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  • Writer's pictureDeborah

Giving and Given

New Series Funny Sayings

Funny Thing #2

Luke 6:38 ESV

It goes without saying that I quoted scripture to my kids. Let me rephrase that…it goes without saying that I quote…

It also goes without saying that I prayed for my kids. Once again, let me rephrase that…it goes without saying that I pray…

Looking back there was a definite reason for that. We moved around a lot when they were young. There were times when it felt like we just got settled and we were packing again. The thing about ministry is that when God says ‘move’ you move.

There were times when they had a really good friend that they left behind when we moved. There were times when they really really liked their teacher and when we moved they missed their old teacher a lot.

It seemed like there was no rhyme or reason to moving.

But looking back, I can see the reason every every every time.

The first time we moved a long way away from family it was really hard for all of us. We all missed seeing our extended family. We missed being part of a family unit. Plus, the hardest part was that money was tight and we couldn’t afford to travel back “home” very often. Money was tight when we bought school supplies and clothes. Money was tight when we picked out shoes.

So…I prayed. I prayed a lot about money. I prayed that my kids would have enough money that they could do whatever they wanted to do.

I really really prayed.

I prayed they would have good friends they could count on.

I wanted them to have more than we could give them.

There is a great funny but true saying that goes like this: “I want my children to have all the things I couldn't afford. Then I want to move in with them.”—Phyllis Diller

I remember praying and telling God, “it’s me again. It’s about money again. We have this to buy and that to buy and I don’t have it. Tell me what to do. Amen.

That’s the way it went.

For decades.

I remember one time when I sent my oldest son to school with holes in the knees of his jeans. He wasn’t happy about it because at that time nobody wore jeans that had holes in them. They were the only clean pair he had so I told him they were clean and it would be okay.

When the kids came home from school everybody was somber. I asked what happened.

The principal reprimanded (and shamed) my son in the lunchroom in front of everyone for wearing jeans that had holes in the knees. My daughter said it was bad and she’d been upset all day about what happened to her brother.

Wow. I mean wow.

I prayed all night. “God, it’s me again. I really messed up this time. I sent my son to school with jeans that had holes in the knees and the principal embarrassed him in front of everyone in the lunchroom.”

I cried and cried.

I felt like God said, “So, what are you going to do about it?”

“Well, that’s a hard one (because the principal is a church member at our church). I’m thinking about telling the principal what he did was extremely inappropriate. I want to tell him I’m the one he should have reprimanded.”

The answer was clear…”Speak Truth”.

So the next day I had a truthful conversation with the principal. I didn’t yell or scream. I wanted to but I didn’t. I did make it clear that what he did was inappropriate and in the future he needs to address his concerns to me. I advised him to never speak to any of my children in that manner again. Ever.

I don’t know for sure, but the principal’s wife was a teacher at that school. She was a very smart and a very kind woman. I had a notion that his wife heard the story and she had already laid him out.

He was never inappropriate with my children again.

Luke 6:38 tells us, “give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”

I gave the principal clear direction. I spoke in a normal tone (which was a miracle).

I gave him truth.

Today all of my children are a people of truth. They do not mince words. Two are/were military career officers. My other two children are leaders in business in their own fields. They do not mince words. They work hard and they get the job done.

I do want my children to have what I could not afford to give them. But here’s the rub…if scarcity gave them the determination to succeed I wouldn’t trade one day of what we went through. I’m not sure if that’s what happened, but something gave each and every one of them a fire in their belly that burns bright.

I’m not kidding when I say people ask me how every one of my children succeeded. They all graduated from the college of their choice and several of them graduated with Master’s Degrees. They paid their own way to school.

I laugh and I tell them money was scarce and in place of that, God gave them a will to succeed; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over it was given to them.

It wasn’t what I wanted or what I asked for, but it was everything we needed.

Spiritual Practice: Running over

How has God blessed you? Be grateful for it.

In God, Deborah


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