Monday, February 04, 2008

Give

I am so tired, I can barely keep my eyes open right now!! We had a super busy weekend, but I felt the Lord nudging me to "GET UP" (seriously there was a big "house settling" sound at 5:45 am, I believe it was Angels knocking on the walls!!) this morning.......so here I am!! Coffee in hand and bible in front, and a heart that has been blessed by the Lord.

As part of the the Frugal Me Monday series, God's really been working on my heart with money. You know, it's so easy to go through life and just keep everything to yourself. Your secrets, deals and things that only you know. But, do you know that is not the heart of God at all?? He is such a giving God and this morning, I have been reminded once again what giving is. Giving is so much more than just writing a check!!! It's allowing God to use us to be a blessing to someone else, but in turn to give HIM the glory for it!!

I could ramble off several people that I know that are not "giver's" they keep all that they have time, money and belongings to themselves. Whatever is theirs is theirs, and whatever they find is theirs. They won't give anything away, they won't sell anything and they just won't "part" with anything. Now, I will be honest.......sometimes it's hard for me to give stuff away. Especially stuff like my girl's clothes. Only because you know, I spend hours upon hours folding, washing and organizing those clothes and I normally recieve a good return for my wise keeping of their clothes at yard sales, consignments shops and EBAY!!!

But, a few years ago, God brought someone into my life that was only in it for a very short time. She taught me so much about myself, although to this day she doesn't know. I don't even know if she reads this blog or not, but I guess she will know who I'm talking about if she does!! She was apart of my first bible study that I led. And one night I remember her telling us about a friend of hers that her husband had left and taken everything. She was basically left with nothing......no money, no clothes, nothing. She had two sweet little girls, about two years younger than my older two. It was about Christmas time and the Lord revealed to me........you gotta love this woman even though you don't even know her.

My friend had asked if any of us had clothes, toys or anything that we could give to help this woman get a new start. My heart sank as I thought of my attic full of my two older girl's stuff........it was a bit embarrasing. Matching this and that, bows and shoes to go with each outfit, Christmas dresses.....lot's of stuff. And now granted I was "holding" all this for Kennedy.....because you know the child has NOTHING. (so kidding) But God, He said, "Give it away." And you know what.........I climbed up into that freezing cold attic and I got all the BEST stuff I had out. And I was SO excited. Thinking about how this momma was going to love all these matching outfits for her two girls, and the bows and then..........God stopped me. He said, "Nicki........this isn't about that."

I said, "Oh." He said, "This is about your heart..........are you willing to give unto others, even when it's not exciting or fun? or better yet........when you don't have it to give?" As I sat there in the midst of a huge mess........suddenly, it wasn't so fun. This was a real life I was dealing with......a broken heart, a broken family.......and all I was excited about was the fact that she'd have matching clothes for her two girls??? Oh my.........yes, friends, there was some serious refinement that came shortly after.

See, sometimes, I myself, think........giving is what I have to give away. But justly, I could say in my mind ALWAYS, "Well, we don't HAVE anything." And to be quite honest, it is very rare that there is just "extra" floating around our lives. God showed Kris and I along time ago through a class at our church called "Crown Ministries".......what it means to be a cheerful giver. It meas giving without motives or with expectations. It means, truly asking God what HE wants you to give and doing it without hesitation. It means trusting in Him to help you provide for a need for another. It really has nothing to do with you...........as much as that hurts, we don't "give" to "recieve".

The blessing I wanted to get out of my giving to this friend's friend was that she would be excited about matching clothes and bows!!! Because that's what excites me!! But the blessing GOD wanted me to get out of it was that I was walking in obedience. I did what HE said to do, to meet her needs, after all, HE knew her heart, HE knew her desires, and HE knew just what she needed. NOT ME.

There is a book our church went through several years ago, The Treasure Principle. It's a great book and I HIGHLY recommend it! This is excerpt from the book that changed my heart forever and this morning reminded me of God's words on giving:

"Giving is a giant lever positioned on the fulcrum of this world, allowing us to move moutnains in the next word. Because we give, eternity will be different- for others and for us."

