Posted by: Kara Luker | January 31, 2020

Releasing what we “own”

Money JarsWe talked to Chase last week about having three jars for his money: One for saving, one for giving and one for spending, with the goal of putting 10% in each of the first two jars and spending the rest. He immediately broke down crying. Like hard. In between sobs, he kept saying, “But it’s my money. I earn it!” This dramatic response provoked a knowing look between me and John that this opportunity to loosen his grip was more needed than we thought. It’s not that he’s not a very generous person. He really is. But he has become overly possessive of what he considers “his” which will end up owning him instead of the other way around.

While it’s true that Chase earns money through simple household chores and managing our recycling, he seems to have forgotten that the majority of his current cash on hand is from his Grandma’s generosity… the loose change she saved up for him, the bonus change from her car she let him keep and the $5 she gave him for no reason but love. Of course he also hasn’t yet thought through the fact that the reason we have the resources to cover an allowance or purchase the cans we recycle is because of a dad who works hard to provide for this family (and a mom who is willing to sacrificially drink oodles of Diet Coke and Bubbly, and to drive him to cash in on all those cans). Even the fact of our family income is sitting upon John’s unearned health and the opportunities available solely because of the time and place in which we live.

It’s not that these things can all happen without us playing our individual part, but sometimes we exaggerate the importance of that part, unable to see the greater picture of a heavenly Dad who provides all the resources at our disposal – from every breath we breathe to the mind, body and passions He’s gifted us with; from the freebies we take for granted to the opportunities that provide a sturdy platform for us to do our part.

It wasn’t hard for me to roll my eyes at Chase’s response, but I inwardly cringed because in that very same moment I recognized that I’ve been struggling with a similar entitlement with a primary focus on my time. My time. I’ve earned it after years of waiting for Chase to be in school for a full day. Never mind that I’ve had more free time this year than I’ve had since childhood. It never seems to be quite enough. And God forbid if any of this time gets saddled by unexpected demands. Like, say, my kid getting a cold. Directly followed by the stomach flu. Followed by 12 hours of health before a prompt relapse of the cold. This morning, when my mom suggested that Chase probably needed another day home with some rest, I knew she was right but was so ticked I could have cried. Not at her and not at Chase, but at the circumstances that are robbing me of my time. Or, rather, my control of my time. I’m guessing God and Jesus exchanged a knowing look about my need for this “opportunity.”

At the turn of the year, a very good friend asked what my word is for 2020. After some thought, I decided it is “release.” It applies to all sorts of things, like grief and fear, expectations of what my life should be, and most definitely control. Because deep down I know, and I mean I know, that if I can release all that I am and have to the Lord who formed me and gave me this life to steward (not to own), He will make more of “my” life and “my” time than the sum of what I possess times infinity. It’s what He did to multiply the meager offering of a boy’s fish and loaves (which he had every right to keep and eat), satisfying not only the hunger of that boy but thousands of others.

I don’t mind starting with a small percentage of time in my “giving” jar. It’s a start! But my hope is that I would come to understand the abundance of the Household in which I live and grasp the freedom that comes from holding up a jar containing everything I possess and asking the Lord how it would best be used… trusting that what He gives me to spend will be more than enough for my needs and what He asks me to give just might be joyfully multiplied and used to satisfy the needs of so many more.

Many Coins


  1. […] was thinking about my last blog post and felt the need to add something. Part of my frustration with Chase’s ongoing, boomerang-like […]

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