Counting the Change
That is the total amount of money I have saved in the last year or so by saving my change.
After a year of faithfully putting the change I got from each cash transaction and picking up pennies on the ground, I filled a 12 oz. jar I recycled for this use and came up with a grand total of $40.22. Humpf. I was really hoping for more.
For Christmas, I got a nifty contraption that counts change and stores it. I had no idea how much change I had, so today being a snow day, I took the time to put it all in the new jar. Did you know that money really IS dirty? My hands were filthy when I finished!
So why am I saving my change? Well, that’s something I’m not ready to share with you yet. See, I’m in debt, so I’ve been actively paying on that debt and living within (or below) my means for several years. Last year, I shared with a dear friend one of the most quiet and personal desires from this woman’s heart. It’s something that is not a necessity, not practical, and yet so very, very important. Some might think me frivolous and even vain for my desire, but my reasons are so much deeper than that. My heart longs for something meaningful, beautiful, special, and cherished. My friend heard my heart, understood my dilemma (how do you save for something that isn’t a necessity when you are paying off debt?), and made this suggestion: Save your change. It’s small. It probably won’t add up to much. But save it. And every time you put change in that container, PRAY, and ask God to multiply it.
I heeded her suggestion. I have been putting change in that little container and whispering a quiet prayer to God every time I do. Multiply it, Lord. I remember the story of the loaves and fishes, I remember the oil in the widow’s jar that didn’t run out, and I offer my simple act of faith to God. It’s something with a deadline attached to it, so I keep plugging away, adding to my little stash whenever I can, and hoping that God sees my heart and honors my desire.
I think life can sometimes be like my little change-saving exercise. We want something that isn’t necessarily a need (food, clothing, shelter), but is meaningful and precious to us. We can’t put a lot of time or energy into it because we’re just getting through life – working, sleeping, eating, maintaining our relationships, taking care of our responsibilities (house, kids, parents, etc.), and trying to have a relationship with the Lord. So little by little we take from our precious time and energy to put a little something into that dream, desire, or goal. We work at it just a bit, hoping some day it will add up to more than what we’ve been able to put into it. This may be the dream of writing a great novel, one paragraph at a time in stolen moments when the children are sleeping and you should be too; or building a boat with your own two hands; or even building a new friendship with someone who is walled off and skittish, but who you believe could really be an amazing friend if they’d just open up and trust.
You can’t throw all your resources and strength at this goal, but you give what you can and you pray that God will take your feeble efforts and make something great out of it. You may get discouraged along the way, checking your progress and seeing that not much has been made, but you plug along anyway, hoping for the best. Even the little you can do is at least moving in the right direction.
$40.22 isn’t much in relation to what I need, but it’s more than I had. Every time I put $.12 or $.3 or $.77 in that jar, it makes a difference. It might not make a big difference to my daily budget, but it helps in the goal I’ve set. I have to believe that every prayer I’ve prayed as I’ve added to that jar has been adding up too. I know my prayers go before God, and I choose to believe that they are a sweet aroma to Him. I’m hoping that a request for something outside of the humdrum of daily life, from His daughter, offered humbly and without demand, is precious to Him.
I hope to encourage you today. Whatever you are hoping for, dreaming of, and seeing as impossible – do what you can and offer it to the Lord in prayer. Let’s work together to achieve our dreams and see what God will do. Then we can praise Him together for His marvelous mercy.