It is getting close to Christmas time and I always seem to feel the need to give during these final few weeks of the year. I was reading Luke 6 and working on a sermon when verse 38 jumped up and slapped me. "Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you (Luke 6:38, NIV). I am a woman on a mission. It is time for me to purge all the "stuff" that is clogging me, my life, and my relationship with God. When did this "stuff" become so important. My game plan is to purge our home of every unnecessary, unused, or no longer wanted item. I am not sure if Frank is on board...I may have to get started and light a fire under him. He has a lot of "stuff" too. I am planning to be brutal because I don't want my children arguing about, or having to deal with all this “stuff.” Frank and I have moved many times in our marriage and each time we have a yard sale, give away, donate to a charity "stuff"....and we leave one home and move to the next with a lot lighter load....and then the "stuff" seems to find us. Oh, it is not the same "stuff"....but it is "stuff" just the same. Last weekend while Frank was at a conference at Camp Sumatonga God and I wrestled over this and he called me on the carpet and convicted me of the truth that if something is no longer serving a purpose in our lives, it could very well be meeting a need in the life of someone else. I laughed out loud....I remembered what my mom used to say...."One Man's Trash is Another Man's Treasure." So I made a list of my most prized possessions and thought about how I would feel if I love them....would it change my life in anyway? so I prayed to have an eternal perspective of my "stuff". In my case....I thought....most of the "stuff" I have could be another person's necessity. I have china(I bought for myself....service for 12.....from Publix with stamps....I do use it....a few times a year.....and LOVE IT, Forest Green glasses, every day dishes, fall tablescapes and dishes, enough cups for 40 people to drink coffee, Christmas dishes....three Christmas trees of varying sizes and enough ornaments to decorate them all....three times over. My first stop in purging....would be boxes that have never been opened since the last move. Obviously I do not need them. I want someone to get these....who needs them.....a lot! I loved them first...now they can love them again. At a Women of Faith conference....one of the speakers gave me a bumblebee pin after I commented on how beautiful it was. She stood right there...and gave it to me. I was stunned. She told me that she always did that if someone "loved" something like that. It was just a possession. I wore that pin nearly every day for a year...and one Sunday at church one of Frank's congregation members made the comment that they loved my bee pin. Right then and there....I took it off and pinned it on her. She was shocked and tried to give it back....and I explained my reasoning behind giving it. My possessions are nothing more than resources loaned to me by God for me to disperse. They are not earned rewards or deserved pleasures. Every spiritual gift, every financial resource and each possession has been given to me by God as a way to serve others. "Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others" (I Peter 4:10, NIV). After spending time with Kat and Brian (missionaries in Moldova) and hearing their stories of what they do....and seeing that they do not regret the "stuff" they got rid of to do this....I decided (with God's nudging, of course) that I want to live my life with open hands, dusty feet, calloused knees, and rolled-up sleeves. I want to be a generous giver. I may not have much money...but I do have "stuff", and I can give what I have. Let the culling begin!
I am a woman who wears many hats and loves them all. I am a singer - I sing with the group Still Magnolias. I was part of the original First United Methodist Church Arbor Praise Team until we moved. After 24+ years of teaching English 11 and Spanish I - II at Benjamin Russell High School I decided to take a job closer to home. I now teach Spanish I & 2 at Randolph Co. High School and Wadley. I thought I was getting close to retirement and looking forward to it, but decided to move my cheese and try something different. I am a preacher's wife and a preacher myself. My husband Frank is the pastor at Rock Mills United Methodist Church and I am the pastor at Midway (Wedowee). It has made our conversations interesting, to say the least.