Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Sweet and simple

Brian's Aunt and counsin spent some time with Nathaniel on Valentine's Day while Brian and I had a date! (I could stop there, because that is newsworthy enough! :))
She brought along a couple of books that she had been keeping at her house, which her grandkids have outgrown. One of them is called "Classic Children's Prayers" and it contains the following sweet, simple prayer:
"Please give me what I ask,
dear Lord,
If you'd be glad about it,
But if you think it's not for me,
Please help me do without it."

Ain't that the truth? (ha - I hear the word "ain't" so often now, I couldn't help but throw it in!) Really, though, what truth lies in these simple, childlike words. This is how we reconcile "making our requests known" and praying "Thy will be done." Amen!

Time for Sesame Street...!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Fruitful Accounting

The Lord has been answering our prayer in some very practical ways for wisdom & creativity in handling finances. I'm sure anyone reading this is praying a similar prayer these days. Income seems to go down...expenses seem to go up. Everytime the TV is on (with the exception of PBS and Disney!) we hear of the crisis, recession, and meltdown our country is experiencing.

As I was praying the other day, I asked the Lord to help me develop more of "something" in regards to our finances. This "something" was one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit. I don't mention it by name because as soon as I spoke this to the Lord, I felt Him tell me that I need more of all of the fruit of the Spirit in relationship to our finances. I began to journal was He spoke, along with the Scriptures that He brought to my mind. I share it now, knowing that this topic is on the forefront of many of our minds & prayers, and hoping something might bless someone else...

The Fruit of the Spirit...in my checkbook!
LOVE - Lord, help me to develop more love - for You as my Eternal provider, and for my husband who works so hard as your earthly extension of provision. Certainly it is You who provides us with every good thing, but you use our faithfulness and loyal work to bless us.
(2 Cor. 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.)

JOY - Lord, allow me to enjoy all the good gifts You fill my life with and to express joy & thankfulness in all things relating to your provision. (1 Tim. 6:17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.)

PEACE - Lord, may I be content with all the ways You care for me, and full of peace knowing that You will always do so. I truly lack nothing, Lord, and can't think of a time that You haven't answered with blessing - and then some! (Phil. 4:11-13 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength., Psalm 23:1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.)

PATIENCE - Lord, the old saying that "good things come to those who wait" isn't just a cliche - it's supported throughout your Word. Waiting on You never fails or dissapoints. Help me to not only say I believe that Your timing is best, but to behave like it. (Proverbs 13:11-12 Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow. Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.)

KINDNESS - Lord, help me to reflect kindness as a steward of your blessings. From the cashier at Walmart to the medical billing representative who seems to believe that the extra charge on my bill is warranted...help me to be truly kind, behaving as a manager of my King's money. When I start to get hot under the collar because the bar code won't scan or because the price rings up incorrectly...remind me that this transaction is a chance to show the love of Jesus.
(Eph. 4:32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you)

GOODNESS - Heavenly Father, just as You are so good in giving to me, help me to show goodness to others in generous, selfless ways. And thank You that you promise to bless me for it!(Proverbs 11:25 A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.)

FAITHFULNESS - Father God, You are always faithful to Your Word, and You ask us for the same. Thank you for the clear instruction You give us regarding our financial responsiblities to You and to our government. May you always find us faithful. (Mark 12:17 Then Jesus said to them, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's." And they were amazed at him.)

GENTLENESS - Lord, despite the best efforts at planning and budgeting, there will be hiccups and bumps in the road - car problems, broken appliances and even disagreements on spending priorities. May my husband and I always approach these times, and one another, with gentleness and understanding. Give us the ability to come into agreement with You and one another, growing and learning all the while. (Phil. 4:5 Let your gentleness be evident to all.)

SELF-CONTROL - Lord, once we seek You for wisdom and You give us direction - help me to stick to it! Whether that means walking past the "$" Section at Target (which quickly becomes the "$10" section!) or remembering that saying "No" to one thing is allowing me to say "Yes" to what I really want. And as I grow in this area of self-control, can we just start the process all over again - with more joy?! (Proverbs 25:28 Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control.)

And now...since my dear Mother has relected PATIENCE and KINDNESS by reading all of this, I will oblige her request with GOODNESS and post another video of her grandson. :)