a crown for others.

February 15, 2013

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Many believers will get to heaven and belong to Him and have completely missed it. They created a life of security for themselves. They built their own kingdoms. You can know the truth of His word and never actually make the transition over where you are living radically.

"If you want to redirect your heart, then lead with your treasure."

This is one of those posts that makes me a teeny anxious to hit publish on. But this Wednesday at church we learned about heaven and rewards and our time here on earth and it stirred up all kinds of feelings inside me.


Normally when this happens the words, the thoughts, they are flooding around in my mind... consuming my thoughts until I let them out. 

We aren't supposed to judge. We aren't supposed to assume. But it comes so naturally doesn't it? I constantly am wishing people wouldn't make assumptions about me or judgements about me, yet I can so easily pass them off on others. 

I have to constantly check myself. 
and remind myself that it isn't my place to decide about that.
 Chris and I have this saying that we talk about often, "God, you just sort it out...because I can't make sense of it."

I used to talk about money a lot here and then I quickly realized that was a mistake. The way Chris and I's incomes work now (as 2 artists) is always an adventure, to say the least. We don't have any monthly steady incomes. So on our high months, we have to put away for the months that less comes in. Ever since Chris left his job and we both went freelance we haven't struggled like we used to. But we still get it. I know exactly what it feels like to walk up to the grocery store clerk and not know if my credit card is going to work or not. 
I value a dollar. 

I mean, we trust that the work will come in month after month. But we aren't naive enough to think that it couldn't change at any moment. 

Just scroll through the comments under the $1,500 giveaway post and you will see how many people are struggling.

bills to be paid

debt
student loans
medical bills

the list goes on.....

it weighs heavy doesn't it?

Isn't there something relatable to someone like that though? I believe in my heart that is why Jesus came to earth the way that He did. 

as the least of us.

If he had come as rich King, 
as humans, with sin nature in us..... they would have probably said "says who?"

It's harder to relate to.
"You say these things but it is coming from someone with a different reality than most of the world."

This thought came to me today as all these thoughts were swirling..." have you made your life so secure and comfortable here on earth that you never truly long for heaven?"

Actually one of the greatest gifts I have been given in the past 7 years, is the time that we struggled. Out of panic I wrote about it too much and that was silly (and now embarrassing) but the truth is, it forever changed my heart and view of people and life here.

I cannot wait to work so hard (long after I need to be working) just to bless my kids and grandkids.
I have daydreams of putting the keys to a new car in someone's mailbox.
can you imagine what that would feel like?
I think about driving to my girl's houses unannounced and cleaning, doing dishes for the day while they go do something fun. 
I daydream of someone emailing me that is struggling with money and me hiring them on the spot. That will bless me like crazy to save someone from financial stress.
I have hopes of starting a company my kids can all take over and it provide for their babies.
I have a longing to travel the world and help.
I daydream of building something here on earth not for me but for Him. and for everyone I care about.

On Wednesday night at church this week he talked a lot about rewards. 
There is a crown specifically set aside for believers who are out constantly doing for others. 
The examples he described blew my mind. 
That level of sacrifice. 
That level of giving.

I have a longgggggg way to go. A long road ahead. My life needs changing. But my heart desires this.
I received 2 emails in the past 2 days from women desperately struggling financially looking for ways to make some extra grocery money. 

I know what that feels like. 
I have been there.
I wept long after I answered their emails. I wept for women I barely know. 

" Understanding the value of a stockpile in heaven will shape your perspective and your actions on earth. People who store treasure in heaven know all about good enough. Their hands are wide open to His prompting to give things away. They stay in just-good-enough hotels so that their is more to give. They sacrifice on things so that there is more leftover to give away. When someone is in need, they are sleeping on their couch. They welcome everyone and judge no one."
-a beautiful offering

I want to be rich like that. 

happy friday friends.
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54 comments:

  1. awww casey! beautiful post as always~~~ i love when you speak from the heart!

    xo,
    Sandy
    Sandy a la Mode

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  2. I look forward to your Friday posts :)

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  3. This post was such a God thing for me to read tonight. I just got done balancing our budget and thinking about some of these very same things. How often I get caught up in the things of this world that I lose sight of Heaven. God has been working on my heart to be more giving and to live a life that recognizes everything comes from Him and is entrusted to us to use wisely for His glory.
    Thank you for sharing these words tonight friend! I felt like this was just for me to hear. :)

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  4. I love this post, Casey. One of my favorite stages of life so far was my last year of college, where I counted my money to the penny in hopes of making my rent and bills each month. It taught me more than anything, I think, what money's place really is in our lives. I've loved the opportunities He's given me so far to bless financially even in spite of that scrimping.

