Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Eggs That Cost Me Nothing

Above is the evidence of my latest attempt to get one good picture of my moving-non-stop-furrowed-brow-goofball-girl-who-likes-to-color-on-her-forehead-and-in-her-ears.
Okay, well, first, I’m pregnant. 3.5 months along. Due October 15th. Feeling great. Not going to find out gender. Very excited. Hope we can handle another crazy monkey in the house.
Second, Adam is back from Haiti. It has been an adjustment to reconcile “normal” life here with the images and stories he witnessed there. He has been wise and intentional about taking the time to process those experiences.
The result of his trip is that Flood (our church) has decided to commit to helping Children of the Nations build a school in Haiti. As part of this commitment, Flood is attempting to raise $100,000 by Easter. More info here.
Adam and I feel strongly burdened to participate significantly in this campaign. I won’t recount all the moments or thoughts or urgings that swirl together to make up a conviction. But the result of the last few months is that we feel convicted to give an amount to the project that really requires us to sacrifice.
It is less about the amount, more about what it costs us to give. Looking through the bible recently I was reminded of how often God asks us to give to the point of our own discomfort. Like David says in Samuel 2:24, “I will not sacrifice to the Lord, my God, burnt offerings that cost me nothing.” Or, for example, in Mark 12, Jesus watches people putting money into the temple treasury. Many rich people put in large gifts, and then a poor widow puts in two small coins. Jesus says of her, “this poor widow has put more into the treasury thank all the others. They gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything – all she had to live on.”
It is easy for me to give out of my excess and think myself generous for the gift. I am always the rich people giving out of their wealth large gifts that cost them nothing. Reflecting on this, Adam and I wanted this gift to be significant to us personally. So, we committed to a spending freeze for all of Spring. Basically our loose rules are that we are allowed to purchase necessities, but can’t purchase things that we just “want.” The money we save, goes to Haiti. And it should hurt.
Living on less has allowed me to see how little of what we spend is really necessary. Most everything I want I realize after pausing and thinking about it, that I really don’t want that much. Most of my wants are fed by impulsive desires just to soothe or reward myself and not by a true appetite for the item desired. To look those impulses in the eye and refuse to indulge them has been empowering. Though, I must admit that gift cards have come in handy these last few weeks. And it also helps that I am pregnant and therefore uninterested in new clothes.
I have also realized how much opportunity there is to share and re-use. Most of the things we want, we can find to borrow for free. If you want it, chances are someone has it and is not using it.
So, the result of all of this is twofold: (1) I realize that I can’t out-give God. Even when I try to sacrifice, it doesn't feel like sacrifice. It feels more like a gift to me than from me. (2) We need someone to donate plastic Easter eggs so Eva can have an Easter egg hunt in the backyard.
And if you happen to drop a gift card in one of the eggs for Eva’s parents, that will be accepted too. Or better yet, drop a Benjamin in an egg and we will add it to our gift for Haiti.