Monday, April 28, 2008

"Saving" time and money

Have you ever noticed what your inclination is to cut from the budget when things get tight? I'll be totally honest and say that I'm less likely to tithe. I mean, that 10% goes a LONG way. It can cover groceries for half the month, or really contribute to gas since the rising prices are really starting to hurt thanks to my husband's long commute. When money needs to be saved and saved fast it seems like the easiest thing to cut out right?

How about time? When you get a late start to your morning or have a jam packed day, whatever the reason... when you're short on time what's the easiest thing to cut? Quiet time. "God "is a common one I hear. "It's too hard with little ones." I'm pretty sure we could come up with any reason under the sun as to why it's justifiable and it sounds good.

So who's "saving"? Who's really getting cut short? When it comes to time, I truly 100% believe that some quiet time in the morning is absolutely essential to the rest of your day. I've taken Psalm 92:2 very literally. Thanking and praising the Lord in the morning, declaring His lovingkindness. Let me tell you that starting out my day with an attitude of gratitude does wonders for my WHOLE DAY. I can tackle anything that comes up with more grace, patience, and strength than I do otherwise. I also find myself in tune with the Lord.

How do you do this when you have hard mornings? First of all you need to change your perception. 1) Quiet time is NOT optional. You NEED the Holy Spirit feeding you your spiritual breakfast. 2) Quiet time is NOT the same for me as it is for you or anyone else. I like to think that someday when my children are older I'll be able to devote an hour or two in the morning to spending with the Lord. Some mornings I only get 10 minutes or less in. Some mornings, the best thing I can do is grab an index card or a post-it note and write out a favorite verse. I hang it up in front of the sink, over the stove, or on the fridge door. So I can read it, meditate on it, hear the Lord speak to me. Keep a pen handy if you do this so you can also scribble down some words from the Lord to you midst scrambling eggs or turning pancakes. Anyone can work that type of quiet time into their morning. It really does set the tone for your entire day!

What about tithing? Well, this one is harder for me to speak to. Particularly because we recently started tithing again after 2 months of not tithing because of a cut in income. Jacob was praying and realized, we have to sow seeds of faith to reap a harvest- one of those is tithing. We know the benefits of sowing and reaping as Christians and yet we hesitate to step out in faith when it comes to sowing finances in a time of financial lack. Jacob said the Lord brought to his mind the times where we made the same amount of money, tithed, and all the needs were met one way or the other. All the mouths were fed, the house was warm, the children had everything they needed. I grimaced inside seeing a big fat red line with some of the bills underneath it.

I said.. "Can we tithe... after we get caught up on a few things?" "No." was his answer. "We cannot afford NOT to tithe." So I agree. I know in my heart it's right, in my head I war the fears of insufficiency.

What comes 1 week after we decide, "yes.. no matter what - we tithe first"? A bonus so great to more than catch us up on some bills we've been juggling, some debts we've been chipping away at will be paid off. Several bonuses in the forms of gift cards to pay for items that were needed (and an extravagant gift card Jacob gives me for mother's day) but not justifiable to purchase without being in the budget. And a new increase in some weekly funds through another source.

Would this have come without the commitment to budget? Who's to say? Only God knows. But what I know is that His faithfulness is never late.

Does God suffer or lack when we cut the tithe or quiet time? Nope. But we sure do. Who wants to trade abundance for just enough?


brietta said...

I just have to say that I love when people share testimonies. It's so encouraging! I loved this post and your "Agree with God" post. Great stuff.

Shiloh is catching up with Nora!!! :) She is so round and perfect!

Carole said...

This is a great testimony. I've been feeling sort of backwards in regards to pursuing adoption before getting a house that's "big enough" and having all the money planned out, etc. Compared to the way the world would do things our approach seems silly. We don't want to be unwise, but at the same time, we trust that God's blessing and provision will astound us as we move forward in faith.