Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Budget Worthy’

I’m gonna be honest, today I’m stressing. For the most part I like to live with the idea that I’m great at managing stress and dealing with worry….I like to think so at least. But today I can’t pretend that I’m not bothered by some circumstances surrounding us. I keep reminding myself that we’ve been through worse. I keep reminding myself how grateful I am that we got our act together in the beginning of last year and paid of all our debt and saved a crap ton of money. I keep reminding myself of how God has always always provided for us and how we have experienced what I can only describe as miracles. Yet here I am, wide awake in the middle of the night thinking about all the “what-ifs”. We are about to go down to one income and the only other time we’ve done that before is when we were in our lowest, darkest place of life. We’ve planned and prepared for it this time, but what about the “what-ifs”…
I’m excited for all these changes about to take place: the baby, the house, the job…
I’m thinking we should have saved more the last few months instead of buying some things and taking some trips. I’m thinking I wish we had known that the lease we signed was unbreakable. I’m thinking I’m ready to crawl into a hole and hide there for a while…

I am just having a moment of worry, I know it won’t last long and that it is unnecessary, but we live life in moments and this just happens to be a tough one. I am responding to this moment with a lot of prayer, which happens to look a lot like pleading really. I am responding with complete honesty to myself and others, and I am responding by choosing to trust in this God who is all-knowing and all-powerful. There is only so much I can control anyway and let’s be honest, there is only so much I should  be in control of.

read more Budget Worthy episodes here:

Budget Worthy: Episode 8

Budget Worthy: Episode 7

Budget Worthy: Episode 6

Budget Worthy: Episode 5

Read Full Post »

We didn’t stay at that church but every church we visited had a similar effect. All the way until we attended the orchard community and heard guest speaker Dave gibbons speak. That was the day God broke me. So here Micah and I were, emotionally and spiritually broken and quickly running out of money. We kept attending the orchard. Week after week the pastor Scott Hodge’s messages spoke to our hearts, convicted us, and challenged us. Then came the message on giving. The series was called The Generosity Challenge . My friend was already encouraging us to give tithe and offering so the message seemed to be a big booming voice from God to wake up and pay attention. Our fear was like anyone else’s fear when it comes to giving- how can we afford it. Instead of running from this fear Micah and I took a step towards it. We decided that day we would give $100. I tell you the amount not to boast, but to stress how incredible God is. See, $100 was a lot for two people living on one income, not even able to make rent without going into savings, but we felt happy that day we gave. We were glad to give back to God and to a church we loved and trusted. When we got home that day, and I write this even now with tears welling up in my eyes, there were bags and bags of groceries in front of our door. We added it all up and it came to, you guessed it, one hundred dollars. God was reminding us that yes He is sovereign, Yes He will provide.

That week we got a phone call from a company Micah sent his resume to. We didn’t tell anybody. We knew that Micah couldn’t go into his interview with khakis, which was his only form of dress clothes, so we got up and went shopping. We ended up spending $200 on a suit. I felt the way you feel when you’ve just lost something you were holding on dearly to for a long time. Still, we didn’t say anything to anyone.

A couple days later at work my friend approached me and explained to me that she had been feeling a heaviness on her heart, that she felt God was telling her to give us her tithe that month. She handed me a check for two hundred dollars. Once again, a rush of awe passed through me. She had not known we just purchased a suit for the exact same amount a few days prior. In a very audible voice God was telling us He was not forgetting us.

 

read more Budget Worthy episodes here:

Budget Worthy. Episode 1

Budget Worthy. Episode 2

Budget Worthy. Episode 3

Read Full Post »

