bread instead of stones

Tomorrow I get to be in Long Beach for three days!! I’m pretty stoked about it because I’ve never been further south than Monterey. It was an inexpensive splurge of a Spring Break, and my dear friend KL is gonna join me so that should be fun.

Aside from just needing to dis-position myself from the Bay Area for a hot second, I’m also pretty much scouting. I put in my six-months notice back in January, and posted the job description for one of my replacements on Thursday. I’m so important and underpaid that they had to break my responsibilities up into multiple roles. Ha.

So yesterday, as I was lamenting over my seeming inability to gain financial traction, I took a look at my bank statement and realized that I’m really not that financially irresponsible. I spend what I make because that’s just how much it costs to live here. And not have my soul shrivel up and die and not continue to deprive my body of nutrients and pick me ups like Burt’s Bees nourishing lemon oil or a $6 bottle of Clove essential oil for my diffuser. And I also really love giving money away. I believe in generosity as much as I believe in Jesus Himself because I have and continue to experience the ways that generosity reflects and circulates the Grace most clearly displayed in the Gospel. So even though I’m what some people would refer to as city-poor, I refuse to live a small ungenerous life. Not because I am so inherently awesome, but because God has just graced me with a heart inclined in that direction, and because when I do live stingy out of frustration and fear, I experientially miss and miss out on the blessing of giving away and not holding so tightly to this world.

Yesterday, the funnest thing happened on my way to BART from ballet. I found a folded up $1 bill on the sidewalk, and as I turned around to try and get the attention of the guy who maybe dropped it, he’d already crossed the intersection and as I yelled out, a motorcycled revved and the whole thing was a lost cause. So I picked up the dollar and put it in the front pocket of my bag. Perched in front of a Safeway a few blocks later, a guy asked if I could help him out with just one dollar. My whole face lit up and I was like, I actually just found a dollar! I was so randomly excited to share and be the means by which God provided for him to dry his blankets at the laundry mat because they’d gotten soaked in the rain that morning.

I don’t live this perfectly, but I live it best when I slow down and remember that all created everything is His. By the time evening came, I had forgotten that incident and felt again like my life and its outcome – the provision I need to not be on the other side of that $1 exchange – does not ultimately depend on me and my finagling. God is my Father and a good Provider. And anyways, it’s not actually money that I need. I believe that lie because I live in America. God knows everything I actually need, and He can provide for me in whatever creative ways that He so chooses. That’s what I was reminded of last night when I went to read up on why I shouldn’t be anxious…

Because it’s my Father’s good pleasure to provide for me every good thing I need to bear fruit. Because He already knows what I need. And the blessing of being in His family is that what I need and what will happen to me doesn’t have to consume my thoughts. Though it can certainly feel that way sometimes, He doesn’t give me stones instead of bread.

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Luke 12 · Matthew 6

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