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Thursday, March 4, 2010

.Sponsoring Gerlie.

Jim and I had batted it back and forth for months.

Should we sponsor a child from Compassion?

We always came back to finances are tight. We are attempting the Dave Ramsey "Total Money Makeover" and trying to pay down all debt. We concluded this January that we could pay off all of our debt (except mortgage) in eighteen months and then we could sponsor a child.

Then God took us on a roller coaster ride for the month of February - living on no paychecks, but seeing God bless and bless and bless.

And sitting here typing this, I am not entirely sure how this all goes together, but it does. God stripped away some of what we thought were needs this past month, and showed us how very, very comfy, cushy we truly do have it. He began to soften our hearts to truly see the needs of others by allowing us the experience of realizing how very much we have. We have a home, two vehicles (although one sits unusable at the moment), TVs, a computer, phones, cell phones, radios, clothes, shoes, COACH bags, toys, toys, toys, books, games, a refrigerator and two freezers - although a little emptier than at other times still mighty full in comparison to others- a pantry of dry goods, Bibles, jewelry, dishwasher, washer and dryer, and on and on and on. We have far more than we need, than we deserve. Shortly Jim will be receiving a regular paycheck again.

Our church has been studying Proverbs together. We started Monday and will continue for forty days finishing with Ecclesiastes. The booklet/devotional that we were given for this journey seems simple on the surface, but if one truly wants to learn and grow this is a very difficult, not tenuous at all, journey. I really want to learn and grow. I really want this study to be life changing. I am praying that God makes it such. When reading Proverbs 1:11-12 the verses made me think of one thing. Now I do not want to take these verses out of context or take liberties, but see if it hits you the same way.

If they say, "Come with us, let us lie in wait for blood; let us ambush the innocent without reason; like Sheol let us swallow them alive, and whole, like those who go down to the pit."

As soon as I read those words, my mind immediately related them to the media. I am very sensitive about what we watch as a family, especially my children. I turned the Disney Channel on for Cadi the other day while I was applying my makeup. I assumed it was safe. While applying my eye liner in the bathroom I hear the main character talking about being stood up for a date, and how she was not pretty enough and never would be. Now mind you this was a children's cartoon. I was disgusted and promptly turned it off. My four year old daughter needs none of that. And although, my eighteen month old son is just that - eighteen months - even now he does not need to see commercials with scantily clad women, neither does my husband. I feel very, very strongly about guarding our eyes, and ears from the perverseness of this world. It is not amusing, it is not cute, and maybe worst of all, it is not forgettable - especially the visuals for a man. I don't think Jesus would find much of what we watch on TV entertaining. So why should I?

I could go on and on here, but already I have lost some of you and potentially offended others. And I am really trying to get back to what this has to do with Compassion International.

After reading those verses, I shared my perspective with my husband. He agreed that the media does in deed fit the bill of laying in wait for blood, waiting to ambush the innocent without reason, trying to swallow them alive. We agreed to cancel our cable. My husband and I do not want the media to shape our hearts, our thoughts, our lives. We want the Word of God to. Because of our personal decision to eliminate cable from our lives, we expanded our budget.

I did not think much about that until I read this post. I read it with tears streaming down my cheeks. I was moved with compassion, and awed once again at how God works in our lives - every single step - drawing us to Himself, aligning our heart with His. He used that Proverb and our commitment to canceling cable to get us to exactly where He needed us. When Jim came home for lunch I shared this with him, and then we were blessed and privileged with the ability to sponsor a four year old little sweet heart from the Philippines, named Gerlie.

What's your excuse? There is a mommy out there praying that you might bless her child.

Sponsor a Child in Jesus Name with Compassion

(This is probably one of my harshest ever posts, and the sweet, mild Tiffany will be back soon. I promise. )


rameelin said...

Loved this post from you! Bold Tiffany is beautiful and courageous! Do not feel like you have to sugar coat your feelings for your readers. Thanks for sharing your hearts!!!

