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frugal friday: the spiritual gift of poverty.

i don't have it. but todd does. it's his primary spiritual gift (followed closely by the gift of giving). he looks for ways to make more money for the purpose of giving it away, he looks for things he can go without in order to be able to give more to the church. whenever he receives anything (a gift or unexpected income), his first thought is about how he can give some of it back in gratitude. it's so inspiring to see that he truly understands that it has never been his money; it has only ever been God's money, and that he has been entrusted with stewarding it.

that being said, i mentioned that i don't have this gift. and i don't say that to fault myself - i have been given gifts that aren't todd's strong suit. that's the beauty of gifts. we've all been gifted differently so that we can each contribute something valuable and unique to the body of believers.

however, it should be pretty easy to see how it might be difficult for someone without the gift of poverty to be married to someone with this gift (and vice versa, if you think about it). people have asked me on multiple occassions, after learning that this is todd's gifting, if it's difficult for me. and my answer is "yes and no."

yes, because i'm a spender. well, not so much a spender as much as someone who values getting new or nicer stuff...and you usually have to spend money to get that stuff. which makes me a spender. when we first got married, this was one of only a couple big things that i struggled with. i had never had to be accountable for my spending before, much less to someone who saw money totally differently than i did. it meant that there were no impromptu cruises through the drivethru, fewer impulse buys at the store, fewer shopping trips to buy yet another shirt or whatever.

but the interesting thing is, it has made my life so much simpler in a way, too. i find myself wanting less, and the things i DO want, i weigh much more seriously before getting. and if i do decide something is worth getting, i actually enjoy looking for ways to get it cheaper (or best, free!). i love being able to tell todd about ways in which i saved us money. and at the end of it all, i find myself enjoying and valuing the things i have much more than i did, because so much thought and energy went into each thing.

mostly though, i love the fact that i can get truly EXCITED to hear todd say that he wants to give that hard-saved money away. when my income was nearly completely disposable, i thought in terms of how much makeup/clothing/mcdonalds a certain amount of money could get for me, or shuddered at the thought of buying off-brand velveeta (which i still do - some things don't change). it made it hard for me to joyfully give even the most basic amounts, and i found myself making all kinds of excuses for why i "just couldn't afford it."

but now, it's so much fun to hear about new giving opportunities and to frequently say "yes" without hesitation. and it's really exciting to see how much joy it brings todd to be able to do those things, and to come alongside him in doing the thing that brings him so close to God. and to be honest, todd does a great job of making sure our needs are beyond met, which makes it much easier for me to feel comfortable with the level of giving he is so passionate about.

so, yes, it's hard sometimes when i think about all of the things i could be getting if we gave less of our money away, and if we saved less of the money we keep. but more than anything, i'm grateful for the opportunity to give, to grow in a way that made me uncomfortable at first, to become a person i never thought i could be, and to submit to my husband wholeheartedly. god apparently had bigger plans for me than i had for myself, because i definitely didn't see this coming! but it has just been so awesome to see how todd's gift set has edified me so much in ways i couldn't have even imagined, and i'm beyond blessed.

(todd and i took this spiritual gifts inventory to help us identify our gifts, although todd's gifts of poverty and giving were pretty obvious before he even took this! mine were not so obvious, so i found it really helpful. do not be deceived by the eighth-grade-computer-class graphics.)

1 comment :

tivo vovo said...

my wife is far too kind.
someday i wish to become the things she says of me.
with her encouragement, it is more likely than if i had only to believe in myself.