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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

How Faith Comes Into Play

There's this moment that happened to me after about six weeks of following our financial plan. After going through Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University, developing our budget, and making some serious cutbacks, I remember sitting back on my couch and wondering: "How in the world are we going to do this?"

Between me and Dani, I was the one who liked spending money. I was the one who was used to buying stuff. I was also used to not having a wife to care for or a family to plan on. I felt like a mason was quickly laying a wall of bricks on my head, and each brick had a name on it: Electricity bill. Mortgage payment. Car replacement. Baby planning. Grocery budget. Clothing fund. And the bricks just kept piling up.

I'm pretty sure Dani felt some of this, too. There were many times that our budget meetings ended with her in tears and me frustrated. We began praying about our finances more and more while we diligently worked at being responsible with what little we had. As we began to turn our finances over to God, careful to recognize that He owns everything we possess, that we are simply stewards, we began experiencing "money miracles."

  • I remember the day we got a letter from our mortgage company regarding our taxes. Apparently they had taken out too much for our escrow—about $1,500 too much! It just so happened that Dani and I had been struck with over a thousand dollars in car repairs that month, and before we could figure out how to pay for it God had provided the way.
  • I remember Dani and I praying for a new lawn mower. We were praying very conversationally one night when we jokingly asked God to "just give us one." A couple weeks later I got a call from Lowe's asking where to deliver our John Deere D-140 riding lawn mower. We assume God prompted someone to bless us with such an amazing gift, but to this day we don't know who it was.
  • I remember little things like friends treating us to movies when we didn't have it in our budget. I remember God providing us gift cards to our favorite restaurants. I remember photography work flooding in at a time when we really needed the extra cash. 
  • I remember making a crazy rap music video with my wife, which caught the attention of Katie Couric who invited us to be on her daytime talk show, on which we played a game and won $... actually, I'm not supposed to say how much money we won until the show actually debuts, but the amazing thing is I didn't have any extra work that month and Dani's babysitting jobs were minimal. We really needed extra money and God provided by putting us on national television!

Turning our finances over to God has been key in making this whole plan work. Dave Ramsey's steps to "financial peace" are a great, common sense approach to managing money, but that's only because of the biblical principles they're based on. God owns it all anyway! And the more we humbly recognize that and submit to his authority, the more his blessings will flow.

Keep pinchin' :-)

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