Crystal, the Money Saving Mom, write this in a post (I'm paraphrasing):
"I'm living simply so others can simply live."That struck me. Right in the chest.
It just sums up exactly how Jason and I feel. We have people and animals that God has placed on our hearts. We have charities and organizations that God has brought to our attention.
It doesn't matter whether you also desire to give back to these same exact things. It just matters that you give.
Give of your time, give of your resources, give of yourself.
What brought all of this to mind: our healthcare costs for our healthcare plan recently increased. No big surprise there, but in trying to account for that increase, we were examining our budget to see what we could decrease.
The next day, after our budget meeting, I was in the shower and thought, giddily, to myself, "I love that we didn't once think to cut out Juan and Jhonny."
Juan and Jhonny are two little boys we sponsor through Compassion International. Juan lives in Colombia and Jhonny lives in Bolivia. I hope we're changing their lives, but I know they're changing ours.
What's sad (and is probably better for another post, but I can't help but mention it here) is that other people criticize us for helping those out of our country. God placed these two children on our hearts. We desire to help them, we have the means to help them. We do not feel a move to help children in our country, at this time. We feel a move to help these two little boys.
We always also feel a move to help animals. We regularly donate goods and money to our local humane society. Preston is a rescue cat, albeit not from a humane society but from a local rescue group, and we know these organizations are literally starving for goods and money to keep their doors open and keep the babies fed.
What's most important, beyond who we're giving our resources to, is that we're giving it. Freely, happily and with no reserves.
How can we do this? By living simply. Coupons, driving one car, no cable, no landline, one cell phone, shopping at Aldi, borrowing books from the library, having a simple wardrobe, making gifts we give, the list goes on and on.
We are so blessed. We have a roof over our heads. Can you imagine? That's so wondrous! Here's one I never, ever get over: I turn on the faucet, and clean water comes out. Where does it come from? I still don't understand! How does it get here? It just comes out, all clean and yummy to drink. I have a warm blanket. I have windows to let in the air and screens to keep out the bugs (well, mostly, some still find their way in :)).
I have life. God gave me life. God gave me this life.
We live simply so others can simply live. Others can have life if I take this life and these resources and manage them appropriately. God told my heart, Give to the children. Give to that boy. Later, He told my heart, Your husband desires to give of himself. He wants to have the joy I have given you. All year, He says, Remember the creatures I placed on this Earth. Remember the creatures who bring you joy and give to others who desire to give joy, too.
These are the things I hear in my heart. That still, small voice speaks to me, and I listen. I drop what I'm doing to serve the One who has given me a job, who has given me housing, who has given me life.
Listen to that still small voice. Live simply. Give.