Monday, December 20, 2010

Sad at Christmas (my heart's desire)

Christmas season has been very joyful for me in a lot of ways. I got all my decorating done right after Thanksgiving and the house has felt so warm and festive for weeks now. I also got all my shopping done in November, minus the crowds and hustle and bustle and haven't even had to think about shopping this whole season! I've been invited to sing at several different places, which always brings joy to my heart. I participated in a fun cookie swap (made almost 20 dozen cookies!) and a big ol' CRAFT DAY with my life group, among other fun, festive things. But one aspect has made me very sad and there's not a whole lot I can do about it.

You see, there have been so many in need this year. A lot of close personal friends or family who are out of work, who are struggling just to put food on the table, who just cannot justify spending extra on gifts for their kids, have really needed me this year and I just haven't been able to help.

This weighs so heavy on my heart. You see, I am a giver. If I can't give when someone is in need, it literally breaks my heart. The reason I can't do a lot about it is because we, ourselves, are watching every penny and since I'm not the one who works a full time job or manages our finances, I can't just give away random amounts of cash (although that's exactly what I'd like to do!).
But in my opinion, being on a tight budget is no excuse for being tight fisted.

I believe when we relax and open our hands, not only are we more free to give, but are then open to receive blessing back from God.

It's a promise. Luke 6:38 says, "Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you." That means that if you give with a teaspoon, you'll be given back a teaspoon in blessings. But if you give with a big ol' bucket, you'll be given a big ol' bucket's worth of blessing back. And while I believe a lot of that is monetary, I believe a great deal of that means that you have greater joy and peace. When you live with open hands and not clenched fists, and live with the mentality that it's not yours to begin with, it's all God's, then you experience a freedom that is unlike any other. Worry leaves you and you begin to trust your Provider to do just that...PROVIDE.

I don't worry much. I am one of those people that just trusts. It gets on a lot of people's nerves actually. But I can't find any other way that God commands us to be. He says to trust Him, so I do. He says that worry doesn't add a day to your life, so I don't. I don't see any middle ground. Am I perfect? No way! I still worry sometimes (I'm a mother after all) and sometimes I don't completely trust. But I will say that to worry about money is something I rarely do. God has proven Himself faithful too many times for me to do that!

Which brings me to why I'm sad that I can't give the way I want to this year. I haven't been trusting Him to bless my business and I haven't been working hard enough to see any of the seed that I've planted produce. I've been lazy. There...I said it. I've just been plain ol' lazy. And now, I'm seeing the consequence of that laziness.

The consequence is apparent when my small group leader calls and tells me that a member of our group has no groceries in the house and that the kids have no Christmas presents, could I give something to help, and I have to say no. Oh my gosh, that tears me up inside! It makes me sick and I feel so ashamed of myself. It's my heart's desire to be the BIGGEST giver I know and to not be able to give what I would like really hurts (although I talked to my husband and we were able to give a little to help). I want to be the one who can write a $500 check for her kids to have presents under the tree or fill up 2 big grocery carts at Kroger so that the family will have groceries in the house.

I don't just want to have a successful business so I can earn trips or a car or make a lot of money or because I want to pay off student loans or put on an addition to the house. Because it's not all about me, but it's about being used as a vessel for God to fill up and then pour out to others.

So I guess the next question is, how do a make sure I never go another Christmas feeling this helpless to, well, help?! I don't ever want to feel this way again.

I will ponder and pray on this for a few days and update you
on what ideas God gives me.

"Lord, bless me and make me a blessing!"

And although I have not been able to give the way I would like this Christmas, I did participate in our church's food and toy drive. I made up a box of nonperishable food and gave away an art set that I had bought for my daughter for Christmas. Our church had a goal to make up our city's food bank's 30,000 pound deficit. We had two weeks to bring in 30,000 pounds of food and fill a tractor trailer with toys. After the first week, it didn't seem like we would make it because there was only a couple thousand pounds brought in, but in literally the last hours of the deadline, ALL the food came in and the goal was met! It was an amazing miracle!


  1. I too am a giver Angie and i know how you feel.When one person works now days you have to tighten the belt and we cant give like we wanted to.
    I do give Zan's unwanted toys and to small good clothes to charities, but that never seems enough.There's so many in need these days.
    I was always taught to give.
    Aunt Dot always says what Ya give comes back 10 fold.
    And Daddy says about worry..God has a bigger lap than he does and he puts all his worries in Gods lap.

  2. I understand your feelings too Angie! But I really believe that God sees the desire in your heart too WANT to give, and understands when you aren't able too as well. I like your solution...pray and see where it leads you. Hugs to my friend...the giver.


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