“She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.” Proverbs 31:20
So my friend Sarah made an excellent point in her blog. The more we are able to organize and save our time, money and efforts, the more time, money, and effort we are able to extend elsewhere. I love her saying, “organization is freedom” It didn’t make sense to me until I hard-core started to organize my household. But it’s true! When you get done all that you have to do in a timely fashion, you have oodles of time to do what you want to do. See? Freedom.
So I’ve been putting off my major grocery trip for at least 4 days now so I’m completely out of milk 😦 . So today is the day, even if it is Friday, and everything will be cram packed like a can of sardines… I have a confession to make, I didn’t buy a paper last Sunday, so I’m currently coupon-less… I’m going to stop by a few places and see if they have any left so I can put into practice my saving tips. But, I do have my meals for the week planned, and I do have a list, and it’s not extensive!
But I figure, if I can successfully cut at the very least, $100 from my grocery bill each month, that’s $100 that can go to the church! Am I right? I mean, let’s think here, $100/month, for a year, that’s $1,200; money that can be given to my church for their work in worship ministry, community outreach, and more. And that’s just in savings from groceries. Think of all the ministries you could help if you shaved off $20 here…$15 there… It doesn’t have to be big, people. Let me tell you a story about God’s amazing ability to provide while my husband was away in basic training…
Sunday, February 13, 2011… For my birthday, Mom sent me a $20 bill. At the time, Mitch’s pay was being held, and I was only able to work part-time because of school (25 credit hours that semester) so I was thankful for it and had planned on using it for gas or whatever need arose. Since I was driving 45 minutes to and from school at SIC, gas was the greatest probability. Well, I ended up using the debit card to fill up the gas tank so later the following Sunday, I still had the $20 in my wallet. I had planned on giving the two $1 bills I had for offering, but something about the sermon touched me, and I wanted to give more. I knew that I was helping to further God’s work. I remembered the $20 in my wallet… it was money I wouldn’t have had otherwise, so I put it in the offering. I didn’t stop to think, “Oh, what if I need that for food, or gas, or whatever?” I just gave because God compelled my heart to give. I trusted him and had faith that he would provide; I sought first the kingdom of God (Matt. 6:33-34). And later that Sunday, as if to prove His point, my grandparents handed me a $20 after a performance of my show (You Can’t Take It With You).
I gave to the furtherance of God’s ministry without expecting anything in return, and God still found a way to provide. I had a friend say to me later, “The Man’s The Man for a reason!” I should say so. I couldn’t believe how God demonstrated his power almost immediately, but it made me want to see him at work even more. I had been waiting for a sign, something to show me that God was really around and working in my life. I don’t imagine He could have made himself any clearer.
This for serious happened to me!!! I even wrote Mitch a letter telling him about it; telling him that’s how I knew we’d be okay through this whole military experience; God was right there, taking care of us.
I hope this story compels you to give to your own church family or to their various community ministries. If nothing else, maybe it’ll inspire you to use coupons. I don’t know… Just know that I pray for all you readers, and I thank God that I’m able to reach you. 🙂