“Your needs will be met through your giving.”
I first heard that phrase spoken by Nancy Alcorn, the founder of Mercy Ministries. She was relaying her story – telling the details about how God pieced the puzzle together that would become such a powerful ministry to disenfranchised young women around the country. As a nonprofit organization, she had no reason to think they should give money to other ministries. Why would they? Mercy was surviving on donations and they were precious few.
“Your needs will be met through your giving.” The words were clear. And so she gave. And Mercy Ministries gave. Yes, the nonprofit taking donations to survive donated off the top to other ministries.
And God answered. Needs were met. Not small needs, either – the millions of dollars kind of needs. Four rescue homes built in the United States, with others around the world. Lives transformed.
That phrase has stayed with me – I must’ve written it in my notes three times that day.
“Your needs will be met through your giving.”
“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.” Malachi 3:10
There it is. Right there in the scriptures. I’ve heard it much of my life, but have I tested the Lord?
No. Have you?
I’m testing. I recently started a new business with great promise. My business model, first and foremost, is to give right off the top of my earnings. Before my investment is paid off, before I begin to turn a profit. Right from the very first paycheck, I will give. Every month I will choose a different ministry and I will tell my customers they had a hand in providing for that ministry. I have a feeling I will be amazed at what God will do through that simple act of giving. Once you have a heart that gives, you notice the joy creeping in, the song welling up, the prayers being answered.
Think of it – he says he will “pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.” (!!!)
How big is your life now? Think bigger. God wants to fill you up with blessing. Notice it doesn’t say “money,” although that could certainly happen. It says BLESSING. Blessing, blessing, blessing – and SO MUCH BLESSING there won’t be room to store it!
Something tells me if more of us really believed those words, we would be testing, too.
But we don’t even have to believe – he says to TEST HIM. When you test someone on their statement, you are asking them to prove themselves.
I double dog dare you.
Oh, wait. Yes, I did. Just not this one.
I’d been taking an online class on how to start an online store. It looked like the best option for our current situation: husband is about to finish a construction job without a new one on the horizon & me not quite up to speed in my voiceover business meant we would soon be drawing on our home equity line of credit for living expenses. Ouch.
I had my store all planned – I’d chosen my product line and bought a domain name. I was in pretty deep.
And then, I saw the facebook post from a friend. A male friend. About how much better he felt about his appearance since using a product called NeriumAD. So I called him.
I can’t say I’ve tried everything, but I’ve certainly tried enough. My last purchase was a $99 bottle of night cream by a famous direct sales cosmetic company from a cute and very pregnant gal who came to my house to give me a “free” consultation. I wanted to help her by buying something, and I believe my words were, “well, I’m always looking for a night cream that works for me.” I know you feel my pain.
My mother, bless her heart, used to go to bed every night with her face greased up with cold cream. I don’t know how she didn’t slide off the bed onto the floor, really. I was looking for something, but not willing to go to those lengths to correct what was happening to my face.
And what was happening to my face, anyway? Well, in a nutshell – I was looking in the mirror and thinking, wow do I look tired! And old. And worn out. And… like my daddy. Gaaaah! I love you, dad, but I was more hoping to look like my beautiful mama as I aged and not you, sorry.
And so, the progression of night creams and systems continued. Until I saw that Facebook post. The one where a man talked about how great his skin looked after using NeriumAD for less than a month.
I believe my next words went something like, HOW SOON CAN I GET SOME????
The power is out. And you know what that means in this day and age: no internet, no firing up the microphone to do voice over auditions, no getting the car out of the garage, no laundry. No internet – oh, did I say that already?
My first reaction to hearing the power would be out for several hours this morning was relief. A deep sigh, even. What a glorious thought! Now I can get some writing done, I thought. No checking email for auditions to do, since I can’t do them anyway. No distractions, I thought.
And then I took a picture of the crane reaching over the house to replace our worn out power pole and posted it on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
And then I checked for comments on Instagram and Facebook until my iPhone battery ran dry.
Ok, NOW, I can sit down and get some writing done. What’s that noise? My senses are bombarded not only by the work going on behind my back yard, but also by the incessant noise of city workers grinding a tree stump at the front of the house. Then there’s the trash truck coming by. Maybe I should’ve just fled to Starbucks when I had the chance and could still get my car out of the garage – at least there I’d have the internet and my distractions would be the normal ones.
I have been given a gift of no outside influences and I can’t stop my mind from wandering. Unnerved at my lack of ability to calm down and focus on the enjoyable task of writing, I think perhaps there IS something to this adult ADHD thing, after all. And, maybe I have it. Between gazing out the back window to make sure the telephone pole guy hasn’t fallen to his death, to peering out the front door at the noisy tree grinders across the street, to listening to my growling tummy long for the smoothie I was about to make for breakfast, and now can’t, I am undone. And a bit disappointed, really.
I have prided myself on becoming a 50-something tech-savvy modern woman. My friends and family come to me for answers. I am the I.T. guy in my house. My adult kids say things like “you post too much stuff, mom.” I proudly wear this badge up front and center.
But now I fear I am a classic connect-aholic. Am I addicted to the INTERNET?
I want to be able to have a nice, calm, productive writing day, I really do – but the longing for connecting with others drives my day, especially since I work from home. Alone in my studio/office all day, it’s somehow comforting to know I can always chat with a fellow voiceover talent via Facebook if I have a pause in my day. Or I can post a comment in a voiceover group such as “the phrase ‘in perpetuity’ is like kryptonite for me today” and watch the LOL’s and virtual pats on the back come rolling through the comments section. How pathetic am I?
Part of me wants to force myself to go without power for a week and REALLY get some writing done. Part of me wants to find a therapist who can rid me of this creeping annoyance I feel at myself. And part of me just wants my internet back, darnit! I know, I know – I can see the hashtags now – #firstworldproblems.
An hour later, I am calm. Serene, even. The tree grinding has stopped. The power pole replacement noise has dulled to just a couple of men chatting while they work. The trash trucks are infrequent passers-by. I had a bowl of cereal instead of a smoothie and it did not kill me. And my power is still out. It turns out, I can adjust after all! Just give me a minute. Or Sixty. I have no internet to distract me and 71% battery left on my laptop.
After that, there’s always pen & paper.