Fall is a time of changing leaves, the weather gets colder,nature is preparing for the bitter winter ahead. What we don’t often think about is that the beauty of the changing leaves is actually a tree preparing to go into hibernation, the leaves die and fall off, and the roots dig deep into the soil where it’s warm. This is the season of life Micah and I had entered. On the surface everything was dying. But our roots were finding a peace that was a refreshing shelter from the bitter cold. Our apartment was beyond dreadful. Not only was it quickly eating up our savings but it was overrun with mold and incredibly loud neighbors. We also started church hunting. We realized that the time in our current church wasn’t producing any fruit in us, we weren’t excited about going and just about never did, when we did go we would leave before the message started. But I was hungry. I needed to be filled. So the hunt began. During the week Micah was hunting for jobs, on the weekends we hunted for churches. I didn’t see then how this was truly our old life ending and a new one beginning. Everything was starting over. Searching is an interesting phenomenon. We had an idea of what we wanted to find but we had only switched churches once in our adult life which happened right after high school ended. One church specifically began true healing in our lives. It was a simple message, a guest speaker was giving his testimony. Which is just a really big word for his life up until that point. It shook us up. Afterwords there was a call to go to the front to receive healing. this isn’t something we were used to in church, it was something we only ever saw on those crazy evangelical tv shows. Micah rose from his seat and walked forward…

2 Corinthians 4:16 “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.”

 

 

read more Budget Worthy episodes here:

Budget Worthy. Episode 2

Budget Worthy. Episode 1

Read Full Post »

It was good news. Micah’s business, which had already been one year in the making, signed a really big client. This meant that despite the really big lump in my gut, Micah would quit his job and finally follow his dream of working for himself. For one month everything went as planned. The construction on our house began (after we gave them our life’s savings), and Micah had two really big paychecks as a result of working for himself. It was the end of september so the trees outside starting turning vibrant red and yellow. Life was good and it was all because of us. Ever hear the saying that pride comes before the fall? In just a few days everything crumbled. We found out that Micah’s business partner twisted the truth a little. The client hadn’t signed the contract. And now he wasn’t going to. so the only reason Micah quit his job wasn’t even gong to exist anymore. The job hunt started immediately. Micah spent 40 hours a week sending out his resume. We started paying rent with what savings we had left. And we started praying….

read more Budget Worthy episodes here:

Budget Worthy. Episode 1

Read Full Post »

Most people keep their financial stress somewhat hidden. We allow others to see a through a small window, but we control how far that window is open and when we shut it. The problem with this is we then have no accountability. There is a reason we call it “spiraling down” and “climbing up” when referring to hardships, especially financial hardships. Spiraling down is easy and happens before we know it; yet climbing back up is difficult, confusing, and takes much discipline. Hopefully we learn lessons along the way.

I think I can confidently say that I was raised by two people who knew exactly how to manage their money. Sure, we weren’t rich. But the very fact that we struggled and still survived taught me both humility and responsibility. Both my parents had different methods on handling their money, and both of them taught me key lessons on the subject matter. Now in my life I’m thankful for this very solid background. However, my personal financial journey has been an interesting one. It’s embarrassing. And it’s taken years and years of realizations and brokenness to get to where I am today. I think it started when I moved in to my first apartment. I wasn’t quite financially independent but there was still a certain freedom in the air. I always prided myself on being so good at saving. I worked in customer service and I had about 18 hour weeks at very minimal pay, yet I managed to save up quite a bit of money. Up until this very point in my life I always saw this as an accomplishment. I saw it as proof that I knew what I was doing. I didn’t have any credit cards, I bought groceries at aldi which racked up to about 50 dollars a month (I also ate a large meal at work every day for free), And I had money left to pay all my bills and get all my gas and everything you become so proud of doing in the beginning. Yet my pride was actually a veil covering my eyes, it was a set of blinders that kept me living in a fantasy world. During this time in which I was financially blind, I got married and we got a couple credit cards and we got really really excited about being grown ups. And that was all it took. Micah had a pretty good job when we got married so I had the means to be disciplined in paying off my credit cards and at first I was able to keep up with them. We’d buy some expensive things and in about a few months our card would be paid off. But this was the very first time that both of us were 100% financially independent and for some reason we got an apartment that cost $1200 a month alone on rent. Everything happened so fast. Before I knew it we were looking at houses. I give us credit on making one smart move, we moved out of that money pit into a dumpy apartment $400 dollars cheaper. We saved enough money for a down payment. But our pride was only growing. It was a tough year, we were still only one year married and despite how well we knew each other this definition of “Mr. & Mrs.” somehow created a gap between us. We came to be on different pages in life. I remember praying that God would bring us closer to Him and to each other. I didn’t know then what kind of journey we would have to go on in order for that to happen…..

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: