I wasn’t planning on posting an update to our involvement in Nickels for Nets this month. I was just going to silently leave a comment on Amanda’s blog so she could add our one little net ($8) to her total. You see, we didn’t do anything grand or fabulous. We didn’t ask for donations from family or friends or at church. Maybe we should have, but I’ve been there…I’ve been the one pinching pennies and cutting coupons, shopping second hand, and at times even doing without. So it’s never been easy to ask others for money…even when it’s for a great cause like this.
But you know what we learned this month? It’s not the grand total of dollars or nets that we were able to contribute. It’s how it changed us along the way.
It’s realizing that you just used your last packet of hot cocoa at the beginning of a week-long snow storm, but instead of going to the store to buy more, you decide as a family, to slip the money into your giving jar instead.
It’s watching the kids find lost change in the parking lot and excitedly exclaim, “We can put this in our Nickles for Nets!”
It’s giving a quarter to help save a life, rather than using it for the ride at the front of the grocery store.
It’s seeing my kiddos willingly increase the giving from the money they earn and then work even harder so they can give more.
It’s finding the trail of nickles I’d hidden under hearts (inspired by Christina at Momma Day by Day), and then with open hands, dropping them into our giving jar instead of adding them to a “new doll” savings fund.
It’s a month’s worth of prayers for these beautiful children…and their loving mamas, who are unable to tuck them safely to bed each night without fear.
It’s seeing and feeling hearts being changed.
It just so happens that while we have been collecting nickels this month, I have been reading Christine Caine’s book, Undaunted. In it she says, “God does not want us to full our lives with empty, obligatory good works so that we can appease our religious conscience. He desires to transform our hearts – because it is out of our hearts that all issues of life flow (Proverbs 4:12). When our hearts are changed, we see things we never saw before, and act out of compassion that we did not have before.”
And while God uses our efforts, no matter how small they may seem, to make a difference through the organizations that we partner with during these monthly missions, the real difference takes a permanent place within our hearts. And that’s what makes me so excited about continuing down this journey with my family. A journey of intentionally learning about the needs of God’s people, and then doing whatever we can, with whatever we have, to make a difference.
And maybe our story will encourage you to join in too, even if at first you hesitated because you you didn’t think you’d have much to contribute. Don’t forget how God has always used small things from flawed, imperfect people just like us, to make a huge difference!
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