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An interesting “state-of-mind” is developing for us with this move across the country…we are being taught how to live more simply for a bigger purpose.

This weekend Greg logged on to Houston’s Realty website to see if our house was still for sale there…it is.  We don’t own it anymore, but it’s sitting empty.  We check from time to time to see if it’s still listed because that house is very special to us.  It was our dream.  We designed it, built it, decorated it, and brought our baby home to live in it.  I deemed it “the cozy cottage” and decorated it with a shabby chic/french cottage decor and color.  We had “the blue room” for our guests just like my Grandmother always had. (I painted it blue to honor her ability to always welcome guests in her room that was painted blue.)  We had a sage kitchen, a clay colored bedroom, and our artist friend hand painted a scripture verse on Emily’s nursery.  We even stayed up so late one weekend painting Greg’s home theatre upstairs dark forest type colors so it would be perfect for viewing movies and entertaining our friends. It was peaceful to us, serene, it was home.   

Now it’s all gone.  The current realtor had it painted white.  Every wall is white. 

I understand why it was necessary in this tough market, but that didn’t stop my hurt.  I felt as if my personality was rejected…my creativity unappreciated…my nesting undone…and my heart ripped out of my chest. 

It’s just a house.  It’s just a house. 

My real home is with God.  I’m really learning about the emptiness you feel when life centers around your possessions.  You may not think it’s an issue in your life, but we are Americans.  Even the government wants to give us money to buy things to help our economy….instead of giving money away to children who don’t have breakfast to eat.

When you define yourself by the type of car you drive, house you live in, and bag you carry life can be a very empty and sad experience.  At a recent church service, my pastor, Rod Stafford, told us that only 3% of the world own their own car.  That means that 97% of people don’t have a car.  We have 2.  How about you?  He also said that only 6% of American church goers give their full 10% tithe to church/charity.  That means 94% of churchgoers either don’t donate or give a partial tithe.  If all American Evangelicals tithed…churches would have over $140 BILLION  to help the needy.  I admit we are part of that 94%.  It’s hard to admit it.  We give…yes we give…we felt like a lot…but we looked up the number…and it wasn’t a full 10%.  How humiliating. 

Here we are buying up food that we don’t finish before it expires in the refrigerator when there are mothers that worry about where the child’s next meal is coming from. 

I’m saving money every month to buy a Honda Odyssey minivan so I can fit in with the soccer mom’s…when another mother in the world is excited to have a wagon to bring home groceries in, and I want a trunk that opens with the touch of a button on a remote!  

I’m embarassed at my greed, and I didn’t even think I had a problem.  We don’t have credit card debt like so many Americans.  We carefully plan out and save for purchases, we give to Compassion, Feed the Children, and our church, but we could do so much more.

We’re on a mission to cut out some of the unnecessary expenses, and give more.  Not because we feel guilted into it, but because we want to.  We want to make an impact, we want to be free from the chains of greed.  We want to help, we want to serve.

 “Begin by being honest. Do honest people rob God? But you rob me day after day.

   “You ask, ‘How have we robbed you?’

   “The tithe and the offering—that’s how! And now you’re under a curse —the whole lot of you—because you’re robbing me. Bring your full tithe to the Temple treasury so there will be ample provisions in my Temple. Test me in this and see if I don’t open up heaven itself to you and pour out blessings beyond your wildest dreams. For my part, I will defend you against marauders, protect your wheat fields and vegetable gardens against plunderers.” The Message of God-of-the-Angel-Armies.

 12“You’ll be voted ‘Happiest Nation.’ You’ll experience what it’s like to be a country of grace.”

-Malachi 3:8-12 (The Message)