Sunday, March 27, 2011

Confessions of a Food Hoarder

I've been writing a lot about money, blessings, and God's provision lately- mainly because I've been so moved by God's provision in my own life this past year! But as I've read over some of my posts, I realize I've only been telling half the story. I don't mean I've been telling half truths about things that have happened to me or others, but that I've only been emphasizing half the beauty of it all.

1) God provides for us.
2) We learn that He's our Provider and no other.
3) We gain confidence in Him and His goodness toward us, and lose anxiety about the future.
4) We grow more in love with His goodness and less in love with things.
5) We grow more generous because we no longer have any reason to hoard things- no fear about "not having enough" and no idolatry for the things themselves.
6) We become instruments of God's goodness in the lives of others.


God blessed our landlords financially and they built a house with a guest apartment. However, they love God more than they love their stuff. In fact, they value the generous heart of God even more than having privacy in their own home! They chose to invite two complete strangers to live on their property- to let another family enjoy their real-estate, their backyard, outdoor grill, pool, and living space completely free- just as a gift! That is the generous heart of God toward them overflowing into the lives of others.

So what I'm saying is I don't think it's God's intention to give us "good gifts" of provision etc. for us to hoard them or brag about them. I don't think the goal is for us to become chubby, bratty kids with piles of toys all around us. I think the goal is to be so moved by His character and changed by His generosity that we lose any reason to hoard. Here is how He's changing me:

"Consider the lilies of the field and how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet not even Solomon in all his glory was arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow gone, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith?"

As I grow in confidence in the capability of God and the character of God in His provision for me, I grow so satisfied in God that I can lose sight of the things themselves! I can rejoice in His blessings but not hold them with a closed fist. I can give more than the bare minimum. I can give with joy and without fear. I can give more than is "required" or expected. I can give more than makes worldly sense!

Think about what you're most afraid of losing or not having enough of. For me, it's usually food (repercussions of being one of six children). Meditate on God's generosity toward you and His promise to provide what you need and practice giving some of that thing away. I'm serious! Having to host dinners for people has been a major lesson for me in trusting God for enough food. If you think you barely make enough money to live on, meditate on God's absolute sufficiency in your life and practice giving away more than you want to. Maybe you are most afraid of not having "enough" of your spouse's/boyfriend's/friend's/parent's time. Meditate on God's love for you and His promise to give you exactly what you need, and then release that person to be shared with others!

As I'm practicing these things (and maybe having less for dinner occasionally), I'm finding freedom.


Amber said...

i love this post! you are very good at articulating your thoughts...glad we are journeying through steps together.

Suzanne McDuffie said...

That's awesome Hannah :) I love it!

Suzanne McDuffie said...

here's one of my good stories:

y Cup Runneth Over
by Suzanne McDuffie on Saturday, April 3, 2010 at 8:58am
"Now Faith is the assurance of things hoped for and the promise of things not seen."

As many of you know I lost my job in October of last year and I was unemployed for a few months. As a matter of fact, I was unemployed for a few months in 2008 as well. My life has been a bit of a roller coaster these past few years. I'm sure the recession served as a catalyst to trigger my dilemmas; however, I can't say that poor life choices and errors in judgement did not contribute to my failure as well.

But, despite my weaknesses, I'm motivated to write this blog because God is faithful and good and his mercy is new every morning!

I was unmotivated and despondent in my unemployed state. But, God helped me pick up the pieces and get to work at applying for jobs. He gave me lots of great prospects. But, I continually prayed that God would close the door if He didn't want me to work where I interviewed and He closed door after door. I had a great interview with the Salvation Army and I was really excited to work with them and help with fund raising. God has really been giving me a heart change and I'm just not interested in pursuing the biggest pay check, but rather I desire the job that glorifies Him.

At the same time, I applied with The pay and benefits were less than the Salvation Army offered. And even though I liked my potential co-workers, I didn't feel like I would be making much of a difference in people's lives at an IT school.

When I went home for Christmas, I talked to my Dad about my different options and he encouraged me to "just get a job!", which made sense since my funds were dilapidated. I really wanted the Salvation Army job, but the wheels turn slowly under such a large chain of command. And it would be a month before I even knew if I would get a second interview.

However, I didn't feel good ethically about working with without disclosing that I was still considering a job with Salvation Army. So, I told my them and they said that was a risk they were willing to take.

My job really didn't pay much at all. And the commission was minimal as well. And, my goal this year was to pay off my debt so I will be free to go into full time ministry down the road, So, I was just stepping into the open door by faith that God would provide.

Within a couple of weeks, the owner of the company came and told me that he was changing my commission, which would essentially double my income and help me get out of debt soooo much faster?! This was a huge answer to prayer for financial help!

Suzanne McDuffie said...

continued ...

Also, the leaders of the company are very visionary and positive and they don't micro-manage! It's such a blessing to work for such awesome people after my last job had such poor leadership.

And I work with unemployed people and help them find grants to go to our school and get Microsoft, Cisco and Comptia Certifications in 6 months so they can get better jobs and have a better quality of life. So, when I first started, I didn't realize how I would really be helping people and making a difference in their lives!!!

Plus, I do a lot of group presentations and one-on-one meetings where I get to encourage and motivate many people who have been laid off and are struggling to get back on their feet in this horrible recession. And I get to mentor youth as they seek to overcome difficult backgrounds and have a new beginning with training and a successful career. So, I'm making more of an impact in peoples' lives than I could possibly have dreamed!!!

In addition, I had numerous opportunities to share Christ's love and give "a reason for the hope that is in me."

And, just as a bonus! I have window view in a skyscraper that overlooks Dallas! And its just beautiful and amazing to watch the sunset on the city and all the windows reflecting the gorgeous hues and then to watch the skyline light up. Once, I even saw a rainbow resting on the downtown rooftops! :)

In short, I love my job!

And God didn't stop there! He answered prayers to have the landlord take the rent out of my security deposit when it was almost time for me to move instead of me having to pay from my bank account, since I was out of money.

Furthermore, when I had to move, he blessed me with 3 friends who said I could stay with them either rent free or just utilities. Things worked out best with my new room mate, Sandy, who is a friend, amazing cook and loves Buster, which is such a blessing since I can't spend a lot of time with him with my busy schedule. She has a great, safe neighborhood with a pool!!! And a lot of elderly people live there, which I love because I never get to spend time with senior citizens anymore and I feel safe and loved and it reminds me of SouthWest Florida and all the snowbirds! Living there also helped lower my rent expenses so I could pay off my debt.

And my old business loan company called me out of nowhere and offered to lower my payment by about $200/month and lowered my interest rate by 6%!!!??? Plus, Sprint called and gave me a new plan that lowered my bill by $30/month! And they gave me a new free Blackberry curve!? So, I just feel loved and blessed and resting in God's favor and mercy!

He lowered my expenses, gave me a roommate (since I was pretty lonely living by myself) and blessed me with a great career. I get to apply many of the skills I learned at my other jobs like prospecting, recruiting, motivating and more! And I'm glad I learned the value of submitting and respecting to my authority through my last job at The HomeMag. Plus, I just learned that work is more about loving well and being on mission than making a ton of money. So instead of making my focus Me, God has taught me through His beautiful love, mercy and grace to make it about glorifying Him and enjoying Him forever! So, I just wanted to share with you how God has blessed me and worked "all things together for my good and His glory."

And I would love to hear what He's doing in your life and how you're experiencing Him or how I can be praying for you.

Anonymous said...

Good post Hannah. I like it. :) (Boy that was the least controversial comment anonymous has made yet!)