Every two weeks I get to do something very special. I get to go over our finances, pay bills and make our shopping list. Over the years I’ve developed a really good system to keep up with what is due and when it’s due. I’m still trying to accomplish having money saved and waiting for all of those extra things that pop up though. You know, the car registrations, unforseen medical bills, car repairs, and yes, even clothing. I have yet to have any money saved up for any of these things regularly yet. I try, I really do, but something always comes up to sabatoge my efforts. Something like a car registration, unforseen medical bill, car repair or even clothes. So try as hard as I can, our tight budget never seems to be able to save anything for those little inevitable financial emergencies. I have to confess that part of it is me. I’m embarrassed to admit that on days when I am super tired I will run to Taco Bell for dinner. Taco Bell is no longer a cheap meal for our family, lol! And every trip to Taco Bell takes money out of the budget that could go to something better, like peace of mind when the inevitable happens.
Every two weeks when I get to do these really fun and exciting financial activites, I get myself stressed out. A couple days before I have to sit down and do them, I dread not having enough money. Then the day before, I start to think of all we have to pay and get really stressed. Finally the special day arrives and I gather everything I need (it’s all in my planner so it’s easy) and actually do it. You know what? It is never as bad as I think. Yes, sometimes it’s a juggling act. And sometimes I have to use a little creativity, and I have yet to be able to actually fund my savings account regularly, but all of our needs are always met.
So, after I pay the bills and have the relief that for two more weeks we can stay afloat, I guilt myself. I guilt myself that I bought two skeins of yarn, and had to fudge the budget to fit them in. Or that I didn’t stick to my budget so I could buy a tool to help me organize my home better. Or, or, or…. It never ends.
Why do I do this???
Why don’t I just praise my God each day that my needs are met, and many of my wants. Why don’t I just trust Him when he says to not worry about what I will eat or drink or wear? And why oh why don’t I lay my failings at the cross and leave them there?
I want to just rejoice in my Lord always. I want be thankful in any and all of my circumstances. I want to trust my Lord and not lean on my own understanding. I can really relate to Paul when he says:
I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. Romans 7:14-20
And when I am failing I need to remember that Paul also said this:
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:1,2
The longer I walk with my Savior, the more I see how small I am and how much more I need to grow. And it is so apparent in these tiny everyday activities of my life.