Are You Settling for the $3.49 Blessing?

Brian and I recently had a blast keeping Piper for part of the week while our kids were in Florida. They may have had the Disney passes, but if the truth be told, we felt as if we were the ones on the magical carpet ride.

We played hide-n-seek in her pink tent, read lots of books, and enjoyed the great outdoors together. One of my favorite outings was a mini shopping trip to Target. I’ve always looked forward to taking my grandchildren to pick out a little something special for themselves. (I have my sweet Aunt Shirley to thank for this desire as I’ve never forgotten how it felt when she purchased a baby doll for me “just because” while shopping at a NC mall eons ago. Thank you again, Aunt Shirley.)

So there we were. The three of us strolling the Target aisles. Brian and I took turns picking out toys we thought she’d enjoy. And she did! For about 3 seconds. None of the toys we showed her were extravagant but I’ll admit we did try to choose those we felt would bring a smile of delight.

Among other things, we “offered” her:

  • A practically life-sized Minnie Mouse
  • Pink push mobile with all the bells and whistles (literally)
  • A toddler-sized guitar with real strings to strum

But this is what Piper refused to release after the normal 3 second drop:

Two of the homeliest and cheapest baby dolls Target had to offer.

I couldn’t help but wonder how Piper ended up settling for these two dolls when we wanted to give her so much more. 

And yet, all too often I find myself doing the same thing with my heavenly Father. While I’m not a name-it and claim-it kind of girl, there were many years my spiritual pendulum swung too far in the opposite direction, suppressing the joy that came from fully embracing all God had for me as His daughter. 

I’m slowly learning that when I settle for the “good enough” blessings in my life I’m not only cheating myself out of God’s best, but I’m also cheating others out of them as well for nothing we receive is to remain in us — they are to flow through us for God’s glory. 

Is there an area in your life where you’re settling for the $3.49 blessing even though your heavenly Father stands ready to pour out His priceless gifts to you — not only for you, but for the benefit of others and the furtherance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ? 

If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to
those who ask him! Matthew 7:11 ESV

Trading Bitterness for Blessings

I’d not passed it in months.
Now I pass it every Sunday morning.
“It” is the church we left under difficult circumstances in 2008.
It was a church we loved.

When we drove away that April morning, our Christ-knit “family” wasn’t the only thing left behind. The dust cloud also included my dream job and creative ministries I loved, so to say the departure was difficult would be a vast understatement.

And yet…I’m reminded every time I pass the church that, although we now differ theologically, there’s no doubt that it’s full of people who know, love, and pursue Christ— and for that, I rejoice. 

I believe it was Charles Stanley who said you know you’ve completely forgiven someone when you can pray God’s blessings for them, and I believe this to be true. Don’t believe me? Try it.
Now, when I pass by each Sunday morning, I pray wisdom, discernment, and blessings for their staff and the body. I desire God’s best for them.

Does a twinge of disappointment remain? Absolutely. But I’ll take that twinge over the lasting sting of bitterness any day. 

Am I alone here? Perhaps there’s a family member, friend, co-worker, pastor, or church body that needs you to trade in your bitterness for blessings. You’ll both be blessed and God will be glorified through your obedience. Go for it!

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and
anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind
and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in
Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:31-32

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