TRUST or TREPIDATION- which best describes God's control of finances?
30 And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? 31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.33 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.- Matthew 7:30-33 (Jesus speaking!)
Can I just be honest right now?! We are living in a place of complete dependence on God right now. Some days that gets hard. Some days I just don't like that part of it.
There, I said it. But there is more. Much more.
Dependence in certain areas of life aren’t so bad, but some really get us where it hurts. This one has been the hardest for me, total submission and dependence on Him to provide financially without a paycheck each month.
Even being the over-sharer that I am naturally, financial issues are not one I discuss much. Not any certain reason, just kind of an awkward subject when there is so many better things to talk about!ha
Now, don’t get worried about us or pity us! WE ARE FINE! I promise!
The post started because I have put Bill-Paying-Day off almost a week now, so it must be done today. (insert eye roll & deep sigh)
Normally, this isn’t a big deal for me, other than the fact I just hate the chore, but last month, something happened that I wasn’t prepared for.
See, last month when I sat down to pay bills, it was just after my morning prayer time. A normal morning, but what happened next was not normal at all! I gathered the checkbook, the passwords, the calculator and bills. I tore them out of the envelopes and sorted. I entered the auto drafts into the check register. I figured up the tithes check and wrote those.
BUT THEN, I logged into my online checking account register from the bank. All was good until I clicked to see the details of our household checking account. GASP! Double GASP!
And just like that, satan pounced on me like a lion on an limping animal! He saw an opportunity to feed the fear as I saw the drastic drop in our bank balance! The devil is so opportunistic that way.
I hate to admit it, but the rest of the day, I was a mess! Not crying and hysterical (because we had enough money), but my mind was in a continuous battle all day and night! I would love to tell you within a few hours I was up preaching to the devil and ended up praising the Lord, but that isn’t what happened. ☹
I decided to pay bills first thing in the morning. First mistake! :/ Still having no regular income from my ministry at this time, but having to pay invoices to keep the website going was not a good combination. The devil jumped at the chance to pour gasoline on this fire! (don't pity me...keep reading!)
Can you see why I have been dreading and pay bills again this month?!
BUT GOD! Even in the financial parts of life, God wants me to trust Him fully. Last year when I surrendered and finally submitted and quit my job to take Seeds to Trees Ministry full time, I knew what I was doing. I was surrendering MY control of security($$$) to follow a promise. God had promised me 1000x.... "if you will just Trust Me, I will take care of you!"
In December 2016, I walked over and told my boss “I have to leave & follow what God is leading me to do. Please don’t ask how it is going to work, because I have no idea except these words “just Trust Me”.
INSTANT PEACE flooded over my soul and mind! Not kidding! I have not worried. I can say there has not been one night I couldn’t sleep for being anxious over bills. This peace is so unbelievable, even to me! I think that is why this day last month really messed me up!?!
I have a jar of written praises of how He has provided in BIG and crazy ways already! I wanted to document them so I wouldn’t forget (you know how we do that forgetting?!)! I may share some of those one day soon. 😊
So WHY in the world do I begin to get anxious when I see that our steady cushion of five years is dwindling?? This is where I'm going to share how Truth came to me as I prayed about this earlier:
Seriously Sheila?! Do you think I wasn’t already providing for this time when that comfortable cushion was able to go in that account five years ago?? Remember how that money was part of a creative finance plan to pay for a wedding, but because of wonderful love, help, abilities, and keeping Me the focus of the wedding, the cost was kept under your meager budget??! Not only that, but do you remember each month over the past five years as you paid bills, that cushion would fluctuate, but somehow averaged out to about the same over time?
That was ME, daughter.
I saw this day in the beginning! Not just 5 years ago, but as you formed in your mama’s womb, I saw every one of your lifetime needs! Every. Single. One. So, go pay your bills. Continue to tithe and be good stewards of every dime. Don't waste, but don't worry either! Continue on with confidence that when I said, “Trust Me”. I am faithful. I am trustworthy. It may not be as you expect, or as you wish, but I will take care of you! If the balances get down to cents instead of dollars, just TRUST ME! Just Trust Me….always. Remember always... I AM prepared. I AM provision. I AM enough.
Love you more, Your Father God!
I just love when He does that! I've learned this is what can happen when I go to Him with my concerns and throw it out there and wait for His feedback instead of jumping in ready to try to fix it. He gently reminds me that He is in control. He is patient and sometimes has to shake me back into His reality.
