Monday, February 3, 2014

Discipline and Trust

The past couple of weeks I have noticed that so many things in my life have brought me to a place of stepping back and trusting God. Some little and some big, but all have proven to me time and again that if you just give it to God, He will take care of it. It's humbling and freeing all at once. I am a worrier by nature. Sometimes I sugar coat it and say I am a thinker, but I am just a plain old worrier. I have gotten much better in recent years, but that is still my go to response in times of trouble or doubt. I want to break that habit. I want to be able to say that I gave it to God before I had time to sabotage my peace. People often say it's good to remember your blessings and all the things that God has done in your life. I think that is good, but I also think it's good to think about all of the goodness he has in store for us. Is it hard to think about that when your car is broken down and you can't pay for it? Yes, it's hard...we are human. But, what you can choose to think about is how God will work that situation for good.

"For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "they are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope."  Jeremiah 29:11 NLT

That is a true story, by the way. My car broke down, got fixed (super expensive), then broke again...yeah. I sold it. But, I did stress about it a lot. The solution came in the form of my parents who graciously signed over their van to me. They have a truck to drive, I have a van to drive and I was able to sell my Escape to a friend who was able to fix the car up on his own. Now his wife has a good car to drive. That whole scenario is not out the ordinary, people buy and sell cars all the time. What is unique is that this all happened in a matter of 24 hours. I decided to sell it and use the money to repair the two things the van needed to have fixed, so I simply posted a picture on my Facebook page and said I wanted to sell it and what was needing to be fixed. In about two hours, I had it sold and they came to pick it up the next day. It was so fast and so flawless. Thank you, God, for blessing us all!!

Quick side note- I have the most awesome parents ever. My mom loved her van but she wanted to give it to us. And you know what? We love the van! It's got so much space for the kids and I. I am really pleased with it, it fits our lifestyle right now perfectly. These kids are only going to get bigger.

So, the title also says discipline along with trust. The discipline I am referring to is for myself. I have told myself for the past few years that I would start tithing next week and the week after and so on. All the while I felt the conviction of wanting to give but not trusting that my financial needs would be met. It's not a secret that I have a limited income. But, this income and life is what I choose and I make the best of it that I can. Don't get me wrong, my kids and I do not lack for anything. But, I realized I have been holding onto money so tightly because I was so afraid I wouldn't have money to spend on fun stuff. That's hard to put out there publicly. But hey, I don't claim to be perfect and I stumble as much as the next person. But it's true. I pay my bills, we always have food in the house, all of our basic needs are met. But, because I spend so much of my income on paying what is necessary, I get a little crazy with the spending when I have extra. That is truly not how I want to be. I have made so many financial changes in the last few years, out of need, and I want to be able to change this too. My goal this year is to actually have money in a savings account and to tithe weekly as I get paid. I sat down the other night and wrote out the entire month of February's finances and I factored in tithe and savings. I feel pretty good about it! I am determined to stick to my budget and to save for the things I want. Just doing a budget and writing it all out made me feel free. Finances can be so can buy everything but it cages you in because it buys everything. I don't want to be owned by money, what it buys, or what it represents. My lifestyle drastically changed when I got divorced, the life I was accustomed to was no longer there and I was learning how to live on 1/4 of the income I had been living on before. I have often said that even though that was a huge change, I am happier now than I ever was before. It's been an eye opening few years, I feel so much richer now. I have such an incredibly great quality of life for my kids and I to share. And that is the very reason I want to tithe...God provides all of this for us. None of this would be possible without Him.

I feel like this post is all over the map. In my head, this all blended together better. Oh well. What you see is what you get. And hopefully you understand where this is all coming from. I have been wanting to sit down and write this post out for a couple days but it seems like every time I turned on my computer, my brain was out to lunch. Now that I have written it out, I can spend the remainder of my evening deciding which book to start (book #9 for the year!) and get a few chapters in before it's lights out!

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