Wednesday, September 26, 2012


This weekend I overheard a woman talking about how she and her  husband give away half of what they spend.  Apparently other families in this church are doing the same thing because another woman asked her if she was "one of those" and she humbly said yes.  As I eavesdropped, she said that what that means for her is that every time she buys something--food, clothing, decorations for the house--she either buys a second one for someone who needs it or gives the equivalent amount of money to the appropriate person or group.  The thing that struck me was that she made it sound so easy--and fun!

That's always the way it is when someone has really mastered something, isn't it--they make it look easy and fun.  Unfortunately, giving has often been made to sound burdensome, something that has to be coerced or manipulated or cajoled.  Listening to this woman made me think of giving as something enticing and interesting.  I wanted to walk over and ask her to tell me the stories--Who does she give to?  How does she find out about needs?  How does she ensure that her giving protects the dignity of the recipient?  Does she give anonymously?  How has her giving been used by God?  (Of course, since I was eavesdropping, I just kept on walking, much to my chagrin.)

Recently, I was challenged to ask the question, "What do I have and who needs it?"  A friend corrected me, saying that the better question is, "What am I going to do about it?" and I plan to get to that question, but right now, the first question is really intriguing.  Right now, I'm looking at my stuff differently and wondering how on earth it all got here and why it's here and where it needs to go next.  I don't think it will be easy but I do think it will be fun to move toward this.

Meanwhile, completely unrelated, I've been reading Jen Hatmaker's book 7, in which she does 7 monthly experiments with her stuff and her habits using the number 7.  In other words, in one month, she eats 7 foods (more than most people in the world eat on a regular basis); in another month, she wears only 7 items of clothing.  It's a little contrived but it's also very challenging and it's hilarious, too--I'll keep you posted as I get further into it.

Book reviews to come, I promise!  Seriously, PCMFO and all the rest of you who keep bugging  encouraging me to do that, I will . . . soon . . . I promise.

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