. Thank you. Sometimes I feel like it has to be all or nothing. But it can be all in our hearts and as much as we can in our wallets. God knows. Thanks for your realness, that's one of the things I love the most about reading your blog.

Melinda said...

I am a little behind on reading blogs, but I just have to say I loved this post. Thank you for your perspective and for being an encouragement to me and many other's. You are a blessing!!!!

Missy said...

ok...missed this one first time around...thank you....i recently read similar thoughts regarding prayer requests...we can get so overwhelmed with all the prayer requests that come to us each day that it's easy just to say, "i can't possibly pray for all these people." the spirit gives each of us different burdens to take to the father in prayer...just like he calls some to adopt from africa, some from china...some to the mission field in south america and some the inner city.

as always, you are a blessing.