Thursday, March 22, 2012

Some Days I Just Want To Throw In The Towel

If you know me or if you've been coming here for any amount of time you probably know this one thing about me. Stewardship of money and time is a topic high on my list. Especially when it comes to money. I'm an avid budgeter, couponer, and sale shopper. 

But some days I've just had enough! I mean why keep going. It's seems we just keep working and working. I keep trying to cut the budget and save money in so many different ways but it doesn't seem to matter. The money just keeps flowing out. 

The garage door breaks, the car dies, the boys need a new fan for their bedroom, this kid needs to go to the Dr., this house project needs to get done, I need to buy a gift for this, the girls need more shirts (or maybe someone just needs to do laundry more often). The list never ends. It's big things, it's little things. But it just seems we can never get ahead.

Some days I just want to take that budget and chuck it in the garbage!

As I look around at others it seems everyone is driving new cars, living in big houses, buying whatever they want, eating out all the time, have the latest fashions, going on vacation....... They all seem to be happy, so why does it matter. Why are we spinning our wheels when we can be living the American dream and have all the "stuff" too.

Then after I'm done with all the drama and having my little pity-party, I come to my senses. 

I remind myself that I've never missed a meal. I never missed paying a bill. My husband has a job. I have a job. We have money in savings. We are truly blessed.

And more importantly, God CALLS me as His child to keep going. To keep living within our means. To keep trying to be a good steward of what He has entrusted us with.

Today, I was reminded that when I let the frustration of material things rule me I am not focusing on the right things. I am focusing on the earthly, not the eternal. I'm not building up treasures above, I'm building up treasures here on this earth. When I get frustrated about material possessions, I am letting them rule over me.

I was also reminded of my sin. My sins of discontentment, worry, anxiety, selfishness, and unthankfulness. Wow, that's a lot of sin! I was reminded that I am not trusting God. I may see the immediate but He sees the future and I need to trust Him in that. He has promised to take care of us and I need to rest in that.

Control. It is another issue when I get consumed with money. They are issues that I can't control and I want to. Another reminder that GOD is in control of my finances not me.

So, yes, I love budgeting. I love couponing. I love sale shopping. And yes, there are difficult days. Not every day is roses but I will continue to seek God in all of it. I'm sure there will be more days filled with frustration and worry ahead and those are days that I will once again have to get down on my knees and ask the Lord for forgiveness.

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!
No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?  Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.  But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Matthew 6:19-33


Emily said...

Love this! Keep up the good fight! God rewards good stewardship for sure!

timandmichelle (timandshelly) said...

You know, it's funny to see this post because for as long as I can remember, there has always been some family in our life with a large-ish family that always seemed to do it an have it all and without the work we have to put in to things all the time. They have new clothes and nice shoes and they didn't come from goodwill. Their kids have all the gadgets and toys mine want. She is always fashionable. He's home a lot to see his kids. They get to go out to eat or on vacation...blah blah blah...sound familiar? That describes practically every family I know, but ours. I can very easily wallow in self-pity, but I have the luxury of having a sister-in-law who literally lives out in a hut in the jungle. When she and I talk, I know she will not and does not mince words. If I focused more on my own skin, rather than someone else's possible send, I can deal with that and be back in a right relationship with God, then I will be living full of contentment. Isn't that what we are trying to teach our children? The only problem is, they see usCS and they watch us not living what we are teaching. What we are really teaching, is that we truly believe we would be happier with these things. The kids see that and I am recognizing that. I do not openly express my discontent, but I do show my sorrow and my empathy for what they don't have, when they want something. Isn't that the same thing? My phone is acting up and I cannot go back and fix my typos, nor can I really go on into the truths you I have already expressed in Scripture, but it is also true. We lack for nothing. We are a spoiled people no matter what our income is. Why do we constantly look to other people to find our happiness, rather than looking in the creator who has given us far more than we deserve? I think I am done. I cannot fight with not being able to delete and retype. But you get my point and I get yours. I'll problem is simple. We are living in sin. And we hate that we fall so easily instead of trust so steadily.....!

Melissa said...

Thanks for sharing Michelle. It's a daily struggle and I'm sure it will be til the day we die. The only true contentment is in Jesus and yet our sin sidetracks us over and over again. But it's always nice to know that we are not alone in our struggles and as fellow Christians we can encourage each other and hold each other accountable.