49. GIVE with Kendall Hibiske
This is the extended series of spoken words shared by women around the world, who have been selected or interested in sharing their stories and word from God. It's to showcase the power of faith and how God manifested their lives in the most powerful and loving way.
I met Kendall about a year ago. Before meeting her in person, I saw her perform a beautiful spoken word piece, that brought me to tears. Shortly after, she contacted me when she wanted me to help with the staff party. Mind you, I was on this new journey in my faith after declaring I wanted to be a follower of Jesus, and I then was having a meeting with one of the pastors wives! You know then, I was SO nervous. And the funny thing is, we met face to face, on Face Time. Oh, the beauty of technology, at least that calmed my nerves just a bit. (haha) Anyways, meeting her she was just absolutely sweet and to be honest, I was doing a happy dance meeting her and her asking me to lead in this Staff Party. Lead? Yes, I was so nervous, but I did not hold back on my yes. I went forth with it and then, I was just going with whatever God threw at me. After our meeting, she continued to guide me to know God more. Although our schedules were so busy, we never got to meet weekly, but she still supported me. She came to my baptism and was just so supportive of everything I have been doing. She told me a few weeks after my baptism, "You have this tenacious teach-ability." She saw something that I didn't see in myself a year ago. When my husband's dad passed away, her and her Husband, Pastor David, sent us books on grief. So the Hibiske family has this special place in our hearts. I could not pass up the opportunity to share her spoken word. As I reflect back, this word just speaks so much to me when I decided to give myself fully to God. After a year on this journey, God has changed me in ways that I never knew then, that had happen now. But with the spirit of Kendall, she saw and knew it. Below, I share with you her feature as it reflects on the word, GIVE.
This is also shared on the Breathe Blog.
My name is Kendall and I love life. I love meaning. I love creating and curating. I love learning and teaching. I love lattes if they are made right, because I hate hot milk. I value family and friends. I also value efficiency and effectiveness. I resist categories and numbers don’t speak to me. I am a compliant rulebreaker. I have an MA in Marriage and Family Counseling.
I was on the couch reading at 7:30AM, enjoying the sound of my quiet house on Saturday morning. The kids were sleeping in. As I turned the page of my book, I looked up to see my bright-eyed husband standing in the doorway, asking if I had a minute for him to share something with me. I could tell it wasn’t going to be a 1 minute conversation, but from the way he looked, it seemed like something good.
I looked down at my book and back up at him. Everything in me wanted to say “Um, yes, but can I finish this chapter first?” However, I decided against that familiar temptation and put a bookmark in, knowing I would probably not even remember which paragraph I was in the middle of reading. I could tell that whatever this was, he was very excited to share it. I’ve learned even in 10 short years of marriage that these are the moments I don’t want to miss. He is about to share something in his heart, and we all know for most men that doesn’t happen every day! He grabbed his journal and came and sat next to me in the living room.
By the end of that 30 min conversation I was in tears. The kind of tears that leak out and stream down your face because you are so overwhelmed with emotion that you can’t contain it. I was completely overwhelmed with gratitude for the blessing God has poured out on our family.
You see, a few weeks prior, we were thinking about what we could do for the ECHO offering which is the year end offering we do as a church. It goes to many things, including several initiatives outside of our walls. It fuels so much ministry that happens through our church. We decided to give an amount that would truly stretch us. As it turns out, since then, God has provided in ways that we never expected.
The journey of generosity that we have been on, as a couple, has changed us. We have always honored God with giving Him the first 10% of our income, but we have decided to join our other staff and leaders in stretching ourselves a little more every year. Not because God demands it like a dictator, but because we want to hold what we have with open hands. We want to say yes to whatever He is asking, knowing that ultimately everything we have is His anyways. This is what we do.
This past Sunday, Pastor Andy shared a message about working hard at what is in our “can” and trusting God to take care of what is in His “can” that only He can do. That might be different for every person depending on what it is that you’re dealing with. Most people can relate to the struggle of control around finances. Money is a HUGE part of this world that wars for our hearts and our affections.
I am convinced that God asks us to give 10% because He knows if He can get our consistent yes around our finances, He gets to reveal Himself to us in such special ways. He knows how much faith it takes. We don’t always do the most faith-filled, immediately obedient thing God asks us to do, but when we have said YES to generosity and trusted Him with what is in HIS can, He has ALWAYS come through. Not every time in the way we expected, but always in His perfect, loving, and gracious ways that bring me to tears. It shows me He sees us. He knows our hearts. He wants the best for us, and for you.
What can you trust God with that you’ve been trying to control?
Last weekend, Pastor Andy shared a powerful message on how we can be known by our faith. If you missed it or would like to listen again, check it out here.