WOW, did you read that???!!! ETERNITY with be different.......that is a HUGE statement!!! So, the message behind this Frugal Me Monday is this...........just obey and give. I have NEVER outgiven God and I never will. Obedience in giving is hard, but it can be done with simple steps. Hearing of a need and simply asking WITHOUT judgement, "Lord, what can I do to help?" We all are so good at Christmas time to be in a "giving mood" but I'm so thankful that my God doesn't just "give" to me one time a year!!! I have never been "stumped" as to what to do to help someone God places along my path......The Lord gratefully gives me wisdom at least in THAT area. =)

God has entrusted us with so much.......whether we realize it or not........we have so much!!!! Jesus said to us in Luke 6:38 "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 to you."

Do you have something to give away today? And I don't just mean a material blessing.........Has God given you a "Word" for someone, a sincere prayer, wisdom and insight, encouragement that you have or perhaps it is a financial blessing. I know He's told me to do something..........and I will. Because I know obedience comes at all costs, and although I may never understand how things work out..........

I know that obedience at all costs is better than blessings that become lost.

ps-My spell is check is STILL NOT WORKING, so ya'll are just gonna have to pardon me today! It's early and I don't have time to mess with this blogger thingy today!! SO GIVE TO ME........grace with spelling!! =) Have a blessed day!!!

8 comments:

LeAnne said...

I didn't even wait for my email saying you'd updated your blog. Just came right on over hoping there'd be something, and there WAS. I tell ya.....everytime I read your blog, you speak to me. This one especially. I have so many clothes and I've just lately tried to SELL my maternity clothes on Ebay. And you know what? They wouldn't sell. Maybe I'm supposed to give them away. There's so much in our house that I"d love to get money for because we definitely could use it for bills. But your post kinda kicks me in the rear gently. I really believe God lead me to your blog by you finding mine.

Nicki said...

Leanne, you just blessed my soul.......thank you. Your comments have been such an encouragment to me! I totally understand what you are going through! I will pray for discernment for you!! It's hard!!

nanatrish said...

I really must say you are wise beyond your years. Thank you for such a wonderful word today. You had asked me for updates on Shelley, my friend from church, remember, 24 with cancer. She is hospitalized in Orlando now with pneumonia and she is coughing so much she can't get rest. I just got a text from her husband. They have been through so much please continue to pray for her. We all have so much to be thankful for and I can catch myself so many times thinking about what I don't have, but the truth of the matter is that most everyone in our country has excess 'stuff' all over the place. We have to have yard sales and eBay to get rid of it and what a blessing to give it away. You gave us a right-on-target reminder today that we have all we need and He is always faithful to provide. I also meant to tell you that our jobs have some similarities. You are with the new babies as they come into the world and my job works with loved ones that have just passed away. He put us in these positions for now and I am thankful for the opportunities it brings us. Love ya, Trish

Nicki said...

Hi Trish!

I am praying for your sweet friend.....oh I hope things turn around quickly for them. I cannot imagine. Please know I am praying.

I do think it's neat that I begin with life and you deal with the end....I think of that often as I hold those little babes. I pray over each of them as I take their sweet pictures. I think of it as ministry in disguise!! =)

Thanks for your encouragement!!

nanatrish said...

Nicki, Please pray for Shelley. She's now been put in the ICU and she's having a very difficult time breathing. They said they will have to put her on the vent if it's doesn't get better. She is getting the maximum amount of oxygen now and it's not helping. She texted her husband as he had gone back to Augusta because she can't talk it takes too much out of her. She asked him to ask people to please pray for her. It is so sad, but we know we have a big God that sees her in that hospital. She's a sweet girl and you would love it. She's battled with this and she is so tired as she can't seem to rest. Thanks in advance for your prayers. Love ya, Trish

Jenny said...

What a wonderful post! Giving is the hardest thing for me to do right now. I'm trying though. God has laid out some baby steps and this week I took the first one. This was just encouragement that I am on the right path!

Nicki said...

Hi Trish, Thanks for the update, I'm going to be in prayer tonight for your friend Shelly. I do hope things turn around soon. Please continue to let me know! I'm praying!!

Hi Jenny!
I'm so glad that this was an encouragement from the Lord!! Thanks for your encouragment to me!!

My Army Brats and Me said...

How awesome! Today is the day I turn on the computer after a week. (mike is very sick) And yes I read your blog every week :) I am not an everday girl yet. You are a beautiful writer. I left you a message last week and you have not called me back yet!! I feel like God is pushing me to help you. I have some ideas for you and I want to share them. This is what life is about. Thanks so much for your help with Elizabeth. I was thankful that all my friends came together to help through Carrie. It is the right thing to do. Be a giving heart it feels good. Love ya