I will pay bills today with my mind filled with the many miracle provisions so far and the reminder that HE IS ENOUGH no matter what my bank account looks like. 😊
UPDATE: after I wrote this, I paid bills with faith & confidence that HE has this under control. It was awesome to realize NO MORE CAR payment! AND if that wasn't enough, I also received a VERY UNEXPECTED donation for the exact amount of my car payment! :) WHAT?! God is always over and beyond!:) :)
We LOVE hearing personal testimonies of how God has shown up & showed out for you in your time of need! Share with us!
COME GET SOME Christmas gifts 10/28! All kinds of rustic style hand crafted items- furniture, decoration, seasonal, lamps, ect. Big variety.
"Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you""- Hebrews 13:5
Being a number geek, I actually kind of enjoy creating budgets and seeing how little tweaks can amount to big change.
Budgeting and frugality were never really choices for me, but more of just the norm. I learned from the best...my parents. My parents worked very hard and always lived within their limits. Money was hard earned & not wasted.
I understood early on what it was to earn and manage money. I didn't appreciate the responsibility and accountability back then. I wouldn't have admitted it, but being proud of working hard and a job well done was a gift in itself.
When I was started paying my own bills is when I realized what great life skills I had gained. There is just something about being able to control your money (and yourself) so that you can pay your own bills without depending on others. That sense of accomplishment, at times comes with sacrifice, but is worth weight in gold..(punny). God cares about how we manage our money! Jesus taught about money a lot! We are to be good stewards of ALL God blesses us with. That includes our money. But money can easily become a distraction to what God has for us to do with our life. GOD wants to be what we depend on instead of our money. He promises to provide for us if we trust him. At times, spending just gets out of hand without us realizing it until bills start rolling in. Sometimes we know & just want to ignore the problem. Neither work out well.
Money is not bad. God wants us to use our money wisely to meet our needs and to bless others too.
So with that, here are 4 simple steps to get you started. *4 SIMPLE STEPS TO BEGIN TO TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR FINANCES*
#1- GATHER & PILE ALL your bills together= ALL the bills...yea...I know :( This is usually not a fun chore, but a must. Just look at it as calling out the ugly right from the beginning. Don't forget to include your automatic drafts too. ADD MONTHLY amount due (use minimum pmt amount) & WRITE DOWN.
#2- WRITE DOWN ALL OF YOUR NON-REGULAR bills too. Find the 'monthly' amount needed to pay and ADD together & WRITE DOWN. These would include annual bills like tags for cars, property tax, home insurance...things you are not billed for monthly but need to include. Take the annual amount & divide by 12.
#3- GATHER ALL OF YOUR INCOME- this is a little easier. ADD together & WRITE DOWN. Use your last pay stub as your reference. If you work varied hours or have self-employed income, you will have to dig a little deeper and gather a few months of pay together and get an 'average' income to work with.
#4- PUT IT DOWN IN BLACK & WHITE! I am a visual. I love a list, so I prefer to write it and see it. Just me. :) INCOME...NET Income or Bring Home Pay $______________________ Income Per month (#3 figure) $______________________Bills Per Month (add #1 & #2 figures together) $______________________Total over/-under Per Month (#1 - #2 )
THIS is your starting point. This will feel like a pat on the back or a kick in the behind depending on what that number looks like. CONGRATS if you have #3 with money left! You can continue to see where you can make changes to make that number grow or see how you can put it towards saving for future needs. If the Total is a $-number, you are spending more per month than you make. This only digs a deeper hole each month. This is where it gets hard. Easiest change to correct is to cut expenses. We usually all have some expenses that are truly wants instead of needs. May be time to put those on hold for a bit. Either way, this is a positive start because now you know where you stand! Even if you hate where you stand, it is better than being in the dark and staying there!
BE PROUD of yourself today! No matter what that figure is, you have taken the first, hard steps to gaining power over your finances! The more you know, the more you can do!
For now, my best advice is to look deep within yourself and find what you really want to carry out with your finances. That is different for every person, to own a home, to build a retirement income, to start a college fund, to give more. THINK on this. When you find what it is you want from your finances, you have a motive. When you have a clear reason & plan, it is much easier to change old habits. A prayer for you today: Father, please show us deep within our hearts what it is that we are to do with our finances! I ask you to calm the ones who feel buried too deep to dig out. Assure those who think this situation is to dire and can never change. God, I ask you now to change our hearts to see as you see. Change our desires to help our financial situations. Show us ways to help ourselves. Thank you Lord! Amen