Love of Money

I try to have my time with the Lord in the mornings before much of my day has started. Today I fed the sheep (Yes, I know, I still need to post the pictures I promised) and then came in to have my devotional time.

It never ceases to amaze me how the Lord has things such that what I am reading is something that warms my heart, speaks to a concern or spanks me.  Today HE was speaking to a concern.

Today’s economy is bad. Things seem so out of control in our nation and many of us struggle to make ends meet. We do as we feel the Lord wants and yet there is no extra. For some this means use the plastic more. However, that only comes back to bite us later and make it worse.

I realize today that there are many out there who preach that if you are right with the Lord you will have prosperity in financial things. My Bible does not say that. It says we will have suffering, poverty at times maybe, struggles for sure. Those that are gifted with extra are called to be wise and use if for the Lord not to consume it on things they want.

My reading today was from Hebrews. Hebrews 13:5 says to “let your character be free from the love of money, being content with what you have…” .

Are we content with what we have? I think not for the most part. When I was a young adult, we struggled to pay bills, had no credit cards (I know, most of you think they have been around since creation, not so!) People used to live on their means. We drove cars that were fixer uppers much of the time, we did not go if we had no money. Swapped furniture, bought from used furniture, Salvation Army etc and the prices were low, not what they are today. Auctions were weekly and you could always come home with the replacement chair, pot or whatever.  You did not eat out, much, and your food was almost all homemade without the help of a box.

Day old bread from the “Used bread store” got you through.

No plastic. Repair people let you pay off a few bucks at a time. People were more willing to reach out to those struggling because we were all in the same boat.

Young people married knowing that they were going to have to use furniture that Aunt Matilda no longer wanted and it was 25 yrs old and smelled like an old person (NO fabreeze then, sprinkle a bit of baking soda on and let set, put outside for a bit if possible and vacuum off). Or, as my husband and I did, Aunt Lucy died, so we had some things from her, other was garbage picked on a trash collection clean- up day.

Today, it is the new, have to have matching, and young people start out with huge debt.

So many of us say we do not love money, yet what do we strive for? More money. You can have a love of money because you are struggling or because you have too much.

Much of my life was a struggle. I could not have what I wanted, and sometimes what I felt I needed. It almost becomes an obsession—love— out of fear of not making it.

Contentment with what we have? How when the economy is so scary?

I read the rest of the verse: “for He Himself has said, ‘I will never desert you nor will I ever forsake you.'”

Interesting, in Greek (the original language the New Testament was written in) the words “forsake you” should say “Leave you without support”.  We are to be content and not worry as we will not be left without support. HE is there. HE will support those who are HIS and trust HIM.

I can attest to HIS support as HE cared for me in so many ways after my first husband died. NO, I did not have all my wants, but I was able to travel and see my family when I was living apart from them.  God provided for me through strangers as well as jobs, odd things coming up to sell etc. He supplied and did not leave me without support.

Trust Him through these times. Be content. We have a God who, when we are His and trusting HIM, does supply.

That Dancing Monster

Ever watch TV when the, I believe, Weight watcher commercial comes on? You know, the one with the Hungry Monster. He dances in front of everything you look at, trying for your attention. Jumps, peeks, looks so cute and you are trying to ignore him.

We tell our children there are no monsters. Nope, not under the bed, in the dark room or in the closet. They are not real we reassure them.

Yet sometimes I wonder.

My first husband died of heart disease. It was a hard thing to go through and I blocked out a lot of things to deal with him and the kidney failure, the knowledge that he could die at any time and all that went with facing all of this. My life became a routine of caring and procedures to keep him going.  Marriage has it’s spats, but I would hold it in as “nothing was worth getting worked up over should he die and that was the last thing that happened”.  Things that should have been handled and wrongs that should have been talked out, were let go and shoved inside a place in my brain.

You see, I had a monster. Like “Hungry” it popped up in most things, most places I looked at and things I did. Big and not as cute as Hungry, he took over. His name was not Hungry, But FEAR.

