God has taught me something in the past year about myself. I do not know how to handle money. I’ve always thought of myself as pretty money-savvy. I handle the finances in our family–well, I write the checks; Gabe makes most of the money. We’ve tithed faithfully for almost 10 years of marriage. I buy things on sale. I don’t like the mall. I love garage sales. I can be generous (when I want to be).
Yet, I still didn’t get it.
We’ve moved 10 times. Our financial status has changed approximately 15 times. One year we made less than $15,000. One year we made a very, very lot. The other years, we were somewhere in between.
Here is what I’ve discovered: God wants me to trust Him with every dollar I have. He wants me to use each one carefully–not be a miser, but spend prayerfully. He wants me to wait patiently when I want something–just maybe He will provide it later without my help–or my money.
God blesses more when we have less. In the times when I raked in a lot of money doing freelance writing, our bills were higher, we bought more things we didn’t need. In the tight times, I have humbled myself and asked God for the simplest blessings (ones I couldn’t afford), and He blessed my ever-lovin’ socks off.
I just have to share a few blessings from the past few days. Things that “happened” that spoke louder to me than you could know. Where I felt God say, “Marla, I love you. I care enough about you to show you personally, so personally, that every little bit of your life is important to me.”
–Saturday–needed some groceries. Gathered some clothes/toys to take to Once Upon a Child. Asked God for $20 (worked last time). Got $31. My grocery list was $32.
–looked around Once Upon a Child w/Livi and Ava while we waited. Saw a Dora shirt for Nina. She looooooves Dora. Only $2. Felt God telling me to wait. Huge box in the mail today from a xanga friend I met once at MOPS–clothes for the girls. Including four Dora things.
–Grocery store again Sunday after church. (poor planning on my part) Had $2 left. Felt the urge to put it in the glove compartment. ?? Went to hospital to visit new baby that night. Had to pay for parking–we had no cash. Except for the $2. Parking–$2.
–Wanted to buy a gift for baby. Gabe offered to go get it at Wal-Mart. I had a shirt hanging in the closet–a gift that didn’t fit. Never go to Wal-Mart. He returned it. Same price as gift.
–Wanted to do a little family photo shoot at the beach. Have never done one with our family of five. New clothes not in budget. Livi and I started looking through drawers and closets. Found 2 sets of “matching” outfits for all five of us. I have NO idea how. (Gabe is beside himself with excitement–that was sarcastic, for those of you who have asked that I point that out.)
–One month a year, Gabe gets 3 paychecks instead of 2. This one comes on the first day of our vacation.
There’s more, but you get the point. Someday, if my books stop going out of print, lol, and we have tons of money, I want to live my life trusting GOD, not my earning power. God’s not against me having lots of money. He’s against me living like I’m the one who filled the storehouses. I can empathize a little with Job when he got his four-chapter reprimand from Almighty God. “Where were you when I…? What do you know about…?”
Money in my pocket does not equal license to spend recklessly. Love recklessly, yes. Obey recklessly, yes. Show grace and forgiveness recklessly–absolutely.
I look forward to the day when I have a lot of moo-lah yet still live like every dollar is God’s to be spent wisely–and truly depend on Him to meet every need.
Thank you, guys, for your great response to the Blushing deal. Thanks for the big orders and the great title/cover ideas. Keep ’em coming!