Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Taking care of the Finances

Typically, I do this. But I haven't been doing that great of a job since having 2 children. I haven't put the right amount of time into it, I guess, though lately, I have found myself in the position where I did not have a choice, because we have been spending too much. I do not use money extravagantly, but I have found myself in the mindset of a single gal at times, wanting to go do or buy whatever whenever. My main vices have been taking the kids out to eat during the week and Daniel's has been shopping at Lowe's or Home Depot. This year, we had the opportunity to go to the beach twice and I got to go to Las Vegas with Daniel. All of these trips were somewhat free - we tagged along with my mother in law to the beach and stayed in her hotel room. We paid for food and gas. Daniel's trip to Las Vegas was completely covered by his work, but my plane trip and food were covered by us, including any other expenses, like souvenirs for the kids and babysitters. The plane trip was quite costly as we didn't know if E would be fully weaned and did not decide that I would go for certain until the last minutes of planning. And then the second beach trip was also a gift to us, where the room expense was covered and we paid for the food and gas. Let me just say that food and gas are quite expensive during these economic times for a family of four.

While I was lollygagging around on the finances, God was still providing for us in ways that I personally did not deserve since I was sinning and not being the best steward of the resources He has given us. We regularly tithe, and we often do so using the the "online" method, though God wanted me to stop doing that and actually write a check so I could see how much sinning I had been doing, and give Him his well deserved portion first. I believe that it is our faithfulness to tithe and that alone that has saved us from ourselves during this time. The Bible says in Malachi, "Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. But you ask, "How do we rob you? In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse - the whole nation of you - because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this, says the Lord Almighty, and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it." (verses 8-10)

We are not in debt, but had we not been tithing, I believe we could have gotten there quickly. But our sin was not without consequences. Both Daniel and I have a few wants and needs. Things we have not bought or taken care of for some time now. But as a result of minor careless expenditures, I think we not only suffer, but mainly our kids suffer. A cannot go to MDO, and I do not know if we could instead take a dance class or swim class. These are the things that I want most - happiness for my kids. Though I have not been able to make as much as I would like at my 31 business, it is not because I do not work, that my children do not have luxuries. It is because we are guilty, so I thank God for this lesson I am learning about stewardship, and trust that He will help us in the future as we learn to be more trustworthy obedient servants.

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