What if we weren’t meant to “have it all” (part 1)
When we lived (happily, most of the time) on a food stamp income, money matters were more simple in some ways because there was just food/shelter/car/somehow make it till the next paycheck. We watched God provide for our needs in amazing ways and we never were without basic needs. Those around us observed and saw the needs, simply helped meet them if they were able. It was beautiful.
We have always made giving a priority whether we had little or a lot. We’ve seen it modeled in people we love and respect (and not to mention in Acts as we read about the early church) and believe it’s part of life.
It isn’t us the giver, that are so awesome for giving. I truly believe that we are simply intended to be the conduit for what doesn’t belong to us anyway. Which when you look at it that way, it shouldn’t be hard to pass it on to a place where the need is great. There is profound joy to be had in giving your time to someone in need, your hands to help with work, your cooking skills to someone who is ill, your clothes to someone who needs them, your food to fill someone else’s pantry. If we didn’t choose to give, to share, WE would be missing out as well as the ones we are able to bless.
Last year as I pondered what extra activities to add on to our weekly schedule, I was so tempted to do the music classes that we’d done in previous years (on a full scholarship). I knew I could make it work in the activity budget. I emailed, I got all the info. We could do it, so we should do it was my train of thought. But as it came time to actually write the (large) check, for four kids to do these (stellar) classes, I had this overwhelming sense that just because we could do it actually didn’t mean we should.
I felt a little lame writing to say we wouldn’t be registering the kids after all. But something in my heart told me that although the classes would be fun and delightful for our kids, that perhaps there was something far more meaningful that money was intended for. So instead of music classes we added to our brood of Compassion children.
To try and communicate how this investment is such a treasure to our family or how richly blessed we feel to get to write back and forth with these five sweet children in Kenya, Guatemala and India and get letters back from them that say things like “I send you and your children a kiss and a big hug”. Sponsorship is a bigger deal to these children than I’m sure I can even imagine. They are steps away from crisis and hunger. Closer than I’ll probably be all my life.
There is no judgement intended here, only a heart that wanted to share a little piece of our story. This perspective continues to permeate my thinking and is part of the way God is showing me, showing all of us, how the gospel can be lived out in our life in this land of plenty.