Order Soon for Christmas Delivery!🎄 ➔

Almost daily I receive a request to “partner” with someone by giving them money. I’ll be tagged in a Go Fund Me event page, or see a Kickstarter post on my Facebook wall. Does anyone else feel like this has gotten out of hand?

There are some ridiculous funding requests out there. While researching this topic, I came across a few I thought were worth sharing. Feel free to donate to these folks as you feel led:

1. Man tries to crowdfund a $15,000 engagement ring.
2. A group is trying to build a pyramid of “Jerry Maguire” video tapes in the desert. They are seeking $400,000.
3. A campaign titled “I honestly just want money.” He is seeking $50 for booze and gas money.
4. Funding requested for a graduation present, a “gap year” between high school and college, even though “she does not know where exactly she is going yet.”
5. A gaming system is needed for $349, and it’s time sensitive. The recipient is about to become a father and needs to get as much gaming in as possible before the baby arrives.

I think most of us would agree these funding requests are simply absurd. We would roll our eyes and say, “Get a job.” But when people are asking for money to go build a well in Africa or serve the poor in Haiti, it is different. It’s a little more grey than it is black and white. Is this request wrong? Should we be giving money to everyone who asks us? If we don’t, are we stingy jerks?

Long before Facebook and mass emails there were letters. I myself have sent out a few support letters, asking friends and family to help fund a missions trip or an opportunity I couldn’t afford on my own. I was encouraged to do this, to allow people the opportunity to invest in me and the work God was going to do on that trip. This is Biblical, right? Churches in Biblical history supported their missionaries, and they were reprimanded when they weren’t generous in their giving. I think it’s a wonderful thing when people can give financially, especially when they aren’t able to go be the one doing the missions work. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with people giving to others; in fact I think it’s one of the best things you can do.

Here’s where it starts to rub me the wrong way. When you’re asking to “partner” with me for your epic trip abroad; are you sacrificing too? Because if I give money to you, I can guarantee it’s a sacrifice. It means I won’t have that extra cash to go out to dinner with, or to buy my son the nice pair of sneakers he wants, or take my weekly indulgent Starbucks trips. In some cases, it means I cut our family budget in big ways to contribute to your cause. Many times, this is worth it. It is a beautiful thing to give to others. Unfortunately I think our culture has taken this and made it into something not so pretty. It’s when the students ask for money again, but you know they don’t have part-time jobs to help contribute to their trip. Or that college student wants you to support them, but you know they have a much nicer car you could ever afford! Or the family that wants to go to Disney World, as if that’s the right of every American family. What about the lady who needs money for her dog’s surgery? There’s the couple that needs money for their elaborate wedding; because everyone deserves the wedding of their dreams! Or your friend who wants to get a special degree, but can’t afford it because they don’t have a job. It’s the attitude of the “asker.” The thought that they must be deserving of your hard-earned money. I don’t think any of us deserve to study abroad or do missions work in a foreign land. These are amazing opportunities, and if you get to do it, I’m slightly jealous.

None of these things are wrong. Trips, education, even fancy weddings are all good things. It’s the attitude that frustrates me. The attitude of entitlement. If I feel inclined to give you money for that missions trip to Hawaii, that’s awesome! If you set up a Go Fund Me for that trip, and expect it to be paid for in full without your participation, that’s not awesome. I think there needs to be sacrifice on your part. It should hurt a little. You might have to sell some of your belongings, work an extra job, make some unique crafts to sell, babysit, save up your Starbucks money for a few months. You get the idea. But if you can’t afford it, or aren’t willing to work for it, maybe you should slow down and question the timing.

Before you send me a nasty email or post a rude comment, hear me out. As a Christian, I know God can provide us with all the money in the world. He’s done it for me time and time again. When I was not deserving. When I had an entitled attitude. When I had the wrong motives and only wanted to go on a missions trip to be with the cute boys. When I expected my trip to be paid for by everyone but me. He calls people to these opportunities and money is provided miraculously. But sometimes He wants us to work, to sacrifice, to provide for ourselves. He knows that working and saving produces diligence and responsibility, that it gives us a greater appreciation for the good things in life.

In this “Go Fund Me Culture,” it’s difficult to navigate what causes are worth the sacrifice and which are not. Sometimes it’s exhausting and eye-rolling, and sometimes it’s goosebumps and welled up eyes. As long as none of us are contributing to the Jerry Maguire pyramid, it’s our path to navigate and discern; to enjoy giving and being generous, to have a humble and thankful spirit.

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available for pre-order now!

Pre-Order Now

Hannah Carpenter

I am simply a crazy and stressed homeschool mom living in Ohio. I have five amazing kids and one incredible husband who still loves me after 15 years. Most importantly, I am a daughter of the King who is trying to honor Him everyday through my parenting, teaching, art and writing.

I Thought Our Friendship Would Be Unbreakable

In: Friendship, Journal, Relationships
Two friends selfie

The message notification pinged on my phone. A woman, once one of my best friends, was reaching out to me via Facebook. Her message simply read, “Wanted to catch up and see how life was treating you!”  I had very conflicting feelings. It seemed with that one single message, a flood of memories surfaced. Some held some great moments and laughter. Other memories held disappointment and hurt of a friendship that simply had run its course. Out of morbid curiosity, I clicked on her profile page to see how the years had been treating her. She was divorced and still...

