I didn’t want to give this month of August, I don’t even care if I’ve been working on this way to teach kids to give.
Our leaky bathroom stole all our money and now giving is dead to me. This once-a-month journey to better share God’s love by giving and serving others more – dumb idea. (If you want to read about why we started this giving/serving more journey, click here.)
Yet – big sigh – God had other plans.
Our church felt called to help buy school supplies for those in need. My heart tugged but my head stood firm in skipping giving this month.
Besides, I’d just spent approximately $125,987.45 at Target buying my own kids’ school supplies. Evidence here…
Isn’t that enough money to invest in educating the next generation?
Later that day, my younger two sons and I were grabbing groceries and when we passed the school supplies, God whispered to my heart: Buy them.
(What?!? I’ve decided to harden my heart on this one…)
But, before deciding to bail on this journey, I’d also committed to listening to God’s voice in my heart and then…actually following. Selfishly, I’d love to be a little closer to that joy talked about in scripture that comes from knowing God and participating in His work:
So when I felt God’s nudging in the store, I decided to move and put school supplies in the cart.
But, sometimes, God works in funny ways.
Later that evening I was surprised by a huge blessing. My neighbor asked if I wanted to go through her work clothes before she donated them. I needed to buy more professional clothes but after our more-expensive-than-we-anticipated bathroom remodel, my clothing budget plummeted to negative numbers. But then three cute dresses and a bunch of nice shirts appeared – God met a need.
It reminded me of the saying, “What goes around comes around.” Or Luke 6:38: “Give, and it will be given to you.”
I’ve heard sermons on unexpected blessings you receive when giving but for some reason, I’ve had a hard time believing that really happens. Yet the timing in this situation makes it hard for me to deny that God blessed me.
I felt humbled.
And a fire was lit for next month’s giving adventure.
Read more about our once-a-month giving strategy:
“The benefits of actively fostering children’s charitable impulses are enormous. Besides helping counter the overdeveloped ‘gimme’ impulse, it gives kids a powerful boost in self-esteem to realize they can make a difference in someone’s life. ‘And as corny as it sounds,’ says Patricia Schiff Estess, a New York City writer and the author of (Amazon affiliate link) Kids, Money & Values, ‘when you help a child help others, you are helping to create a better world.'”
That lesson floating around our home for a year? Yes, please.
So, we started what we’re calling the “Once a Month” strategy. Each month, we looked for a way to give, and very often, it involves just noticing what’s already in front of us. (Convenient!)
Here’s how the once-a-month giving strategy rolled out:
If you decide to take use this giving strategy, remember this is YOUR THING. Do what God places on YOUR HEART. Whatever works, big or little. Your family will be moved by however you decide to extend your hand. And hopefully, so will the people you give to.
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Cheryl is a mom of 3 boys, wife, speaker, high school teacher, and author of Empowered Moms & Kids. She has a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and is passionate about learning and teaching. On www.empoweredmomsandkids.com you’ll find inspiration and encouragement for moms raising tweens and/or teens. Read more in the “about” section of this page.