May 12, 2014

consider the cost

“Mama, why do we have to give all this stuff away?”

My dear four-year old picks up the stickers I had been sorting through and looked up at me. As far as she was concerned, these were her treasures. I could see her scanning my piles and I could see the turmoil going on in her mind. 

“We don’t HAVE to, but Jesus wants us to.”


I smile, “Because we are very blessed.”

Millie thinks about that a minute. “What does it mean that we are blessed?”

“It means we have more than we need. We have extra to give away.”

My dear Millie watched me rummage through her art supplies, stickers, all kinds of things. She helped me choose what to keep and what to give. We’ve been through this before. Show this girl a child without a toy, and bless her heart, she’ll be packing up toys to give away faster than me. I hope that she never loses this sweet, giving spirit. 

Giving away my children’s toys and art supplies is a little hard. I have to decide what we can do without and what we still need, weighing in what they like and what they might be more interested in later on. It takes careful consideration and calculation (lest we run out of glitter before we can replenish our supply). It’s a good lesson for my kids and for me. 

I was nearly done packing up when I went to check the list of what this particular village was asking for. Then I saw it. Sewing supplies. They are trying to teach a sewing class as an outreach to the village. 

But I don’t have my sewing cabinet here. I don’t have my fabric stash. I sat down on the sofa with my beloved sewing box. Millie sits down next to me and delicately touches the box. 

“What are you going to do with that?” My sewing box is like a treasure chest to her. 

“I’m looking for things I can send to the village,” I tell her. 

I open it up and look around. There’s nothing in there I can part with. She begins to examine my button foot and my zipper foot. Nope, nothing. 

I think of what they would need to teach a sewing class. I begin to sort through things a little more carefully now. Hand needles… I don’t hand sew very often, and I rarely use more than one needle…  I pull out 3 needles, place them in a small compartment, and set the package aside. 

I find a few spare spools of black and white thread. That will do it, right? 

Friends, it’s easy to sacrifice my kids’ stuff for the sake of Jesus. But ask me to sacrifice my sewing treasures? Ouch. 

Giving is easy to me. I’m a naturally generous and giving person. It’s one of my top love languages. Very few things make me feel as happy as giving things away. I have been known to give away everything from the coat off my back (literally) to kitchen stuff, to furniture. I hate owning things that someone else needs. 

But my sewing stuff? 

I’m not sure why this was so hard for me. I have sewn a total of 3 times in the past 8 months. It’s not like I’m a die-hard sewing addict. 

Whatever the reason, it wasn’t easy. At first. 

“Mama, do you want to give them this?” She holds up a package of safety pins. I nod. 

“How about this?” As Millie pokes through my sewing box picking out things, I suddenly had more than I needed. That 4th pair of scissors, extra measuring tape, and second seam ripper went in the pile. 

She holds up 2 small clear boxes, each containing my favorite pearl-tipped pins. I sigh. Into the pile they go. 

When we are done, my sewing box closes a lot easier than it had before we started. I small stash of fabric that was lovingly donated and sent down to me is also smaller. 

Friends, if sacrifice feels easy, it’s not really sacrifice. Real, true sacrifice costs you something that you have to give up, not just give away. The giving away is easy. The giving up is hard. 

Sometimes Jesus asks me to do things that feel so hard. The cost is time with my family or feeling uncomfortable or vulnerable. But we are told to consider the cost of NOT doing what is asked of us. What blessings are we missing out on by avoiding sacrifice? 

I invite you to get uncomfortable and vulnerable. Pay the price and give the sacrifice. Experience the gift of the blessing of sacrifice. 


DJ and Jodi said...

Thanks for writing this Cas. It's definitely true. This paragraph is especially powerful:

"Friends, if sacrifice feels easy, it’s not really sacrifice. Real, true sacrifice costs you something that you have to give up, not just give away. The giving away is easy. The giving up is hard."

I think I'll post it on my blog... ;) and give you the credit!

I'll admit that I was a little upset that the two sewing machines that I sent down and asked to be "held" were sent out to the village Bible workers. Everything else I sent down in the barrels I "gave away." But I "gave up" those machines, thankfully to people who needed them the most. I pray that those sewing classes will be a means of showing the character of Jesus to the people.

Keep up the courage!


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