Keep Reading

The First 10 Years: How Two Broken People Kept Their Marriage from Breaking

In: Journal, Marriage, Relationships
The First Ten Years: How Two Broken People Kept Their Marriage from Breaking www.herviewfromhome.com

We met online in October of 2005, by way of a spam email ad I was THIS CLOSE to marking as trash. Meet Single Christians! My cheese alert siren sounded loudly, but for some reason, I unchecked the delete box and clicked through to the site. We met face-to-face that Thanksgiving. As I awaited your arrival in my mother’s kitchen, my dad whispered to my little brother, “Hide your valuables. Stacy has some guy she met online coming for Thanksgiving dinner.” We embraced for the first time in my parents’ driveway. I was wearing my black cashmere sweater with the...

Keep Reading

To The Mother Who Is Overwhelmed

In: Inspiration, Motherhood
Tired woman with coffee sitting at table

I have this one head. It is a normal sized head. It didn’t get bigger because I had children. Just like I didn’t grow an extra arm with the birth of each child. I mean, while that would be nice, it’s just not the case. We keep our one self. And the children we add on each add on to our weight in this life. And the head didn’t grow more heads because we become a wife to someone. Or a boss to someone. We carry the weight of motherhood. The decisions we must make each day—fight the shorts battle...

Keep Reading

You’re a Little Less Baby Today Than Yesterday

In: Journal, Motherhood
Toddler sleeping in mother's arms

Tiny sparkles are nestled in the wispy hair falling across her brow, shaken free of the princess costume she pulled over her head this morning. She’s swathed in pink: a satiny pink dress-up bodice, a fluffy, pink, slightly-less-glittery-than-it-was-two-hours-ago tulle skirt, a worn, soft pink baby blanket. She’s slowed long enough to crawl into my lap, blinking heavy eyelids. She’s a little less baby today than she was only yesterday.  Soon, she’ll be too big, too busy for my arms.  But today, I’m rocking a princess. The early years will be filled with exploration and adventure. She’ll climb atop counters and...

Keep Reading

Dear Husband, I Loved You First

In: Marriage, Motherhood, Relationships
Man and woman kissing in love

Dear husband, I loved you first. But often, you get the last of me. I remember you picking me up for our first date. I spent a whole hour getting ready for you. Making sure every hair was in place and my make-up was perfect. When you see me now at the end of the day, the make-up that is left on my face is smeared. My hair is more than likely in a ponytail or some rat’s nest on the top of my head. And my outfit, 100% has someone’s bodily fluids smeared somewhere. But there were days when...

Keep Reading

Stop Being a Butthole Wife

In: Grief, Journal, Marriage, Relationships
Man and woman sit on the end of a dock with arms around each other

Stop being a butthole wife. No, I’m serious. End it.  Let’s start with the laundry angst. I get it, the guy can’t find the hamper. It’s maddening. It’s insanity. Why, why, must he leave piles of clothes scattered, the same way that the toddler does, right? I mean, grow up and help out around here, man. There is no laundry fairy. What if that pile of laundry is a gift in disguise from a God you can’t (yet) see? Don’t roll your eyes, hear me out on this one. I was a butthole wife. Until my husband died. The day...

Keep Reading

I Can’t Be Everyone’s Chick-fil-A Sauce

In: Friendship, Journal, Living, Relationships
woman smiling in the sun

A couple of friends and I went and grabbed lunch at Chick-fil-A a couple of weeks ago. It was delightful. We spent roughly $20 apiece, and our kids ran in and out of the play area barefoot and stinky and begged us for ice cream, to which we responded, “Not until you finish your nuggets,” to which they responded with a whine, and then ran off again like a bolt of crazy energy. One friend had to climb into the play tubes a few times to save her 22-month-old, but it was still worth every penny. Every. Single. One. Even...

Keep Reading

Love Notes From My Mother in Heaven

In: Faith, Grief, Journal, Living
Woman smelling bunch of flowers

Twelve years have passed since my mother exclaimed, “I’ve died and gone to Heaven!” as she leaned back in her big donut-shaped tube and splashed her toes, enjoying the serenity of the river.  Twelve years since I stood on the shore of that same river, 45 minutes later, watching to see if the hopeful EMT would be able to revive my mother as she floated toward his outstretched hands. Twelve years ago, I stood alone in my bedroom, weak and trembling, as I opened my mother’s Bible and all the little keepsakes she’d stowed inside tumbled to the floor.  It...

Keep Reading

Sometimes Friendships End, No Matter How Hard You Try

In: Friendship, Journal, Relationships
Sad woman alone without a friend

I tried. We say these words for two reasons. One: for our own justification that we made an effort to complete a task; and two: to admit that we fell short of that task. I wrote those words in an e-mail tonight to a friend I had for nearly 25 years after not speaking to her for eight months. It was the third e-mail I’ve sent over the past few weeks to try to reconcile with a woman who was more of a sister to me at some points than my own biological sister was. It’s sad when we drift...

Keep Reading

Goodbye to the House That Built Me

In: Grown Children, Journal, Living, Relationships
Ranch style home as seen from the curb

In the winter of 1985, while I was halfway done growing in my mom’s belly, my parents moved into a little brown 3 bedroom/1.5 bath that was halfway between the school and the prison in which my dad worked as a corrections officer. I would be the first baby they brought home to their new house, joining my older sister. I’d take my first steps across the brown shag carpet that the previous owner had installed. The back bedroom was mine, and mom plastered Smurf-themed wallpaper on the accent wall to try to get me to sleep in there every...

Keep Reading