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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Thanks Be To God: Devoting Oneself to God Each Day

It's not so much that Jason and I don't have time to sit and really sing praise to Jesus. It's more that we lack in actually sitting down and doing it. There are distractions (silly distractions but distractions nonetheless) - Preston being cute, laundry needing to be hung or folded, dinner needing to be made, etc. We made a vow to ourselves and to God this year that we would read the Bible and our devotionals daily.
On average, I read about 14 chapters of the Bible weekly, and my goal when I set out was to read 2 chapters a day. When it happens that I've skipped some days (due to a lack of effort on my part), I read 4 chapters a day when I have time, or more. There are many reasons I find myself enjoying the written word but none more so than when I see Jason or find myself reading far more than I was "supposed" to that day because I "got caught up in a good book." The Bible is inspirational, thrilling, instructional, and even a bit controversial at times. It's comforting to know it's there, there are God's words inside, and I have all the access I could ever want to be nearer to Him in this way.
But some people aren't so blessed... yet. A little more than a year ago, I felt called, literally felt God talking to me (and this doesn't happen often - this is the one of the only times it has happened to me - and trust me, when you hear that still, small voice, you don't say no or pretend you didn't hear it!), to sponsor a child through Compassion International. I had felt the urge before, but this time, God spoke to me and I knew I had to sponsor a child. Jhonny in Bolivia is my boy, and he is beyond amazing. He is the most precious boy I've ever known, and I feel so blessed to have met him through letters.

A little more than a month ago, Jason felt the same calling I did. He now sponsors Juan from Colombia. We both feel blessed to be able to sponsor these little boys.
When I first started sponsoring Jhonny, we were saving for our wedding. I was a little worried about the extra expense of $38 a month, but quickly found that I didn't even notice it being auto-deducted from our checking account. It literally was like... groceries or car insurance. It was something I was paying, but at least this could be something I was proud of.

When Jason felt the calling to sponsor a child, our money situation was vastly different - we're not saving for a wedding, but our income has shifted, and our financial goals are different now. We'll need to buy a new(er) car soon, we'd like to pay off my student loans ASAP, etc. We didn't have these goals or need a new(er) car before. But we decided that we'd make the commitment because we want to give until it hurts.
And it doesn't hurt. Our combined $76 coming out of the checking account isn't even noticeable to us. It just goes out, goes to Compassion, goes to our boys, and at best, that's just money we're not foolishly spending on air conditioning and overpriced conveinence foods. At worst (and we haven't hit our worst yet since giving to CI), that's money we would need to use to pay our bills. I wouldn't dwell on if our worst ever happened - I'm leaving it in God's hands to provide us with what we need. And for the last almost four years, I've never had to worry about having what we need.

I find the philosophy of "give until it hurts" is a challenge and a dare of sorts. But once you find yourself giving, I think, you find that it doesn't hurt. It just feels good.
Think about a cause that's close to your heart - whether it's animals, children in other countries, children in this country, families with an active duty serviceman or woman. Whatever your calling is - find a way to help those in need. Whatever your life story is, unfortunately perhaps, there is always someone with a story more heartbreaking. Giving to someone in need helps you to view your life in a new, better way. It's as much for you as it is for whomever or whatever you're giving your time or money to. Help another, and you'll be helping yourself, too.

1 comment:

Aunt Laura said...

That was a lovely read, Jess. Congratulations and good luck on your new endeavor!

Love,
A. Laura