When Father Bloom asked me to give a short testimony on stewardship at mass, I quickly said a short prayer that he had accidently mistaken me for someone else. I certainly did not feel worthy, but that didn't seem to change his mind. So here I am. I am humbled by Father Bloom's request and thankful he has given us the chance to give witness to some of the incredible blessings God has provided for our family. My husband Luke and I have been married for 6 years and have 3 young boys ranging in age from 5 years to 6 weeks old. We became members of this parish not long after settling in this valley to begin our life together. Although in his younger years, Luke attended CCD classes and was an alter server here. We have grown to love this church, Father Bloom, and the incredible parish members we come to worship with, and are grateful for the opportunity to raise our children in this church family.
Because I am a mother to 3 very busy boys, it would be pretty easy for me to say that I simply do not have the time to commit to church ministries right now. And while ministering to my family is my first priority- I know I am called to do more. It can be difficult at times, but I know it is imperative to carve out time in our busy schedules to serve others and our church. Not only because we are called to be Christian disciples, but because I know the enrichment God brings to my life through service to others. Which, therefore, encourages me to make it an integral part of my life. Becoming a member of our Saint Vincent de Paul group has enabled me to serve those in need in our greater community and has become a great blessing in my life (and not just because it gives me an excuse to escape my children at least twice a month for meetings). The spiritual benefits I gain from serving those in need greatly outweigh the time and effort needed from me. Not only have I formed new friendships with the good-hearted members of our society, but our outreach leaves me feeling uplifted, joyful, and able to see the face of Christ. Serving the less-fortunate of our community fills my soul and repeatedly reminds me of just how fortunate we are and how much God has provided for our family. Our own trials and tribulations are put into perspective. We give Him all the glory, but know it is also our duty to give thanks to Him by providing what we can to increase His works - whether that be through our time, our talents, or our monetary giving.
We aim to work in partnership with God from the gifts he has given us, and know the money our family is blessed with comes from God - no matter the amount. In order to humbly recognize His generosity, strive to use money wisely within our family, but must ensure others are blessed by it as well. There are times it can be hard for us to donate to the church, or other charitable organizations when we feel like it may compromise our ability to attain our own comforts or wants. But, we also know that God will provide for all that we truly need- we simply need to trust in Him. It has been incredibly eye-opening to see doors open, or things in life shift around so that we are always able to make due with what we have, and what we can provide for others. Over the past couple years, we have challenged ourselves to increase our tithe to the church, no matter the circumstances, or fears surrounding our finances at home. We have been in awe at the mountains He can move with what seemingly little we give. We have witnessed first hand that God will not be outdone in generosity. It is our hope and prayer that our church family here at Saint Mary of the Valley will continue to grow abundantly in faith and love, as we work to touch others with our time, talents, and treasures. Thank you.