Putting Our Money Where Our Mouths Are

My husband and I try to teach our kids what matters in life–God, family, friends, love, and compassion.  The intangibles.  Like all parents, we fight the incoming tide of materialism, and often lose.  They fight over video games, beg for more toys, and refuse to share.  My 19-month-old even snatches things up, clutches them to her tiny chest, and emphatically declares in her sweet little voice, “Mine!”  It’s cute, but also demoralizing.  How can we compete with human nature?

We all like our stuff.  Giant HD televisions, golf clubs, books, pianos, video games, cake decorating equipment, computers, handbags, shoes, Barbie dolls, movies, blankies, Legos…the list is endless.  But it’s not important.  We constantly have to remind them and ourselves that if we lost it all, we’d still be blessed with our family, our church, and friends. 

We are a Christian family. Like all Christians, we have a standard litany for times of trouble. 

  • “Our trust is in the Lord.” 
  • “God will provide.” 
  • “The Lord will take care of us.” 
  • “No matter what happens, the Lord will use it to his glory.” 
  • We’ll pray for you. 

    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/

    "Consider the lilies of the field..."Matthew 6:28

They roll so easily off the tongue, I sometimes wonder if people really believe what they’re saying, or if they’re just following the script.  I’ve seen people who say these things spend all their time fretting and obsessing over the worst case scenarios instead of doing what they can and trusting God to take care of the rest.  And I wondered, do I really believe that God will take care of me?  Do I trust Him as much as I claim?  I’m positive my husband believes it, but do I?

Then, a police officer told me my house was completely engulfed.  “Oh, my God.”  A plea and a prayer.  Then, a stunned silence, broken only to comfort the children.  My husband and I followed the police car for the 10 minute drive, and we discussed it.  I don’t remember much of what was said, other than my husband’s statement, “Well, it’s an opportunity to put our money where our mouths are.”  When he said that, I thought about what I was really feeling–shock and concern for the children and our landlord. What I didn’t feel was fear, hopelessness, or despair.  I knew we were going to be okay.  I was at peace.  A peace that surpasses all understanding.

I do believe that God will take care of us.  If I didn’t believe it before, I have no choice but to believe it now.  We have gotten so much help from the church, the community, family, friends, and complete strangers.  I actually have to turn away clothes, toys, and furniture now. 

We have a fully furnished house to live in and more Barbies and bathing suits, Legos and notebooks, video games, and clothes than before.  We have money to help us buy the groceries, the cleaning supplies, the garbage cans, vacuüm cleaner, and all the other stuff you don’t think about unless you have to start over.  Look around your house at the things you use every day and write it down.  Hair brush, fingernail clippers, screwdriver for those pesky miniscule screws in kids’ toys, band-aids, tape, a can opener.  We have none of that.  It is going to be one heck of a trip to the Wal-Mart**.  A trip that wouldn’t be possible without the donations. 

**If you hate the Wal-Mart as much as I’ve grown to, you will reconsider that if you find yourself looking for a one-stop shop to buy a vacuüm cleaner, hair dryer, dishes, socks and underwear, books, tools, and a dozen eggs.

.

We are blessed.  Abundantly blessed.

Next time, I’ll share the amazing things that people have done for us, from the state of Georgia all the way to The Netherlands.  Yeah, The Netherlands.  I can’t wait to give them a little tiny bit of the credit they deserve. 

Right now, I want to thank all you blogging buddies for your thoughts and prayers.  I am overwhelmed by the number of comments on Friday. It meant a lot to read all those comments.  I felt all warm and fuzzy.  (((Hugs))) and I love you guys!

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30 thoughts on “Putting Our Money Where Our Mouths Are

  1. God is truly good, all the time !I was waiting for this follow-up. God bless you and your sweet family and thank you for making lemonade out of your circumstance., You give me hope 🙂

  2. Great to hear you are doing OK, Erin. We could do with any spare Lego! Just kidding! Our communities can be really outstanding in times of need. Reading your article I am reminded of how everyone pitched in to help when we had our devastating bushfires and floods and cyclone and so many lost everything, just as you did. People really do care, even if in the hustle and bustle of everyday life it seems everyone is focussed so much on only themselves/immediate family.

    I think I got another hint about the future from this too, but I’m staying mum in case I am wrong! 😀

    Very glad a bathing suit or two turned up!

  3. so glad that everyone has rallied around you! It’s a fantastic and overwhelming feeling, isn’t it? It’s people like you that will truly make the circumstances reflect God, because you are willing to completely trust Him. I’m still praying for you guys, of course, and have a great day!

    • I appreciate the prayers and we still need them. Coordinating all these donated items is a major undertaking. We’re trying to get it all in one place by Saturday. We’ll see.

  4. Adrenalin and resilience are such wonderful and awe-inspiring elements when plans change in a flash. This summer is certainly going to be one for you to remember! Your community, of which you yourself are such a vital part, sounds absolutely wonderful!

  5. I, too, was waiting for this follow up. My thoughts and prayers are with you and family each and everyday. I’ve commented to Sam how much I appreciate your blog. I’m extremely proud of who you are and thankful that you have captured the heart of your husband!

    • Thank you Adele. I captured it and have been beating and pounding on it for a while. It’s always been a good heart, but it needed some softening and that has certainly happened in the past few years. The same goes for mine.

  6. The Lord is already using your family in amazing ways. Thank you for being so open and honest about your experience. I’m praying with you guy’s as this journey continues, and I’ll be following you along the way.

    God Bless

  7. Glad to hear things are moving in a positive direction. Thankfully I have never had to deal with a situation of this magnitude, but it always amazes me the lengths people will go to help others out. Very heartening!! Thanks for the update.

  8. So glad everything is working out. It’s nice to know there are good people in this world willing to help out when something like this happens. Makes you realize man kind isn’t so bad after all. Hope you get everything settled soon so you can take a breather.

  9. I am so glad everything has worked out. I am grateful to everyone who has helped you guys and donated. It really does show that people are GOOD! I know we forget that sometimes. Love y’all!

  10. It’s good to hear that your community rallied around you and provided for your needs. This will be a summer to remember – a summer when generosity helped your family started over again. All my best to you and your family.

  11. Holy smokes, I didn’t hear about this until today! (I’m not so good at staying in the loop.) However, with his reaction your husband has proven himself to be the right kind of guy to spend a life and raise kids with. This is a great opportunity for all of you. You will probably never be quite as encumbered by materialism as you were before, because you now know for a fact you might have lost an un-replaceable member of your tribe – and didn’t. I learned a similar kind of lesson in my 20s, when our apartment was totally cleaned out in a burglary, including furniture and food. I’m so glad you and yours are all right, and all safe.

    • Yeah, the husband has come a long way since high school. 🙂 Many life lessons have been learned this week. We still have to work on the materialism things with the kiddos, especially my daughter. She appreciates the new Barbies, but she says they aren’t “as pretty as my others.” I’m willing to cut her some slack since her “others” were birthday presents she only owned for one week. Other than that, no complaints. That may be worth a couple of replacement Barbies.

  12. God is good! I like how he takes the nasty moments of our lives and shows us the wonderous depths of his love and the kindness of our fellows. He is such a safe place to put our hopes and dreams. I am so glad that you have found yourself blessed. 🙂 I just found out about your trauma today as well. I will be thinking of you and praying for you. 🙂

  13. It’s wonderful to read about your positive approach. You are one in a million! Looking forward to more of your honest and refreshing posts. 🙂 I hope you are all doing much better, I will continue to send out good thoughts!

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