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  5. Casey, I feel like you are so generous in the ways you are able! The other ways your heart desires will come eventually as well. But it is so apparent that you are so eager to encourage, love and support others as best you can right now (you know, with all the extra time that loving and caring for three sweet babies AND running a thriving business allows). :) Thanks for sharing! It is so neat how clearly you are able to communicate your heart!

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  6. We are all such gluttons of the riches we do have. Cancer has showed me what a true glutton I have always been. Gobbling up each moment ready to feast on the next. Cancer has opened my eyes in a new way. To slow down, to see the bounty, to give.... To not hold onto this place. Driving home tonight I realized all I have is the love I share. The spilling over love......

    Mundane faithfulness.com

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  7. this was such a touching post.
    it makes me so happy that there are people like this that aren't at all infatuated by the money and only for the money.
    it feels good to give and make someone happy; heck, even better than to receive.

    again, great post!

    Brikena

    www.jarofjoy.blogspot.com

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  8. Love this, Casey. You are wise beyond your years. Living on a one income salary we struggle at times, but we are so rich compared to most of the world. Even the poorest in America have more than so many elsewhere. This is huge for me. I want my kids to appreciate what we have and to know that this all belongs to Him anyway. Am I being a good steward? Am I searching for opportunities to help those in need? My husband and I often talk about not being "rich," but just having more so we can help others who are struggling. Even though we do help often, it's not enough... Just tonight he (my husband) and I were talking about a fellow teacher of his who has 4 children of their own, but who have also adopted 4 children. They are living on a one income salary... How do they to it? I'm sure it's a big sacrifice, but it won't go unnoticed by our Heavenly Father. One of my favorite verses is this: For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? (Matthew 16:26 NKJV). We must "seek first the kingdom of God" (Matthew 6:33). Thank you, sweet friend, for this important reminder. I feel blessed just to have found you.

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  9. Your heart is truly beautiful. I feel challenged and spurred in so many ways by this. To live life with an open hand, ready to give when the Lord calls us to. How freeing! It's all His anyways, right? Thanks for this, Casey.

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  10. I teared up reading this. I've had similar feelings on my mind as well. You have a beautiful heart! Xoxo.

    www.rachelmakinglemonade.com

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  11. My husband taught me so much about giving when we got married. He's a giver by nature. I'm a saver. A planner. It was really hard and uncomfortable for me when we would give what was "ours" to others. I felt like people took advantage of his good heart. But slowly and painfully God started to change me and mold me to be more like him and Him. It's a beautiful thing, giving.

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  12. This touched me as we are declaring bankruptcy and may loose our house too. I don't think you should be embarrassed that you have shared financial hard times. I think it's very relatable. I share mine often, maybe i shouldn't but when it is all that seems to consume you, it's hard not too. This was a wonderful post. I dream to be able to do the same for my kids one day. Bless you Casey.

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  13. I love this post and I always love a good reminder about acting more like Christ and being completely fulfilled with Him. That is why I named my blog "WHere Your Treasure Is, there your heart will be also" because I think that verse is suc a great reminder.
    THank you for sharing your heart

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  14. Thank you for this. For being a voice of reason to a person so many thousand miles away. I too want to give, to do amazing things, to make sure my children have the world. I often get caught up in making sure we 'have what we need', when perhaps some days I need to sit back and really decide wants vs. needs. Bless your sweet heart. You inspire me so greatly...thank you.

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  15. Thank you for sharing despite the hesitation you may have had. It is incredibly challenging to my heart this morning in remembering to "work" here on earth with eternity in mind. Thank you Casey.

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  16. your heart for other's is so beautiful. and you're so honest about your struggles, and sometimes i have to shake my head and smile- because all of those things is what makes you so endearing to me. it's why i read your blog in the first place- i appreciate your realness. it is so easy to get caught up in worry, and financial stress. but it is just money. thanks for putting things in perspective.

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  17. casey, i'm the same way. i grew up, not poor, but not rich by any means. my dad lost his job more than once when i was growing up so finances were always a bit of a stress. i would love to be in a position as a grandparent that i could put $1000 in a bank account for a new grandkid, or send lindsey and her future husband on a vacation, or pay to fix my sister's car when money's tight with them. yesssss. i totally relate to this post.

