Tuesday, May 5, 2009

give away, give away, give away

With all this recession talk and unemployment and such many are talking of hoarding money and stuff. And although I agree every family should have an emergency fund of about 6 months living expenses, I think that especially in times like these we need to trust God more. We need to give away more.

First, how much stuff do you have in your house that you are not using? Yes, you could have a yard sale to declutter and raise some money, but sometimes all the time and energy of a sale is not worth the money (our last sale netted me about $40 for over 10 hours work-set up day before and sale day.) But honestly I enjoy giving my stuff away, especially on freecycle.org, and to charities. Actually my church is hosting a yard sale next month to raise money for the building fund and I am so excited to fill boxes to donate. Just make sure if you give away used items, they are still usable, it can be insulting to get items that should be in the trash.

Second, how much time do you have? Maybe you are working two or three jobs due to this unstable economy, if so email me and I will pray for you. But many of us have been cut hours at work, or unemployed, or have free time that used to be filled with activities that cost money. Well, give away your time. Give some to your family, give some to yourself (perhaps taking a class to help you gain much needed new skills for a new job), and give some to strangers. Many people are hurting, giving of your time may be as simple as five minutes listening to a stranger talk about his family or job situation. It may be volunteering at your church, a nursing home, a low income child care center. It may mean writing letters to an inmate or soldier you have never met who needs a word of encouragement. The possibilities are endless.

Third, yes this one may sound like the opposite of what to do, but GIVE AWAY YOUR MONEY!!! I am going to let you in on something, it is not a secret but many have forgotten. It is not yours anyway. It is all God's. It comes from Him, and goes back to Him. We are simply stewards of His money. Would He be proud of how you are managing His money? When you get any money, a paycheck, an unemployment check, a check as a birthday gift, lottery winnings, money from selling assets, etc, give back to God His portion. The bible says the first 10% belongs to God. You may be in sticker shock, but in reality if He gives us $100, who are we to say no to giving Him $10 back. That is crazy!! And wait it gets better, after that 10% give MORE. Give a love offering. Give to a friend who is unemployed (anonymously - food store gift cards work great.) Give to an organization you support. Give more to your church. Give money to help a stranger adopting a child. Give to support clean water projects in Africa. If your heart is in it, GIVE! Pray about where to do so, check out an organization before you make a donation, but above all else GIVE!

I can write this with a clear heart, because I do this; I give away stuff we no longer need (clothes, books, games, art supplies, homeschool stuff, pots and pans, etc.) I give my time (although I need to work on giving more of my time.) I tithe on every penny God allows to flow through my life. I also give away above and beyond that tithe. I do not write this to toot my own horn, but to let you know that it is possible and necessary to give. Don't wait until you have more, I am sure you already have more than enough. I am a single mom with two boys living on about $20,000 a year total. We still are so blessed!

So I challenge you this week to do three things:
1) give away 5 things in your home that you are no longer using, but would be a blessing to someone else
2) give away just 5 min. of your time to a stranger this week
3) give away $5 above your tithe this week
(if you are not tithing I challenge you this week to not give 10% of your income, but start with 1%.)

I have done 1 & 3. I have to work on #2, and will update you on that later.

Email me or leave a comment once you have completed one or all of the challenges this week.

Thanks! -Becky


Jeannette said...

You are such and inspiration to me,

Now that I read this, lets see, giving time WHAT time
2-3 jobs,, are you freak in kidding me? that's just a appetizer in my life...
yes I will find a stranger and give away me --ha ha
Seriously though this was an awesome post and your right, its not about us and God reminds us daily well he reminds me daily anyways

PS. don't get confused I thought this was worth sharing on the sisters blog

Anonymous said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this post. Can I link to it?

Trouwbottom said...

I too am a single mom and I am SO up for the challenge!!! Excellent post!!!! I have just started to faithfully tithe BEFORE I pay my bills and guess what I have been soooo blessed! This week I'm going to put a little extra in the offering as a THANK YOU to God for all he has provided me!!!!