Fast forward to this last week, a bit over 10 years from the death of Willie. I am remarried and my husband tells me he is having a slight pain in the chest and wants to see the Dr. (Of course he did not tell me this till Sunday night and it happened on Saturday!). The Dr. sends us to a cardiologist and Rick’s EKG is not right. Now we are facing stress test and ECHO in the next two days.

The monster is back. I am holding him in so as not to upset my husband. He is here with flashbacks of all I went through. He is big. Dancing in my every thought and seems to have brought along a few more friends with him this time.

I think back to the commercial. Weight Watchers gives the strength to fight Hungry. They are there online, all the time (unless you have an internet connection like ours. Satellite broadband that is iffy). Only a short web site away and Hungry can be banished.

Well, this morning I was seeing my monster big time. Rick was going to work and I know he lifts heavy things, is on his feet all day and Monster started dancing.

As normal, in the morning I grab my Bible and began to read. I try to take that early time to have some time with the Lord before Scout arrives, the animals get demanding and I get involved and forget.

As I read I was praying. God spoke to me in the passage, not about my monster, but about other things. We do not have a local church, but travel 75 miles for a Bible Preaching Church. There are churches here but so far all we have found are ones caught up in the apostasy of the day. Not in teaching the Word of God. I am not going to go there now, but today’s Scripture hit me about that.

I prayed more about this monster. All the while FEAR was dancing around in front of me. I finally said “Lord, I can’t function with that thing dancing. I need to be able to handle this and not be paralyzed by that Monster”. I then talked to God  about Hungry and the “quick fix” of a solution the TV showed.  God showed me that HE has a fix too.  “Be not afraid, only believe”.

I thought about how many times those words are said in Scripture. “Be not afraid”. It hit me, my Monster is a common monster. If it was not, those words would not be said over and over.

Another thing hit. While it sounds easy to trust, it is not for us humans. Like the little kid, and you shine the light in the closet or under the bed and they see there is no monster, turn out the light and they are sure it is there again.

As I prayed the light was there and my monster shrunk. As I go about the day it starts dancing.  I am praying that today I can keep shining that light on the FEAR monster and not feel the panic I do at times. Tomorrow is the one test. I pray that all is fine and the EKG was just whacky the other day. However, I need to trust the Lord that HE knows best.

What are the Monsters you face?

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.  1 Corinthians 10:13

Our Monsters are all common to man. We all have them. Apparently FEAR is a big one. I do not handle it well. Sometimes it will make me move and do things I would not do, for the good; other times it is paralyzing.

If you are reading this, please pray for us through this time. God has blessed me with Rick. I felt like after 29+ years of marriage to Willie that there would not be another man that could compare. Willie made me promise to remarry. He prayed for the man I would marry after he was gone. Rick came into my life and  he has been a blessing to me.

Together we need to look at our Monsters in THE LIGHT and trust Him.

The Proverbs Woman

The Perfect Wife and Mother from Proverbs 31:10 to 31:

10An excellent wife, who can find?
For her worth is far above jewels.
11The heart of her husband trusts in her,
And he will have no lack of gain.
12She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.
13She looks for wool and flax
And works with her hands in delight.
14She is like merchant ships;
She brings her food from afar.
15She rises also while it is still night
And gives food to her household
And portions to her maidens.
16She considers a field and buys it;
From her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17She girds herself with strength
And makes her arms strong.
18She senses that her gain is good;
Her lamp does not go out at night.
19She stretches out her hands to the distaff,
And her hands grasp the spindle.
20She extends her hand to the poor,
And she stretches out her hands to the needy.
21She is not afraid of the snow for her household,
For all her household are clothed with scarlet.
22She makes coverings for herself;
Her clothing is fine linen and )purple.
23Her husband is known in the gates,
When he sits among the elders of the land.
24She makes linen garments and sells them,
And supplies belts to the tradesmen.
25Strength and dignity are her clothing,
And she smiles at the future.
26She opens her mouth in wisdom,
And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27She looks well to the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
28Her children rise up and bless her;
Her husband also, and he praises her, saying:
29“Many daughters have done nobly,
But you excel them all.”
30Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain,
But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.
31Give her the product of her hands,
And let her works praise her in the gates.