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  18. you have such a beautiful heart. i long to be the same way but i always let our own financial troubles get in the way. and i just don't know where to start sometime. also, i found a lot of comfort in reading about your past financial problems. sometimes it's just nice knowing that you're not the only one going through something. thank you so much for sharing! xo

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  19. I'm so glad you posted this! Thank you :) My husband recently talked about this very subject at our young adults bible study. He asked each of us if we long for heaven. If we encourage one another in Jesus' 2nd coming. It was a message that stuck with me much like the message you heard on Wednesday has resonated with you. Your heart keeps me coming back to your blog for more. Love ya girlie!

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  20. Thank you for having courage to get past the fear of publishing this post! Your dreams, your heart, your revelation are beautiful, necessary and shared! I can't even imagine the fun Jesus is having building up and preparing the treasure that will be waiting for you in Heaven!

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  21. i love this post. and i agree- the toughest times for us are also the most beautiful in my memory :)

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  22. all of those dreams you talked about....putting keys in someone's mailbox, helping someone who's struggling financially, providing a full, rich (not just in the money sense) life for your kids....i loved that. loved how you said it. i have a lot of those same dreams too. and while it's not realistic yet, i keep praying some day it will be. thank you for this :) xo.

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  23. This is beautiful! Thank you for sharing your wisdom and making me wiser :)

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  24. Beautiful, honest post. These can be rare. Thanks for sharing!

    xo,
    B

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  25. Just what I needed. Not only about finances, but what it means to build a kingdom for Him, rather than ourselves. I often wonder being a stay at home mom and my husband and I both being artists as well what I could do to leave behind a legacy worthy of Him for my children, their children and those I meet in my life. I often come up with too many excuses for things God is telling me I should do. I needed this.

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  26. I appreciate this post so much. I'm always skeptical of the blog world because now and then it can be... superficial. When I find blogs like yours, I have hope. Thank you for all that you wrote. Surely this is a season of sacrifice and a season of losing ourselves to the one who made it all and gave it all.

    Sincerely,
    Heather

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  27. You're a great photographer! Love this post too!

    Sheree
    The Hartungs Blog
    thehartungs.blogspot.ca

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  28. I love that Jesus came to earth just. like. us. I love that he humbled himself and let go of his deity for a little while (Philippians 2) so that we might relate to Him. It's such a beautiful and small picture of the huge sacrifice he gave to us. Thanks for your beautiful post, Casey!

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  29. Casey- Wow. You are such a beautiful person! I dream to write like you, in a way that moves people like I believe your writing does. Thanks for your blog.

    http://somesnapshots.wordpress.com

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  30. Oh man . . I love you friend. I have this verse sitting on my desk at school, "For this world is not our home; we are looking forward to our city in Heaven, which is yet to come! Heb 13:14 Thankful for your friendship, your honesty, and your heart! Love you!

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  31. This is my favorite post I've ever read on your blog. I too have those dreams-thanks for being brave enough to share this!

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  32. http://www.sarahmarieblondielove.com

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  33. this was terribly inspiring. i'm moved. the part about... being so comfortable here on earth that we don't long for heaven... is such a good point!!! moving towards HEAVEN with you, friend!

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  34. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this, Casey. It brings to mind a simple sentence I have printed in an old picture frame: Give like you have plenty.

    Sometimes we don't have plenty - be it money, or time, or resources, or emotional reserves, the health required for some service...but when you offer something up, no one needs to know that but our Heavenly Father.

    This is something I'm constantly working on. It was a pleasant reminder to hear I'm not the only one. Thank you and beautiful weekend-ing to you and your lovely family :)

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  35. Lovely post, Casey. I would love to be able to share with others the way you say. Having homeless stay with me, giving a new car to someone without them ever knowing it. What blessings! May God continue to bless you and your family so that you can continue to bless others.

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  36. Casey, thanks for sharing such a great post! This is one of those subjects that my mind pushes away, because I get so convicted about it. I dread and anticipate heaven at the same time. I dread realizing how much I have failed and disobeyed, and I anticipate failing no more, understanding and pleasing my God.

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  37. I love these words

    ..." have you made your life so secure and comfortable here on earth that you never truly long for heaven?"

    Humility is certainly a way our heart is opened to receive... to keep that, even in times of prosperity takes self awareness... or another challenge to overcome!

    I was recently reading in Matthew 9, the story of Christ healing the man with palsy... all quickly expected to see him physically healed, instead the Savior first forgave his sins. It was a good reminder to me that the things of this earth... the physical, comes second... after the power of healing, the powers of heaven, the power of our Savior...
    Well written.

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  38. You are such a beautiful person....yes you are so beautiful on the outside....but your heart my friend....amazingly beautiful! I too long for the days I can bless others.....and mostly my babies! For now....I work to that end! Much love friend!

