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This is a story that exposes a part of my life that I never thought was a big deal. But God has a way of even making the small things HUGE lessons.

Hope. I do have hope. I have always had hope. But now my hope has taken a turn and has been mixed with trust and a little repentance.     Hope painting

We (our house church) have been studying Nehemiah – (which I highly recommend that everyone reads and studies) and this past week was on how he dealt with finances, and finances and leadership. How he steward’s his finances.

I really have been dealing with this in my life lately. How am I stewarding finances. Basically for me (and probably many reading this) the overspending and over splurging using that darn JCP or Kohl’s card. That Kohl’s cash is like a drug to me !

I know that God has been pushing me to give them up, and stop using them – but it appears my hope was in the plastic instead of the listening.

So I began the process of surrendering my will in the shopping arena to God. Repenting of over spending, greed, thinking I needed something I really didn’t. I really didn’t have hope that I would ever get or purchase things I wanted or needed. {insert eye roll here}

It is funny how when I was at the mall, I really wanted to just go buy those pesky soaps at Bath and Body – it was a sale for Pete’s sake !!  When would I ever get to purchase 7 for $25 again ??? But I walked past.

Then walking through Kohl’s seeing designer perfume on clearance – I immediately thought I NEED PERFUME – and for all intent and purpose I really love perfume, and have been out of ‘good’ perfume for a while. Come on – you know what I mean !

I even had items in my hand at both stores. They were on sale people ! Who doesn’t love to save money and who doesn’t love a sale !

But I didn’t purchase.

Instead of buying, I actually began to sell some things that I didn’t need any longer.

So I actually told and shared with our church that night about how we don’t even realize how much our finances are either honoring God or not – and I was not honoring him with my spending. Of course my husband was smiling, and I wanted to smack that smile….but I am a nice person, so I smiled back.

Here is where my hope story grows.

A sweet couple brought items from their home they didn’t to share with us at church. I looked in the box and thought, eh, nothing I really want there.

Then after church (after I shared) I looked back in the box and there was a brand new – not open  bottle of perfume. NOT KIDDING. And a NEW bottle of Bath and Body hand soap. I AM NOT making this up ! It really was there – and I knew that it was a lesson from God.

IF we truly put our trust and hope in Him, for every area (even the areas that we think we did, but didn’t, so do ), if we give Him our will, lay down our guilt – He immediately responds.

How Great is our God ? !

How merciful !

He is waiting for us to give Him every area so that He can fill us and actually show us what hope looks like.

cute_heart_shape_empty_perfume_bottlesFor me hope looked like a new bottle of perfume. (do not despise the day of small beginnings)

What does hope look like to you ?