Do you notice anything? I do. I am not her.  When I work on sewing, my house falls apart. A 2 year old makes sure of it, as do the dishes from the last meal (or 2 or 3).

I can’t get my money to stretch to buy supplies.

My creativity gets lost somewhere at times.

When things get to me I want to just sit. I am tired. My brain gets fried. I get to missing my family that is not in Texas.

More creativity leaves.

I am a naturally creative person. I have made things work by using what I have. Sometimes I fill this way more than others. Right now, I feel like a failure.

Do you notice that it says in verse 30 that a woman who fears the Lord shall be praised? It is the most important thing. Even through the slow times, the trying times, the stress times, if we fear the Lord we will come through it.

Stress! Yes, that is it. Stress hinders creativity. Stress tires. Stress short circuits the brain. When stress is allowed it smothers out trusting and fearing the Lord.

Maybe my husband’s hours at work have been cut. Maybe vacation to see my family is not looking possible. Maybe things at the house are falling apart. Maybe the sewing is not getting done or the business not going anywhere right now. Maybe ….  BUT am I trusting the Lord? Is my faith and fear in Him? My dependency for all of this?  How about my creativity itself? Maybe a test? Am I failing?

We women think we are super women, and when we read Proverbs we think we should be. However, read that verse 30 again… and again. It is by fearing the Lord that we can be that super woman. It is HIm in us. It is His guidence, doing things His way and trusting. We get burned out on our own.

Read Proverbs. Start with the beginning and read a chapter or less a day. You will find so much for us women. Do we build our home or tear it down? How does God expect us to be in the home?  Are we a dripping faucet? A control freak? A boss? hmmmmmmmmmm ?  If so, we are not fearing the Lord.

It’ll be all right!

I can’t believe it has been 10 days since I last posted. Well, I guess I can believe it, but it sure has zipped by.

How do you handle life zipping by? Feel like you are missing something? Wondering where all the days went?

For me, I look back at the last year and wonder where it went. It seems like there have been many stress situations, trials, disappointments, hurts and struggles.

However, there has also been joys amid the pain, Answers to prayer among the trials and love amidst the hurts.

I am one that seems to be able to laugh at myself, find humor in situations and be bawling my eyes out at things one minute and then finding a humorous side and laughing through my tears. I think God blessed me with that ability.

I also have a husband whose favorite saying is “It’ll be all right”.  Sometimes I would get upset with him, but yet that saying brings a reminder that it WILL be all right.

Why will it be all right?

  • I am a child of God and He loves me and answers prayer
  • He has promised that “all things work together for good to those that love God and are called according to His purpose..” Romans 8:28
  • I am trusting MY God to handle MY life

I quoted Romans 8:28 and want to say something about it. So often people quote the first part and forget the last. If we are not a child of God, not born again, we can’t hold God to the first part of that verse. It is because we are His that things will work for God. If we are not His, they are not working for good.

So, while trials and struggles come and go in this life, we need to trust our Savior and let Him handle.

I learned long ago that my dependency is on God. Not my husband’s job or my ability to make money. Not my church. Not my husband. Not my car or home. Only God. He provides, supplies and opens doors never thought possible.

How have I made it thought this year, and all the years before? God.

I have not always trusted Him, and still get fearful, angry, revengeful at times, but usually I get turned around and put my trust where it belongs.

Now, you have problems?Trials? Hurts?

  • Trust Him!
  • Remember He will work it out
  • Cry
  • Laugh, Laugh, Laugh through it all
  • Remember: It’ll be all right!