This past weekend here at CCM started a two-week series on giving called “The Promise.” The entire point of the series is to talk about how we can build a financial foundation the way that God would have us to. This past Sunday we talked about six foundations for financial wisdom and peace. Here is what we covered in week one:
- Be Diligent and Have a Good Work Ethic
- Live Generously
- Be Careful of Debt
- Seek Wise Financial Counsel
- Be Faithful With Little
- Walk In Financial Integrity and Honesty
This next weekend we will cover the seventh foundation and really unpack Malachi 3 and how God tells us to test Him in trying to outgive Him. As we have been walking through this series on giving, numerous people have been sharing their stories of how God has blown their world wide open with unreal things. One of those came from a lady named Kelly. With her permission I am sharing her story with you now. My hope is that you too will find encouragement from her family’s story.
Trevor…thanks so much for today’s sermon. I wanted to share with you our list of blessings God has showered on us ever since we decided I should quit my job and stay home with our kids. We HAD to start a list because it was getting overwhelming. Going to one income was a scary thing for us. It didn’t make sense on my excel spreadsheet budget….bills would not get paid…according to my budget. But after prayer and giving it to God, my husband and I felt God wanted us to “test him” in this…trust him. Lean on him and not our own understanding, and not return to work after maternity leave.
Our greatest temptation was to give up tithing. Like Eve listening to the serpent, I wondered if I had really heard God right. Maybe God would be ok with us not tithing for a time to be home with our kids? We were coming up short on our monthly budget almost exactly what we were tithing. And I made the mistake of deleting the “tithe” box on that excel budget spreadsheet just to see what it would change for us if we didn’t give that amount….awfully tempting. I even showed this to my husband to read his reaction and consider it. But my husband didn’t taste that forbidden fruit, and we decided not to give into that fear….and decided to tithe our 10% and lean into our savings if needed to pay our bills.
I was supposed to return to work August 25 after maternity leave. Since this decision and not returning to work, God has poured these blessings on us:
- $100 bill from a friend for watching her dog
- clothes for my newborn daughter from friends…enough until she is 18 months old so far
- finding gift cards for Kohl’s and Kroger from last Christmas (I needed post baby clothes…and groceries!)
- for my husband’s birthday, gift cards to Home Depot, Bob Evans, Skyline, and a birthday money check
- a one time opportunity to make money babysitting
- my husband sold a phone for $200
- a Target gift card for playing a small part in the high school purity retreat
- inheriting a deep freeze and many quality tools when my husband’s grandpa moved to a nursing home
- breast milk and formula donations for our baby
- gift of groceries….from 3 separate people going out of town and not wanting their fresh things to go bad.
- dinner out with friends ended up being free
- my husband having overtime opportunities at his job
- our car being entirely replaced by our insurance after an uninsured driver totaled my husband’s car….half as many miles as our old car….and 3 years newer.
- my oldest son’s biological father (who is $6000 behind in child support) has filed his taxes for 2011-2013 and we will get over $2,000 from that in the next couple months. Very unexpected. (and this amount will be enough to make ends meet for MANY months for us)
It just happened. Almost at the exact time we made this decision, God decided to blow us away. This is just since August. We’ve come into more money than I could have made at my job, less childcare expenses. The priceless gift has been our spiritual growth as we have learned to trust in God, ignore our excel spreadsheet, live without fear, and teach our children what it looks like to step out in faith and trust in the goodness and faithfulness of our loving Father. We might not have a lot of “Extra” these days…but we have what we need. We still struggle trusting the Lord sometimes. It’s funny how we can sometimes trust people who have let us down over and over…but then we can’t trust God, who has never let us down. He has proven himself time and time again and we have no reason to doubt Him.
I know you already know of His goodness, but sometimes….I just feel like I HAVE to share what He has done for us. We are so so thankful.
Thanks for a great sermon and sharing God’s heart,
Stories like this never get old. Do you have a story of how God has blown your mind in crazy ways through giving? Share it here in the comments section.