My father-in-law just so happens to be my Pastor. He was my Pastor first and became my Daddy second, thereby earning the name Pastor Daddy. He has always been passionate about what he has dubbed, “The Blessing Season” which starts a Sunday or two before Thanksgiving and goes through New Years. Last year, he did a series on this season that inspired me in so many ways (I’ve been listening to them again because I’m determined to squeeze every ounce of truth from them). Over the past few weeks, he did a series called “We Love Church” which lead him to his latest message on giving. My heart was so struck by the things he said that I thought I’d share my thoughts:
Last Sunday morning, I was feeling drained after working all night; my flesh wanted to sleep, but my spirit wanted to go to church (I’m sure we’ve all had those days, working or not). I am so thankful that I went, as I was so encouraged by the message.
Since my childhood, I’ve always slightly dreaded the fact that my birthday is so close to Christmas. I often felt overlooked during the holidays because of the usual hustle and bustle that occurs during this time of year. My feelings remained after marrying Nate because of how busy we were at the church. However, over the last three years, my heart has slowly learned to embrace the Blessing Season (as my Pastor Daddy has so perfectly named it). I’ve always loved Christmas and giving, but his passion has brought a whole new wonder and love for this season. He articulates so well what it means to give generously, and I, for one, don’t want to hold so tightly to my earthly possessions that I miss out on the joy of giving to others.
I was challenged during his call for our Harvest Offering. As some of you may know, I am an extreme planner and, because of that, have been feeling a bit overwhelmed with having to pay for some medical expenses that are not covered by our insurance. Nate had texted me last Saturday evening letting me know that we had received a royalty check in the mail, to which we both responded, “for Éowyn!” Last Sunday, however, I felt in my spirit like we were to give that money to the church instead. While part of me wanted to selfishly withhold, there was a gentle urging of the Holy Spirit to respond joyfully.
I went home and slept that afternoon; upon waking, I still felt the tender prodding in my heart. When Nate got home that night, I asked him if he had any thoughts regarding the Harvest Offering. He responded by asking me the same question, to which I said that I thought we were to give the check we had just received; he said he had been feeling the same. He wrapped me in his arms as I cried, which was my way of letting go.
I am so thankful that the Holy Spirit is so gentle in dealing with our hearts, because this is not easy! Even now, writing this brings tears to my eyes because I know that it is ABSOLUTELY the right thing even though it’s also the hard thing. But, I also know God is reminding me that He is in control, that He can be trusted, and that my hope should not be in financial stability (or my ideas of what that should look like), but in Him alone.
With that being said, I am so excited that we have entered this Blessing Season. Rather than being sad about my birthday, I’m looking forward to celebrating during my favorite time of year. And, I’m believing that this will be the best Blessing Season yet!!
P.S. If you’re interested in listening to my Pastor Daddy’s messages that I spoke of above, they are linked below.
Living Blessed Series (#1): A Generous Heart
Living Blessed Series (#2): A Trusting Heart
Living Blessed Series (#3): A Giving Heart
Living Blessed Series (#4): A Serving Heart
Living Blessed Series (#5 & my personal favorite!!): A Golden Heart
We Love Church Series (#3): Genuine Joyful Generosity