My Blessing Journal
"Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever. Psalm 145:2"
Four years ago, this was one command in the Bible I did not know how to obey. How could I? My husband's employer had made him take a pay cut and we had bills, bills, and bills! Our vehicle could not fit our whole family. Our dining table could not fit the entire family! We had been blessed with five children but were now living near the poverty line. God had let us down! Or had He?
Around this time, I heard an idea from my daughter's Sunday School class. They told her, "Every time you think of something you are thankful for, write it down and put it in a shoe box. When you have a melancholy day, open the box, and read the blessings one by one." I could not stop thinking about this idea. Perhaps it would snap me out of my current melancholy over finances.
Instead of a box, I used a notebook, but I could not think of anything to be thankful for. "Lord," I prayed, "Help me to see things for which I can be thankful. Help me to see your provision in my everyday life." I soon filled up my notebook. Now I purchase a new notebook every year, and have them labeled by year on my bookshelf. What a blessing to read of the provisions from the loving hand of our heavenly Father.
God has taught me much through my Blessing Journal, as I now call it. I have learned that my husband may get paid on Thursdays, but God provides for me every day. My budget may not work on paper, but God is not limited by what works out on paper. God delights in constantly giving us little blessings to remind us of His love for us!
In the Old Testament, the Israelites gathered their manna in the desert one day at a time. They did not hoard. I believe we are to follow their example. God is our provider. He is not limited by what day it is. He is not limited by our income. It is our job as wives to be keepers at home, manage our households, please our husbands and nurture our children. (1) It is our husband's job to work towards providing for his family and leading his home. (2) It is God's job to provide! (3)
Would you like to see some pages from my blessing journal? Here is a list of some of the things the Lord recently provided, apart from my husband's paycheck:
God provided the money and materials to repair both porches on our house, which were very unsafe.
God supernaturally blessed our garden. We canned about 500 jars of vegetables, did a lot of dehydrating, and froze a lot too.
Somehow our meat chickens, instead of being a scrawny 5 lbs. or less, weighed in at 10 lbs. each. Our turkey weighed 30 lbs. Yum, Yum!
My husband hit a deer, and since it was close to home, we had it butchered and we have a freezer full of free venison. (Don't tell my mom we eat road kill! It is still safe if you kill it immediately, and process it within a certain time frame).
God provided clothing for my children all year long through people who felt led to give us things even though we never expressed a need.
Ruth asked for roller blades for her birthday. We told her the only way she would get them would be if God provided them. Later that week, a lady from church put a bag of clothes for the little ones in our car and in the bag was a nearly new pair of roller blades in her size! Roller blades are hardly a "need" but God heard the "want" of a child and met it. Ruth calls them, "the roller blades that God gave me."
Someone this past week gave us a couch which sure beats the 30-year-old one that I grew up with - and it matches our living room!
God has taught me to be a better steward of our grocery money, feeding our family on $30-40 a week, while extending hospitality and having enough left over for additional weekly offerings. God enabled us to give more than 10% of our income to His work, despite the fact that we live near the poverty line.
God provided some additional home schooling materials I "wanted" in the math program I use, without my mentioning it to anyone but Him and my husband. I could have improvised and was planning to, but God even met my "want."
God provided free wood for the children to get their long-awaited tree fort.
God allowed Martin to learn how to do some home and car repairs, which saved a lot of money. This was not something Martin would ordinarily do.
Our well broke this year. A friend came over to help Martin remove the motor so he could get it fixed and instead came over with a brand new pump, which he said our church bought for us.
A very cool "multifunction machine" (photocopies, makes faxes, scans and prints), which after all manner of rebates, coupons and a gift certificate, cost me $5.00!
We have been driving a beat up station wagon without working windshield wipers or heater for a very long time. Someone from our church asked us how much we wanted to spend on a van. We were committed to not going into debt, and only had a very small amount saved. He told us that this (extremely, pathetically small) amount was what he was willing to sell us his van for. We agreed, without looking at the van. I am not fussy. All I wanted was a working van with windshield wipers and a tape deck. God gave me far more. The van is in perfect condition, looks like we drove it off of the car lot, and is my favorite color - purple!
Don't misunderstand me! God is not a cosmic Santa Claus! We are not given things so that we can hoard, but so that we can give. Generous people are conduits and can never have "too much" as they will always reinvest in God's kingdom. However, covetous people will never have enough and will greedily grab for more. While saving a few dollars, don't neglect to be a blessing through giving, hospitality, encouragement, and kind words to others.
If our goal is to have money so we can spend it on ourselves and on vain things, we know from the Bible that we are mistaken, for James 4:3 says, "Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts." The reason why God gives us any wealth at all in this world is to establish His covenant on this earth. It says in Deuteronomy 8:18, "But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day."
Part of that covenant with us involves our raising up godly children for Him (4) and releasing finance so the Word of God can be preached and the nations discipled. (5) He doesn't give us wealth to indulge our flesh!
Can I encourage you to record the blessings God gives you, to give Him praise for His blessings, to be a blessing, and you're sure to be blessed!
Fostoria, Michigan, USA
1. Psalm 113:9; 1 Timothy 5:14; Titus 2:5 and 1 Corinthians 7:34.
2. 1 Timothy 5:8 and Psalm 112:1-2.
3. Deuteronomy 11:15.
4. Malachi 2:15.
5. Matthew 28:18-19.