Giving back to God, out of the oh-so-very-much that He has given me, is really important to me. I am a firm believer in tithing.
When I started my photography business I was pretty good about remembering to take my tithe out right away when I would get paid for a job. Well, it ends up that when I get super busy I also get super forgetful… and October was the busiest month I have ever had, as a photographer. I was booking, shooting, and editing photo sessions like crazy. I loved it. I was also going a little insane and, as mentioned, slightly forgetful.
I was having a little convo with God one day and we had some financial stuff to go over. We were talking and suddenly I could not go on - with anything - until I took care of some business. He reminded me that I had forgotten to give back to Him from the awesome abundance that He had blessed me with.
The thing was, I could not remember what I had tithed on and when I had stopped. So, I hit my knees again. I said, "hey God - could you tell me what to do here? Because I am overwhelmed with how you have blessed this business, and you have surprised my socks off with how well it has done, and how it has taken off! I want to give back to you, but I don't know what the obedient amount would be."
It became really clear to me in the next few minutes that what I was to do was simply to tithe 10 percent of what was presently in my business account. I have been saving a large percentage of my income since the business started. With this being the first full year as a registered business I wanted to be sure that I would have an ample amount to cover bookkeeping, taxes, etc. Therefore, I felt comfortable that I would be thanking and praising God with this tithe in a sufficient way, reflecting my heart.
With money that is unexpected or unplanned for Dave and I like to choose special ways to tithe. So again, I hit my knees (I'm there alot) and got that issue cleared up.
Operation Christmas child is a very special ministry, which we care deeply about. Most years we have purchased a few items to pack one box, and it is a neat thing for the kids to be a part of! This year it was decided that we would each make a box.
All six of us,
for many small items,
when we were all tired,
and trying to keep track of each persons items…..
Whew! Can you say chaos?
…It was. And after a while I totally lost track of who was grabbing what, and what all was being added to our cart. It was alot. The boys were having a great time throwing stuff in. I kept checking our little brochure, making sure that we were getting some of the necessity items.
Dave and I did the tired mommy and daddy thing, and just shrugged our shoulders and gave each other an exhausted half smile.
We got to the checkout area.
The boys were being crazy.
People began avoiding our aisle.
I didn't blame them…
I had no clue what the final dollar amount on our overflowing cart would be. We finally got everything taken care of, and I grabbed the receipt.
Ya'll, our final total was within pennies of ten percent of my business account.
I just grinned. Because that's how He does things. ;) I just thought that was very cool.
Our time of packing the boxes, writing notes to each child, and praying over each one was precious. The guys are really starting to "get" it - and it is a true joy to do this with them.
It is such a neat thing to want to bless God, and receiving blessing after blessing from Him!
And we are very excited this year, because we are actually going to get to track our boxes, and find out where they end up!
Lil' Kai talks about "his boy" all the time and is so very excited to be giving him the things he carefully picked out.
Yes, he wanted to keep everything.
Yes, he thought that he, along with his box, would be going on an airplane…
Yes, he still is trying to grasp all that this actually means and all that it is about, but I just love the seeds that we are planting in our boys.
More info on OCC here.