I have had a bad attitude this Christmas season concerning gifts.
Money is tight, real tight. I miss cash in my wallet, eating out, traveling to visit friends and family, candles, Netflix. I had myself a genuine pity party a few days ago. We were late heading home and everyone was hungry. Instead of swinging through a drive thru we went to the grocery store and grabbed a loaf of bread, cheese, meat, and chips and made sandwiches in the car. As I made the sandwiches and passed them out my heart shrank three sizes. Instead of being thankful for never feeling true hunger I was mad and tired and fed up. I am ashamed of myself as I type this out.
My loss of wants has been fueling my bad attitude. For the past few months I have been sporting a chopped up haircut I attempted on myself to save money. And I have to find money to buy gifts. (I am feeling really ashamed now.) I must clarify that this frustration is not for children’s gifts. That’s where the fun is. As I type, Blake is beside himself shaking every gift under our tree. He’s also been carrying one certain present around with him all day.
We decided that we could only buy children gifts this year. I believe that was a wise decision, the money just isn’t there. And borrowing is a definite never, not for Christmas gifts. Had I not been harboring a hardened heart on our current financial status, that would be the end of it, but I made the choice to let the anger, selfishness, and resentment create guilt.
Enter Proverbs 30:8-10 via my friend’s blog http://throw-away-your-401k.blogspot.com/2010/12/manna-living-myth-busters.html?spref=fb . “…give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise I may have way too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the LORD?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of God.” After prayer and meditation on this verse my heart grew a little. I pondered the few people I know who probably live day to day and the countless others around the world who would scoff at me as I whine about my poverty. I decided that if God wanted me to live for my daily bread, then I would, thankfully. *
The following day was shopping day. I thoroughly enjoyed the first hour or so, picking out items for the kids in my life, imaging the excitement and thrill. The last half was amongst the crowd at Wal-mart, not so fun.
Today was wrapping day. As I wrapped and stewed (somewhat) over adult gifts I began to soften. And a verse popped into my head. “Silver and gold have I none…” I couldn’t remember the rest, but that short phrase stuck in my head. I had to find out the rest. Acts 3:6, “Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have I give thee…” Giving out of poverty, Elijah and the widow woman with a sick son, the woman who gave her last coin, all these accounts were flooding my thoughts. (In my best Grinch voice) “I’m feeling”. My heart grew three sizes.
I carried firewood down to my brother’s house this evening to start a fire and warm their house since they’ve been gone for a week. Silver and gold I have none, but I have firewood.
Tomorrow we will visit neighbors. I can’t give them expensive gifts, but I am giddy at the thought of giving potatoes, canned green beans, homemade soap, maybe even some of the local beef we have stored in our freezer.
* The following evening I received an email notification of a scholarship. I have been awarded the Lottery scholarship, 5,000 a year. This should cover my gas and remaining book expenses. And after I was such a whiny, thoughtless person. Shame on me. Thank you Lord.