God really knows how to do a number on me. I don’t like to think of myself as greedy; let me explain & justify myself at the outset. I don’t have to have designer handbags (or anything designer, actually). I don’t have to drive a fancy car. I don’t have to have a lot of things that I think of greedy people having (housekeepers, lawn boys, pools, the biggest or nicest house, so forth – and if you have these, don’t think that I think you’re greedy; unless you have ALL of those things, then you might be on my list – HA). I do, however, enjoy having money to spend at my leisure. For instance, Sonic if I want it (and I’m trying to quit for both health and finance), a new camera/photography gadget that’s not in the budget (and they never are, and they’re never cheap, either), a random shirt, some new Bath & Body, you get the idea. I know that greed is really deeper than how much an item costs, though.
For instance, as a child I remember a rough time for my parents and seeing dad put $50 in the offering plate. I remember asking him why he did that when we needed that money. He taught me an important lesson that day, you always give to God first because it’s the right thing to do. I remember our first few months of marriage when Jeremy and I began to tithe. We made $1250 a month. I remember thinking, are you kidding me? But we did. It’s been a discipline we’ve followed our whole marriage. Last month Jeremy asked me to start thinking about how much to contribute to the building campaign that’s coming up at StoneWater. I named a figure (a very conservative figure) and he named a figure (a very liberal figure). I remember being ticked off that he would even think of that per month for 3 years. It simply was not possible. I mean, we know some great givers, amazing givers, and I am always in awe that God has blessed them to give the way they do; I can’t conceive of it. But, I guess I’ve never thought of the sacrifice they are giving, and how my sacrifice can and should correlate to theirs.
Okay, so one of the things on our list for the last two years has been to purchase a newer car. I LOVE my car – a 1997 Mazda Protege that has 153, 279 miles on it as we speak. Dad & Mom bought it for me as a graduation/wedding present, and I know it was a sacrifice/huge gift on their part. I love that car. Yes, it has it’s quirks/loud noises/issues, but it runs well, and I’m emotionally attached. But, this year is the year we’ve said we will buy a car. We’ll pay cash. We’ve been saving. We have no idea what we want. I’ve had a feeling for a month that it will be soon despite our real plans for mid to late in the year. I’ve listened to the ads on the radio for that “great deal,” but I haven’t felt the need to test drive and really don’t know what I want. Okay – here’s what I want – good gas mileage, safe, affordable, last a long time (like another 10 years, 150,000 miles). Otherwise, I’m good – standard or automatic, power all or power nothing, some neutral color, but, whatever.Here’s where I start crying, again. Jeremy shared our car plan with a friend of ours. Friend of ours today says they have an extra car they need to sale – at a good price. So, tonight we went to check it out. First, I’m always blown away at the way people take care of us. I don’t know why I ever ask questions of God, but sometimes I do, then something like this comes along, and He sets me back in my place. This is a terrific car at a terrific price. As a matter of fact, this car will allow us to give closer to or at Jeremy’s figure for the building campaign. I couldn’t help but almost weep when I drove it tonight – a gift from my Father, yet again. When I get wrapped up in what I am able do and what I will have to give up for His kingdom, God steps in, slaps my hand a little, and blesses me in the process. Talk about humility.
We’re still praying about it, but good grief is He giving me a lesson right in the middle of it all!