I will start off this post and say that many times have trouble practicing what i preach. I struggle in this area and am blessed enough to have a husband who is wired incredibly unique and has a beautiful perspective on this short time on earth. Chris continually reminds me of the reasons why we should live with a kingdom heart and this week I was reminded more than ever. This semester has been incredibly tough for us at the studio. For those of you who do not know our story we decided that God was calling us to open this studio as a ministry and business. We want to give children an “artsy” outlet but we want it to be more than that. We hope that they feel loved, safe, confident and inspired every time they walk out our doors. It was our passion and vision that revealed a risk-taking attitude that propelled us to put everything we owned - wedding ring, cars, video & photography equipment - up for a loan to open the studio. We sent out an email this week telling families our dilemma and words cannot express the gracious blessings that have been poured upon us. People have gone above and beyond....I could go on for hours telling you stories but I will say that the response was HUGE. I cried tears of joy multiple times last week because I was so touched.
In the midst of everything I mentioned that Aiden had outgrown his carseat and that on top of everything else we were going to have to try and save up for yet another thing! Needless to say a very dear friend to Chris and I delivered to our studio this week enough cash in hand specifically so that we could go that day and buy his new carseat. You would think, oh how generous that a couple would do that? Well, this couple has trouble paying for their own bills. They share the common hardships of people who start and run their own businesses. So coming from them, it meant that much more. How easy is it for me to say..."oh well when we have a lot of money I can give freely?" Isnt that the point of the story of the widow's mite? Give even when you have nothing. Chris is huge on principles. A conversation between he and I this week spurred me to pull out my favorite book and reread a few incredible chapters that i would love to share on this topic.
"When your life is becoming beautiful to God, He says that good deeds of giving will begin to naturally flow from your character. In fact, the person who is being transformed into His likeness gives so readily and easily that she hardly reflects on what she is doing. They barely notice their own good deeds and they rarely remember them. This needs to become a part of who we are. You can belong to Jesus, be saved and set apart for all eternity, but still not have a kingdom heart. You can know and believe what the bible says, but never make the transition into actually living these truths. Relearning to stockpile in heaven will be huge for most of us. It will probably require a radical change in our thinking. When someone has a kingdom heart, he/she has an active understanding of what matters most to the heart of God. He/She lives in the balance of passion and contentment...he/she learns to love well, give without regard to self and forgive without hesitation.Understanding the value of a stockpile in heaven will shape your perspective and your actions on earth. There is a place called "good enough" and the people who store treasure in heaven know all about good enough. Their hands are open to his prompting to give things away. They stay in good enough hotels so that there is more to give. You begin to treasure the same things that God does."
The same couple that bought Aiden's carseat was struggling really bad not too long ago and I did nothing. How convicting. I feel ashamed. Why does God have to at times pry each finger open for me to give freely....I should have open hands.
My book gives an example of a household that lives rich.
"They stay up late praying with anyone who knocks on their door. They welcome everyone and judge NO ONE. Little things are big to them. Freshly bakes bread is a treat to celebrate. They give away their cars, food and money. The entire family lives with a great awareness of God and a deep appreciation for His goodness."
I want to be rich like them.
Please let me learn this lesson now on this earth. I want my stockpile in the next life. Not this one.