Sunday, October 19, 2008

Somewhat refreshed and the ugly inside me

I am really glad that I took a little time this week to step back and just try to get life a little more under control. I don't feel so squeezed from all directions.

One of my head struggles is something that you know with your head is wrong, but your feelings aren't coming along for the ride. Our church is beginning a building campaign for a new sanctuary. I was asked to serve on the finance committee to raise funds. What I understand is that this our group will come up with ideas of ways to raise funds. I am gathering thoughts and ideas to present when we actually get started.

My struggle has been two fold. My first struggle has been that we gave up extra income to move to Alabama so that we would not have to work extra jobs. We went from having a lot of money left over to a very strict budget again. That is okay with me since I love to be creative and make it work. My problem is that in looking at what we can give to the building fund I do not feel it is anywhere near the amount I would like or feel led to give. I totally trust God to provide and increase our ability and am willing to really sacrifice to give.

This is where my next internal struggle has been. Before I hear from you about how wrong I am, I know my thoughts are wrong, that is why I am struggling. I am trying to find the place and ability to place it before God- AND NOT PICK IT BACK UP! If I am cutting out all external fun things, sacrificing by cooking with less meat and adding rice and beans, and doing without I am seeing my thoughts churn when the ladies at church get their nails done weekly and the men are golfing and I see people going out to eat all the time. Generally, I am struggling with sacrificing and seeing people who aren't. They may be giving 20X what we can and still have money left to do their nails or golf or go out to eat. My spirit wants to say that they should be giving equal sacrifice- it is not the amount given.

There- me in the raw flesh- poured out in all my ugliness. I know that what we give is between us and God, and I should not be concerned with what others give. It is a great opportunity for them to learn how to give and may be an area in their life where God is growing them. Don't you hate it when you know you are wrong, but still have the feelings? I know with some time before God I can find that place to lay it down and I feel that this weekend I have moved in that direction. Hopefully, admitting it in front of the world will help me to deal with it, instead of keeping it hidden.

I am considering looking for a couple of kids to watch after school each day. If I could find a couple in our school district that could ride the bus here then stay until their parents got off work. I thought that that would provide more for us to give. I would also like to begin crafting again when we finish more of the projects around the house. I really want to give with great sacrifice so that our church does not carry a debt for the building. I anxiously wait to see how God builds the building that our church needs. How people are grown and learn to trust God for their needs and sacrifice to give. I am sure there will be many testimonies of faith and God's provision.


Mrs. Darling said...

I think what youre feeling is very normal. I dont know about not having enough money but i do know the feelings you express. The widow put her tiny bit of money in the offering and God honored it. Your bit is just as acceptable as other peoples hundreds. And the feelings? Well that is where I dont have an answer other then to pray. I so know the struggle to keep right thoughts and a sweet spirit! Hugs!

The Wagner Family said...

Good for you for being honest. You certainly aren't the only one who's felt that way. I have struggled in the past with fully trusting God to take care of us financially. I considered myself a saver only to realize I was actually a hoarder. I'm still a penny pincher but God is teaching me to see money as a tool not as my master. He has allowed several circumstances to show me that it's all His anyway. I am just to do with it what He wants.

Something else He's taught me is how submitting to my husband in this area can be so freeing. If I pray for wisdom for my hubby and he makes a decision about something (financial or not), I'm protected. God blesses my obedience of submission. It's no longer my burden.

Keep us updated on your journey. I'd love to hear how God works it all for good.

Valarie said...

Its ok, I have struggled thinking the same thing. Think about this though. The people who are doing the golfing and shopping, alot of them are living on money they really don't have. They are struggling at home not knowing how to manage their money properly.

If people could just know how to do the things you do. I tell you everytime I go to the grocery store, I wish you were with me. I get to the register and think Holly would so get on to me for the stuff in my buggy. How you do the things you do, is a gift, and I wish I knew how to do what you do. :)

momstheword said...

You are not horrible, you are normal. Would it encourage you to know that I struggle to keep my eyes on the Lord oftentimes too? Fortunately, God is powerful. We just have to elevate our faith above our feelings, and apply Phil 4:8 to our thought life (not to mention II Cor. 10:5 and taking these thoughts captive for the Lord). I hope you don't mind that I've added you to my blogroll.

Southerner said...

Thanks for the sweet words of encouragement ladies! I am really trying to focus on giving from what God has given me (not worry about the amount) and know that if God feels that there is a greater need monetarily He will provide it through me or others. I know that those who are not truly sacrificing will be touched as they learn to live and it is God's job to touch their hearts with the desire and wisdom on how to use their money. See, I am getting there. As I said, I really know what is true and right- but my emotions have been continuing to surface and I have to take those thoughts captive. Continually. Again.

Valerie-It came from a time when I had a choice- stay home with my baby and do whatever I could to make it on very little or work and pay it all to childcare and still struggle. I never thought we could make it and planned to stay home 6 months then return to work. I never had to return with the exception of when Darryl went to Desert Storm (because I flew to California twice, once at Christmas and again a week later when they were deploying- all unplanned but when he calls and says to come you go) It is all because God has been faithful to provide and teach me how to cut more and more and do more and more with little. I had no option but to sponge up all I could. You just need to come shopping so I can teach you how to CVS and Rite Aid and all.

Momstheword- What a cute name! I would love to be added to your blog roll. You are doing such a good job with your new blog!

Dawn said...

I love that you've laid yourself bare here - so much better than putting on your happy face and pretending that you've got it all under control. And, I sure think your congregation picked at least one right person to be on the that committee!!! All the other ladies have given excellent advice - my words would only echo them so I won't repeat. Keep your eyes upward and know that you're not alone in your struggle!