Last Sunday, I went to church with my in-laws at Church of the Shepherd in St. Charles. The church was beginning a campaign entitled, "Feed My Starving Children". The church will be gathering money for food which they will be packing and shipping overseas to impoverished communities in Africa. Incredibly, a child in Africa can be fed for a year for $79, while a family of five can be fed for under $400. Meanwhile, the average American spends over $200 a week on food!! My husband and I had been contemplating purchasing a new comforter set for our bedroom. We already have a perfectly fine comforter, as well as several blankets and quilts. It wasn't a necessity, but the color scheme of the set fit with the color we want to paint our bedroom and J.C. Penny was having a sale. I think you see where this is going. Long story short, God vetoed the comforter and pulled my checkbook out of my purse for me for a much more important reason.
Throughout my scripture reading this week, verses regarding God's faithfulness to the poor have been popping up in almost every passage. I'm feeling more and more convicted in this area, especially as I open the refrigerator and look in our pantry to see food just spilling out everywhere. I told my husband that I'm not buying anything else from the grocery store until our cupboards are almost empty, so we've had some pretty interesting meals this week. Pulled pork and leftover black beans turned into bbq burritos. Meatball sandwiches turned into spaghetti with fried eggplant and meatballs. And then, I am of the opinion that you can put about anything in a salad and call it good!
The point is, I'm feeling the need to live a more pro-active life in regard to those in need. My husband and I have had some great conversations about alternative giving and what we would like to do in the future, especially in regard to our children. It's a fine balance, because Garrett is at an age where he would notice if he didn't get anything from Mom and Dad for Christmas or birthdays, but as our children are happy jumping off of furniture and chasing around dollar Matchbox cars, I think we can give him the joy of gift-opening without being excessive.
I'd love to know what others think. How do you balance your life and responsibilities with the responsibility to care for those in need? And also, how do you instill these responsibilities in your children?
Blessings and Peace,