My heart and mind are pulled in so many directions each and everyday. Some days and weeks they go into overtime. This would be one of those weeks.
Ever since reading this post over at A Deeper Story my mind has gone into overtime on how I am using my time and money. How do I find the balance between giving to the poor and needy, giving to the local church, donating items to those in need (i.e. food pantry), saving up money to be more financially sound and prepared for the future, give gifts to those I love, spend money on travel to see those I love, volunteer locally, consider spending money to go on mission trips, and finally, once in awhile buy things that I enjoy and are just fun? How do I make financially wise and sound decisions and also live by faith and give generously to those in need? My heart aches to support a child through Compassion and/or World Vision: my savings account could really use some more money. My mind and heart are at war on this one.
Joy's post on her trip to Bolivia echoed so much of what is in my heart. In our American culture it is so easy to complain about the things I don't have (even if it is just in my head: I hate complaining aloud!). If only I had more or cuter or nicer clothes (when my closet is already full), a better vacuum, a working mixer in the kitchen, a car that I actually owned (so grateful for the Infiniti that has been provided for me to use until at least next year!), on the list goes throughout each week. Slowly, God is helping me change my thinking. I've been working on focusing on what I do have, not what I don't have.
Orphaned children in Bolivia, Ariel, 12, (white jacket) and Erlinda, 11, (blue jacked) with their gift catalog ducks.
(Copyright 2011 Jon Warren/World Vision)
And then I see a photo like the one above over on Joy's blog or elsewhere. Tears well up in my eyes and I am so convicted, so burdened. The joy in their faces over receiving a single duck strikes me hard. These children have so very, very little. And I'm concerned about having one more cute skirt or getting a frappe at Starbucks? There is nothing wrong with a cute skirt or Starbucks. But I must have perspective, Christ's perspective. He came to give everything He had to others. He had no thought for Himself. He came to minister to the poor and needy, the outcast of society. My greatest heart's desire is to follow in His footsteps. I look forward to where those footsteps lead in His time and His way. Right now I don't have a clue where they'll take me. But I know He does and that gives me excitement and peace. For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)