As we have continued the 1 Month Money Makeover I have shared about setting savings goals, organizing your finances, specific ways to save money and a fun way to pay off debt faster. Today I want to talk about an often over-looked aspect of finances but first let me tell you a story.
Last December our family made a trip a few hours away to attend a wedding and visit with extended family. While we were there I went shopping with my mom and my daughters and I found a delicate blue silk scarf that looked beautiful with my winter coat. I purchased it and started wearing it immediately.
At the end of our visit my husband and I found out that there was a homeless family staying overnight in the same hotel. One of the hotel employees had discovered that the dad, mom and two teenage children had been living in the woods and the employee had paid for a night in the hotel but she didn’t have enough money for a second night for the family.
I immediately knew that we had to do something. We gathered the food we had with us for the trip home along with some toiletries and clothing and took them down to the family in the lobby. We talked with them, prayed with them and just before we left them I placed the blue scarf around the mom’s shoulders to symbolize God restoring life and beauty to her. After we left them we secretly paid for another night’s stay for them.
I was so happy to give the scarf but a little bit sad that I had only been able to wear it for a few days. Of course I realized that blessing this family meant far more than the material goods ever could but I let myself feel a little bit sad about giving it up.
Fast forward to this past Sunday, five months later. A friend at church walked up to me after the service wearing a scarf that looks just like the one that I gave away. She placed it around my neck and said that God told her to give it to me. She had no idea about the back story before she gave me the scarf but once I told her we both thoroughly enjoyed sharing a God moment together.
God cares about the smallest details of your life and when you choose to trust Him He will take care of you — your needs and even your “wants”. He knew that I really liked the scarf that I gave away and He gave it back to me.
I have heard people say, “You can’t out-give God.” I can tell you from personal experience that this is true. Our family doesn’t always receive back the exact item or amount of money that we give away but we ALWAYS receive blessings that we cannot account for except that God is providing for us. (You can read more of those God Provision stories here.)
The key to turning your finances around is inviting God
into your financial life through prayer and giving.
It may seem logical to hold on to your money rather than giving it when you are in a tight place but by giving money you open yourself to receive all that God has for you.
“If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds.
…Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them.
If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.”
— Matthew 6: 26-33 The Message (emphasis mine)
Today’s Money Mission: I encourage you to invite God into your finances through prayer and through generosity to others. There are some aspects of life that cannot be explained by the natural world. Your budget may not work out on paper but if you are trusting God and doing your best to follow Him I PROMISE that He will come through for you.
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Tanya T says
Thank you for sharing! It is always a great reminder to hear about God’s amazing works. Just love these kind of stories!!!! He is so good.
The Peaceful Mom says
My pleasure Tanya!
The Peaceful Mom says
Wow! That is so amazing! I love to hear God stories like this. Thank you for sharing Emilie!
Tara H says
I love this! We say that phrase all the time, “You can’t out give God!”. It IS so true! Even when we have been stupid with money, we have always tithed. Some people will say to stop tithing until you get out of debt…I say that that will not work. God has always provided all that we need! I don’t have everything that I want (like a house!) but that is our fault, not God’s! Praise God though we are beginning to change our behavior with our money!
The Peaceful Mom says
Good for you for being committed to changing your finances Tara!
This is not about my personal finances but a way that God works with money.
I have been raising money for an orphanage in Uganda through my church. Two Sundays ago I talked after mass about needing about $2000 more. I collected about $300 in small donations and as I was packing up, a woman approached me and handed me a folded check and said, “I want to remain anonymous but give this in honor of my mother who loved children”…crying we went our separate ways and when I looked, the check was for $2000!!!!
We made it! We raised enough to purchase the tanks. They will be built as soon as the contractor can start.
Here is what I sent the donor:
“I can not tell you what the honoring of your mom meant yesterday. I could not believe it. It was perfect!!!!
We were so close to reaching the goal and I was trying to figure out what to do without waiting all the way to Bridgefest (a local parade that we will walk in to collect money but does not happen until the 19th of June). I was praying for an idea and you called my name! I was ready to head home and brainstorm.
With your donation, we have the perfect amount to end phase 1!!! We are now able to start construction of the water tanks! Father contacted the priest at the Diocese in Uganda and the contractors will start as soon as possible.
Your mom is smiling down on you!”
Here is part of the letter I got back:
“THANK YOU and “we” are so happy phase 1 can begin!!! I was thinking of making a large donation in memory of my mom and actually that was the amount I was thinking- then you made that announcement in church for that exact amount needed and I felt like it was a sign. My mom LOVED children and was sooooo good to her grand”babies” as she lovingly called them, from the oldest to the youngest.
I had recently learned of a small annuity my mom had and received checks from it. I hadn’t cashed mine yet as wanted to do something special with the money. Your amazing caring program seemed like the PERFECT gift from/ to my mom. Emilie, we am humbled by all you (and your family) does for the church day in and day out – and this amazing project is just way above and beyond. Our church family is so lucky to have you all!!! And the children at the orphanage are so blessed to have you in their lives also. My mom also gave so much of her life to her church and to helping others – so I was happy and honored to do this in her memory. She is happy I’m sure- but more importantly- she would hope Fr. William’s “children” feel a loving comforting “hug” in their hearts from her and ALL the strangers who have reached out to help them. Thank you again!!!!!
That is amazing Kimberlee. Thank you for sharing some inspiration!
The Peaceful Mom says
My pleasure Claire!
L M says
I love stories like this! The exact same thing happened to me right after Christmas. I live in the bitterly cold Midwest and there was a clearly homeless man walking up a major street and he was coughing. He went into the vestibule at CVS just to get warm. I gave him my new plaid cashmink scarf that my MIL gave to me. I loved it, but he needed it! My kids told my mom. My mom told my brother. He had gotten one for Christmas the year before, never wore it, and gave it to me. 🙂 God is good … all of the time. 🙂
The Peaceful Mom says
That is so awesome! Thank you for sharing that!