Monday, November 19, 2012

Ready to Save

     Oh My Goodness....9 months, really?  Has it really been that long since I've made time to sit and think and type.  I do love getting thoughts down but I guess I really only make time for thoughts that follow the title "To Do."  Well, one thing that seems to drive me to my computer, to share, to think, to change is an overwhelming need to do so driven by my beliefs.  Sundays seem to do that to me.  I love our church.  I love that the lights dim, I can sip my coffee (Shh...they prefer no drinks but it has a lid : ) the nursery has our babies (and the sitters are free).  I take notes and listen for answers to questions on our worksheet on topics that I am passionate about all while snuggled close to my husband.  I joke that church is like a date!  And it's a date that I don't like to miss.  Before going on, I want to share a song that we sang today.  I love our music, few things have the ability to speak to me so clearly as the music at our church.  The song is "Rooftops" by Jesus Culture.
     Next, I'll go on into how God spoke to me today.  Ok, backtrack a little and I'll share that Brent bought his company back from the hospital which owned a portion of it.  This was back in June.  He dropped his salary because we were now self-employeed and found it most important to make sure that CORE continued to be successful.  We were no longer covered for insurance through the hospital but we were now having to pay for private insurance.  Brent has made many changes but I've continued to do my thing.  Well, my thing wasn't cutting it with our new salary and self-employeed status.  No, no debt or anything but no saving either.  Yes, I've done the Dave Ramsey thing through the church but I didn't do anything differently then either.  But, 2 weeks ago, I decided I wanted to budget.  I realize this is something that some do regularly but we just never did.  I sat down, wrote down all monthly expenses and after designating money towards savings, I broke the remaining money down into groceries, clothing/toiletries, and dinner out.  Not saying this works for others but that's where the majority of my money goes.  Things weren't looking too rough, I thought.  Somehow, I had completely forgotten tithing!?!  I thought we tithed but when looking more closely, no, it was not 10%.  I tried to remember to grab a check every Sunday, but I didn't always.  I would then write the check for what I considered a decent amount of money although I wasn't keeping track to make sure it was 10% of our total salary, which it wasn't.  Well, budgeting sure is a great way to make sure you're covering that tithe.
     Back to the drawing board, oh wow...yep, just cut grocery in half, and had to pull some from clothing/toiletries and dinner out as well.  I can honestly say that this new cash system truly excited me. After leaving the bank, I was excited.  Sure I'll stop and get food for me and the kids from Zaxby's, it's a beautiful day for a front porch picnic.  The kids and I love these.  I have a card that allows for a free appetizer any time I spend more than $5.  So, free appetizer and one meal for the kids and I to all share for $7.  Well, let's just say that it's been much more difficult than I realized and money went faster than I ever knew it would.  I still enjoy the challenge and I'm excited to see the results at the end of the month.  Well, if in a bind, we still have money going into savings and all that money going towards tithing that we can pull from, right?  Wrong.
     Today's service- Giving.  Yep, God wanted to make sure I understood that giving back to Him was a spiritual decision.  It's not how much money we have in the bank but how much God we have in our heart.  Our resources follow our affections.  Yep, this girl likes food and clothes.  Well, are those things as important as the fact that every day people are dying?  Unchurched people.  We're losing the battle of souls so that we can grab food conveniently or buy things that we want instead of need?  66% of Lexington County is unchurched!  Makes me almost get sick in my mouth!  The first place I tend to look is in my very own neighborhood.  Great neighborhood, good, sweet people, but way too many cars in driveways on Sunday morning.  We've skipped church due to kid sickness and I didn't even want to be spotted in the yard doing yard work.  What kind of witness would I be?  I am but one person.  One person who loves God but wasn't giving to Him what was His.  I'm now a budgeting mama and having fun with it.  God has been added to my budget.  Is He in yours?
Luke 12:48 When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.