Sunday Gathering

We had an extra-special day. Not only did we gather with others that love Jesus this morning, we then went to our cousins' home to gather with family for an afternoon birthday celebration. Both gatherings were great.

Gathering Number One
We're still in the series "His House." And today's was on investing our money for God's Purposes. I was challenged by several verses.

Matthew 6:19-24: "Don't store up treasures here on earth ... Store your treasures in heaven. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be."

Our purpose in this life should not be to enjoy an early retirement, but to focus on God's perspective for our life. We should invest for eternity. We live in a society that is all about consumption and wealth and living for this moment. These verses were a poignant reminder that, hey, the crap here doesn't go with me when I die, so forget about the stuff. Use my money for God. Period.

And these are my favorite verses on money:

1 Timothy 6:17-19: "Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. THEIR TRUST SHOULD BE IN GOD, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. Tell them to USE THEIR MONEY TO DO GOOD. They should be RICH IN GOOD WORKS and GENEROUS TO THOSE IN NEED, always being ready to SHARE WITH OTHERS. By doing this they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they may EXPERIENCE TRUE LIFE."

So I LOVE these verses from 1 Timothy. In fact, they probably sum up my philosophy on money, a philosophy I've had since I met my first inner-city kid and my first homeless person, right in the heart of Chicago, back in 1987. Actually, I want to modify that last statement. I think this philosophy on money comes directly from my home, while growing up. My parents lived this out. My mom has said a lot of brilliant things over the years but one of my favorite is this: It is ALWAYS better to share what you have with others. A meal shared ALWAYS tastes better. ALWAYS. Sharing brings true joy. And she is

My trust is in God.

Use my money to do good.

Be generous.


And in that, I will experience true life.
And you know what, it's true. When I've been generous and shared and done good with my money, there has been such a sweetness about that. I've experienced true life, as the verse says.
There are a lot of things I want for my children and one of those things is that they would catch this vision -- God's Vision -- of how to use their money. I want them to trust in God, rather than money. I want them to use their money to do good. And I want them to be generous and share what they have. Boy, would that make me one happy mom.

So, you're never gonna believe this. I started this post above on Sunday, tweaked it a bit on Tuesday night, and was going to simply add a few pictures from the birthday party and then publish it now, on Wednesday afternoon. And then, I just went through Maddie's school work folder from last night, prior to sitting down to the computer. And this is what I found:

In case it's hard to read, this is what it says: "If I had 100 dollars I would .... and Maddie wrote: I'd be rich. I would give my 100 dollars to poor people. And I would buy food to the poor people."

I cried. I needed this. This was something done at school. I had no idea it was going on. This IS her little heart. And it has been this sweet for a long, long time. I am SO proud of her and who she is and who she is continuing to become.

You have no idea how encouraging it was to find this note amidst math papers and spelling stuff ... because I have felt like a really lousy mommy for weeks now. I've been in this funk and have continued to beat myself up for being very impatient and unloving and honestly, sometimes downright mean-spirited. So if nothing else, while I fail at being a mommy every single day, I think something right is going on. And that's encouragement that I desperately, desperately needed. Thank you, Lord. Whew.

On to ...
Gathering Number Two
So we headed to our cousin's home -- Julie and Arol -- for a fun, laugh-filled day of just being together, watching Rylan eat his First Birthday Cake and catching up on months and months of not being together. It was a sweet time.

Here are some fun pictures from the day ...

Clothes off. Ready for the cake.

Candle # ONE is lit. Everyone's singing. What's going on?

Ummmmm. Nice and tasty.

I love chocolate.

I mean, I REALLY love it.

This stuff is sticky but oh so yummy.

Sweet messy hands!

A beautiful day of gatherings.


Dad said…
Please do not beat yourself up. You are a great mother and the evidence is clearly seen in the lives of both Maddie and Jackson. Maddie is at the age where she expresses it so clearly but it is in Jackson also.

McFadden said…
Alysa, it was great having you guys down. WE NEED TO DO IT MORE OFTEN!!! Thank you for coming. Would you mind emailing my your pictures from that day?

By the way, we all have funks. Don't beat yourself up. You are a great mom. Maddie's little heartfelt school work is priceless!

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