"Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase" (Proverbs 3:9).

Every year the daffodils were the first to push their green leaves through winter's cold earth in our flower bed. My daughter and I both looked forward to their annual spring arrival after homeschooling all winter. Not only were we blessed as the army of bright yellow blossoms began to form, but we also anticipated the joy of sharing their beauty with others. Short on finances, giving away our daffodils was one simple, but welcomed way that our homeschooling family could bring hope and love to family and friends. Our motivation to keep them fertilized and free of weeds came from the promise of future smiles we would see from those who would receive a bountiful bouquet.

Using what we have to be a blessing to others is a reoccurring theme in the Bible. As a homeschooling parent short on money, but big on ideas, I loved encouraging my children to bless others with the resources at hand. My favorite Bible stories to illustrate this lesson came from the widow who fed Elijah bread with the last of her flour and oil (1 Kings 17:12), the poor widow who had only two small coins to give to the church treasury (Luke 21:1-4), and the young boy who gave his two small fish and five loaves of bread to Jesus to feed over 5,000 people (John 6:9). Each is a clear example that God can use anything to bless others if we simply give it to Him.

Do you feel like you have nothing to give toward Christ's work because your finances are limited from homeschooling on one income? Don't despair! Look around instead and open your heart to God's creative ideas. Maybe you can bake fresh homemade meals, sew or crochet handmade kitchen towels, or just give sacks of your children's outgrown clothes to a needy family. Let the Lord lead and use what you have to be a blessing to others. When you see a smile appearing on a face, you'll realize that you have received the greater blessing.

Lord, thank You for the blessings You've given to my family. Help me to teach my children to think of others and open our eyes to see the storehouse of resources that You've made available to bless them. In Jesus' name, Amen.