Robert said...

Welcome to the wonders and joys of sponsoring a child. I sponsor 2 and a CSP and would not give that up for any television program past or present.

Lisa said...

We are right there with you on the t.v. thing. We've been sans cable for about a year, and it was one of the best things we ever did! I could go on and on about the benefits!

My husband and I have gone back and forth about sponsoring a child too. I think it's time to re-visit the topic!

Redeemed1 said...

I completely agree about the media. Congrats on turning off the cable and sponsoring a child. I just love times when God reveals these things to us.

melissa said...

the more I read your blog the more I fall in love wig you as a person, wife and mom. Thank u for this. My husband and I have tossed the idea of sponsoring a child around more than once. I am the money manager and I am a coward when it comes to letting go of anything extra. We also do Dave Ramsey and have paid off over $7000 in debt so I could come home from work. I am encouraged, convicted, or whatever you want to call it. I will be re-evaluating our finances this week and talking with my husband about sponsoring a child. Thank you. I am blessed!

Tia said...

What I love about this post is the open heart you have to God convicting you in one way or another. We have cable, but rarely watch it. I don't even know if the kids get 30 minutes a day on average (I'd say most days we don't watch anything). And the days we do I am very careful to choose their programs. They are 90% educational and I DVR ones they like for those occasions. Okay saying that....though it's not something in my life God is asking me to replace with a blessing there are others! And maybe for some giving up one thing may seem insignificant but it means blessings to you and your family! I think it's wonderful you are striving to grow closer in your walk with God and listening to that quiet voice step by step!

Theresa said...

Tiffany, thanks so much for sharing here! So much of what God is teaching you and your family, he has been putting on my heart! It's wonderful to see God moving through his people and I am so blessed to hear your personal account of it.

Dan and Alenna said...

We've been talking recently about sponsoring a child too. Thanks for the extra nudge! :-)

Melissa said...

I agree completely. We have in the past year all but stopped watching any TV. We have actually never had cable, and frankly, have never missed it. I too am offended at the commercials that are shown in between even a 'safe' program.

I think that is wonderful that you are able to sponsor a child!

BTW, I'd say this is about the nicest 'harsh' post I've ever read! LOL!

The Ashworth family said...

This was great, Tiff. I don't think you sound harsh at all - you used your words well. Besides, remember it is YOUR blog, so you can express your opinions and convictions here. I have gone back and forth about the cable thing - as well as all the media we have in our home (i.e. how much computer time I spend bloggging, reading blogs, etc.) I wish we didn't have it - we have visited this idea several times. We don't really watch it much but I still feel like it's a waste of time plus I get frustrated by what is shown at times even on channels like Fox News.
I'm so glad you are sponsoring a child - I did it in the past and hope to do it again in the future.

Heather said...

Tiffany, I loved this post! I think that this is wonderful that you and your husband are sponsering a child. It is so neat how God showed you a way to do it, too!
That is so horrible about the Disney I said in a comment in your newest post, we don't have cable but I would assume that the Disney Channel would be harmless. It is too bad that subtle messages like that are being fed to young minds.
If you could pray for my husband and I about sponsoring a child I would appreciate it. It has been on my heart more lately, but really for years as my dad always sponsored a child. I would LOVE to. We are doing the Dave Ramsey program as well and I am fearful that my husband will say it is not in the budget. I would love to move the budget around and make it work though. Please pray because I will talk to him sometime tomorrow (Saturday) probably later in the day. This has been on my heart for a while. I so want to be able to bless a child.
Thanks for the post!
P.S. your blog header did finally download by the time I got to this post and I love it! :)

kathy said...

Tiff, I love this blog. We have basic basic cable and then it is monitored. The girls have alotted time given to watch and it is rarely on during the day. I agree wholeheartedly.
You two are a blessing to me. ~AK~

Kim said...

I think your post is amazing. Thank you.

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