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Can I be real honest with you guys? (Somebody out there please stop me now . . . please???) Yesterday I was able to get a few great deals at Rite Aid and Walgreens and planned on taking them to donate today towards tornado relief efforts nearby. They weren't much, but they were something. However, as “the penny pincher” (which so many people jokingly call me), I felt like showing up with just two body washes, a few razors, and some toothpaste was pretty pitiful. We did drop off supplies last week at a local Red Cross Shelter, so it wasn't like we weren't giving anything, but it just didn't seem to be enough! So, I started thinking about my pantry (which would be laughed at by those on Extreme Couponing), but in my heart of hearts I hesitated to give even though I have in abundance. What is wrong with me?
Now don't get me wrong, I am no hoarder . . . (really!) But, I do like opening my pantry doors and seeing enough. I like having enough bars of soap, enough cans of veggies, and enough pasta. It just (weirdly), makes me feel like we're okay, that if we need something we'll have it, and alleviates a little anxiety on my part about finding another deal! Isn't that just CRAZY??? Especially after what's taking place in our part of the country this week? And when we really do have enough?
I realized that while I choose to give because I really do believe God asks me to do it, the heart behind my giving needs to be a little purer, a wee bit less selfish, and a whole lot more trusting that God will provide . . . (*another deal*). I also realized this: it doesn't matter what anyone thinks if I show up with just one tube of toothpaste. (Not that I should take just one, because I have four in my pantry, and surely there will be another toothpaste deal soon!) But, if each of us gave just one, imagine our impact on those in need. If we each decided to give just one item this week, how many families could we impact?
I am blessed beyond measure. As I type this I'm sitting in my cozy home, with electricity and hot water and my safe and sweet family. Over two hundred people lost their lives to the recent storms, and thousands more are left without homes. It's astonishing to even think about. I can give an extra bar of soap, more razors, and even juice boxes (OUCH! It did hurt a little to stick those in the bag!) But ultimately I want to be a compassionate penny pincher. Not a stingy penny pincher who's pantry is bursting with deals yet who's too fearful to give abundantly, but rather a woman of God willing to help those in need (even if it leaves a little more space in my pantry.)
“If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” 1 John 3: 17-18
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