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  39. This is why I did not go back to my old job. This is why I am pursuing a career in social work. I finally stopped to listen to God, however stubborn I have been. He keeps showing me this is His plan for me, even when I doubt. When will I ever learn? Well, I'm glad to have found the gifts God has given me and to finally be obeying His will.

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  40. Your words are so inspiring. Thank you for that. It is EXACTLY what I needed today!

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  41. A beautiful post Casey, and just what I needed today. :)

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  42. Beautiful post Casey, and just what I needed to hear today.

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  43. Casey, I hope I get to meet you in person one day! Your write so beautifully and your love for Christ shines. Sometimes I feel like you must read my mind. I long for all these things, too, and sometimes it's such a burden because I want to go and serve and learn from Him everywhere else, but I have to be excited about where I am and how I'm being used here. Today. Thanks for the reminder.

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  44. This is soooo well said. I love when you write about God and His goodness. I can relate to this in so many ways even if we have two completely different life stories!

    Being comfortable is well, comforting but not something that God wants us to be. He wants us to find our comforts in Him, not the world. It's definitely during times of trials/troubles/struggles that I find myself clinging and loving Him even more.

    Thank you for this post!

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  45. So beautiful and inspiring.

    In a day where so much is focused on our worldy riches, it's so easy to forget how unimportant they are.

    Your writing has blessed me so much, it always inspires me to be and do better, thank you!

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  46. It is so strange that you write this today because I just had a talk with my husband about radically changing the way we manage our money last night.

    I've thought so much about treasure in heaven and how little I care about what I get there or here treasure-wise(now that I know Him thats all I want; forget treasure)...I really just care about the people who are missing Him- not gaining a heavenly reward...then it occurred to me that perhaps the treasure we collect in heaven ARE people. Perhaps they are somehow the treasure we bring with us there.

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  47. Oh Casey, this is so beautiful!! Your heart is lovely. This has been on my heart so heavy lately, as well--living not as permanent residents here but as Kingdom citizens. I don't want to store up and hoard treasures that aren't eternal. It would be amazing to give more than we live on. It's hard to think like that when the house note needs paid and we struggle just to make ends meet on one income, but then I have to step back and look at it all from God's perspective. He wants us to give in faith. He wants us to give out of our lack to meet someone else's needs and trust Him to take care of us. It's a stretch for me, but I'm praying that God will increase my faith! xoxo

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  48. This really touches my heart. Our pastor made a similar comment this past Sunday about our rewards in Heaven and it made me realize that we really shouldn't just coast comfortably in this life even though we have confidence in our salvation. Not that we can work our way to Heaven, but that we have a responsiblity while on Earth to be a shining example of Him! Thank you for reminding me of this and thank you for being brave enough to share what's been on your mind!

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  49. You really do have such a beautiful heart and soul, and I love reading these posts. Makes me wish I could have a conversation with you over coffee or something! So inspiring.

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  50. That last quote is so true! I want to live a life of uncomfortableness. To never be comfortable and take for granted what I have and to always want to give. It's so true that in our time of need, we rely so heavily on God and looking back on those struggles, I realize that I long to be back in those situations, to be close with God, and to trust in him alone. I pray all the time for uncomfortable situations and that I learn from every single one of them.

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  51. We are struggling so much right now, but through the struggles comes strength and trust, love and hope and a deep deep bond and reliance on God that we have never known this perfectly before.
    Also comes with it illness and hospital bills and the not knowing the future, so we trust.
    I so understand where you are coming from, I want to help others so much always it is on my heart, yet at this time I find I need the help from others, whether it's just someone to listen to me or someone to physically help us out. it hurts me to be at this end of the giving/taking. I always want to be the one giving, yet I know I need to be gracious and accept the help. it's hard as women, I think!
    take care girl!
    you have a GREAT heart!
    love,
    tara

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  52. as always you spoke to my heart. i love your sweet and tender heart and i think of your beautiful and honest words often as i go throughout my day. it's so awesome to hear about all your dreams and all the great things you want to do for your family and even strangers, the ways you want to bless them. God has taught me a lot about grace (and pride and humility) through financial struggles and though it's been hard, i thank God he is doing whatever is takes to conform me to his image. I'm so glad to hear things are going well for you all :)

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  53. I love your heart Casey! This post just absolutely resonates with me! My hubs and I share the same dreams. To go out there and be the hands and feet of God.

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  54. This is amazing. I'd like to use a quote from here in a blogpost I am writing today if you would like to stop by. Thank you for this.

    together-inspired.com

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