Wow - my boys woke up early and PUMPED!!! They are beside themselves today as we anxiously await the cousins arriving this evening! Yes...you heard me correctly...this EVENING! Which means we have ALL day to wait - oh, my! We will be cleaning the house, having lunch with a precious friend who has a birthday today and then do some last minute IMPORTANT shopping for legos...after all, you can never have too many legos when cousins are here.
But, I have to share...last night, on the way to church, I look back and both boys are going through their money. They have been earning money doing extra cleaning, reading QUALITY books (we pay big bucks for REAL books - for instance, our 11 year old just got done reading "Do Hard Things" - quality = cash)...anyway....they have some cash! They both have remembered, on their own, to bring their wallets and they are figuring their tithe - one looks distressed and says, my tithe is $4.50 but all I have is a $5.00....dilemma.
Ok...a teaching moment - how does mom handle this - pretend that I've never had a selfish, self consumed bone in my body and that tithing is something we do simply in our household? Pretent that I have never wanted to hold on to every cent I can get my hands on? No...I confess - I talked with them about how 10% is our starting point - it is our obedience....but anything above that, if given in a heart that is willing and worshipping - is a gift of love. We talked about the gifts (legos, toys, games) that we would be giving cousins - that we picked out so willingly...and how when we give above our tithe that is just one way we give a gift of love to Jesus - who gave us His ultimate gift. So...with this wonderful tidbit of wisdom thus imparted...and my confession of selfishness and struggle dutifully given - I sit back and expect them to respond like super spiritual giants and say "I'll give it all!" - only to find that they respond so much like their mama....we are just too human sometimes! The youngest says, "Mom...how do we get to where we don't care so much about money and stuff? I mean, I want to give and be happy about it - but I also want to buy stuff with the money! I really do love Him and want to give to Him...but I also care too much about the rest of it...how do I make it stop?" Ohhh...how I wish his mama knew the answer to that one!
Philippians is the study we are going through in Sunday School right now and, mama has been convicted once again, by the life of Paul! To live is Christ (my life is His anyway), to die is gain...wow - I have soooooo far to go! I have so much in my life that gets in the way of serving Christ - my to-do list, my "want" list, my laziness..."Father, how do I get to the place where I just don't care so much about all the money and stuff? I mean, I really want to serve You, live for You and give self-lessly....but I care too much for all the rest of it....how do I make it stop?" Glad HE has the patience with me to put up with my unfaithfulness...He loves me soooooo passionately and so sacrifically....and I fall so short. I cannot even love Him at all apart from His GRACE....what an amazing Father I have - one who is teaching me everyday - through my incredible husband, through my kids, through my church family and through HIS WORD - to care less and less for this world, and more and more for HIM....santification isn't easy and I wish it happened quickly - but I'm learning...no easy answers - just diligent surrender....
Rambling thoughts brought on by two pretty terrific boys!