Loving the Giver more than the Gifts

Our family has moved to Bellingham, Washington. We are living in temporary housing while we wait for the sale of our house in Texas to finalize.  Trying to home school, run a fabric/sewing business, and do life in a house that is ¼ the size of our house in Texas is seriously challenging. I will not grumble or complain though. We are beginning a new life in our new city and I will make an effort to see the joy and blessing in our temporary dwelling.

We have been in Bellingham for one week and 3 days.

It’s been sunny here for the last week. Cold but sunny. Great weather.

We put on offer on a house that is right outside of town a bit. The house sits on almost 3 acres. The house needs updating but has great square footage. We are excited to have found this house with this amount of acreage. The property has a shop for Paul which Paul loves very much. The shop even has a wood stove so that Paul and Elijah can hang out and do “boy” stuff even when it is cold. There is a horse business on the large acreage right next to our prospective property that offers lessons and horse boarding. Basically, horses that Amriel absolutely loves surround our potential new house. Elijah has been looking forward to building a tree house with his dad and the new house has several little “forest” areas so that the whole family can have a tree house if we wanted to. I don’t want to. 
This house has something for all of us. I know that just because we put in an offer does not guarantee that this will be our “forever home” but I trust that if this is the house that God will bless us with, then God has gone over and beyond what we could have ever expected. We will continue to pray, wait and see.

We have attended our new church twice so far. Yesterday’s sermon was a home run sermon. The young-mid thirty something pastor preached from Deuteronomy. The topic was idols. It was a really good sermon.  What Paul and I specifically loved about the pastor’s preaching style is that he is transparent. His sermons so far are straight up Biblical in that he preaches in such a way that gets to the heart of the hearer. So far, so good.

The music/worship is pretty awesome. I can’t even express my thankfulness on how great the music is.

The first Sunday we attended our new church we went to the 9 am service. Yesterday we went to the 11 am service. I love that we have OPTIONS. (we have not had church service time options in over 6 years and this little simple pleasure is just simply wonderful) I love that if we can’t make it to the first service because the kids were slow or we woke up late, we don’t have to miss church all together.

Today we spent the entire afternoon at the church so that Paul could install new lights in their fellowship hall. They were looking for someone to do electrical work and Paul offered even before we left Texas. They had not found anyone and they asked Paul if he would come and do the work. Paul loved that he had the opportunity to serve the church in the capacity that he is most comfortable serving.

So far…..God has given us over and beyond what we could have ever imagined a new life in Bellingham would bring us….and its only been a week.

I am excited for what else God has in store for our family.
Even in the midst of all these blessings….I must guard my heart. 

God has blessed us with the potential for a great new house that fits the needs of every single person in our family

God has blessed us with the potential to serve a great new church.

God has blessed my hubby with a good job that provides for our family abundantly….

God has blessed us with a warm temporary house….

God has blessed us with so many wonderful things that I could easily fall into the trap of loving the blessings more than the giver of the blessings….

I can see it….I can feel it…. 

When we first arrived here…I was beyond ecstatic…especially after attending the church.

We had been praying for God to open up doors, if it was His will, that our family would end up in a place where we would find a good church and a decent place to live. God provided us with both…..and more so. 
It’s awesome and scary at the same time……
I don’t want to love the gifts more than the giver of the gifts. I don’t want to put my hope in something that moth and rust can destroy, or termites or fire. I don’t want to put my hope in a “new life with a new beginning” in our new town. I don’t want to put my hope in this church because I know there is no such thing as a perfect church.

I want my joy and my hope to be in Christ alone. The gifts and the blessings are just “add-on’s”. My family and I didn’t earn them. We are not entitled to them. We are not guaranteed a life that is a walk in the park (speaking from first hand experience with the life we lived in Texas) I know, after some time, we will have a new set of problems, circumstances, and life issues that will be difficult. I am not under any illusion that our lives will be a piece of cake here in our new town.

I must continually guard my heart to not turn our new town, our new house, or our new church into mini-idols.

On Sunday the pastor referenced an early 16th century theologian by the name of John Calvin. He used one of Calvin’s more notable quotes- “the human heart is a factory of idols”. 

It was nice to finally hear another human being say that even though God gives us good gifts that are wonderful blessings, we, as fallen sinful people with fallen sinful natures will have an almost automatic tendency to turn the blessings of God into idols.

I don’t want to do that.

I want to love the Creator more than creation.

I want to love the Giver of gifts more than the gifts.

I pray Father that you guard my heart and the hearts of my family to love YOU more than the blessings that you chose to bless us with. Guard our hearts of idolatry.

I pray this in Christ’s wonderful name…..Amen.

One thought on “Loving the Giver more than the Gifts

  1. Amen! <3 Beautiful sister! I love you so much & I'm so happy you are feeling blessed. And that you know to keep your heart guarded. Your words are an encouragement! Thanks for sharing this. It touched my heart and brought tears to my eyes. To know & understand that ALL blessing come from our wonderful, glorious & magnificent Abba Father, that it is because of His love for US that we have ANYTHING at all and to keep our focus, our praise, our gratitude solely on Him is difficult sometimes but oh so necessary that YES we must guard ourselves CONTINUALLY! May our eyes and hearts remain on Him ALWAYS!


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