Friday, July 18, 2008

Money and our hearts

Wouldn't it be great if we could just talk about money objectively with our husbands, if making spending changes was as easy as crossing through the numbers with our red pens, if the balance in our checkbooks and savings accounts (and credit cards) didn't carry any more weight in our lives than the weight of the paper envelope the mail man brings us that tells us the good or bad news about our financial state of being?

But it is not so.  Because these matters are not only money matters, they are heart issues.  The proof that this is true is not hard to find.  I quickly get discouraged and even depressed when there is something I want to do or buy and then I find out whatever it is would not be a wise use of our money.  What I also find out is that my hopes are easily in the wrong place.  

I place my emotional well being in what I can do or buy.  You know, taking the kids bowling, buying them new summer clothes, preparing a certain meal, or stopping for ice cream on the way home from the beach.  All great things, but when I can't do them, my heart rears it's ugly head!  

This is why we find ourselves in debt while our savings accounts barely linger around- we need what we see now, it has to be ours or we feel depressed or sad.  In contrast, our spirits our lifted when we can dress our little girl in the cute dress at Gap Kids or take the kids to Disney World.  Our delight is in the things of the world, and not in God.

Let's strive to be more like the Psalmist who said, "Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me?  Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God... Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling!  Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy, and I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God." (Psalm 42 &43)

Let's pray that God will expose the sin in our hearts that leads us to put our hope in our plans, in our way, and in that new pair of shoes.  For his grace knows no limit, and his love is more satisfying than anything offered in the nearby antique store or car lot.  Instead of drinking from those fountains, let's beg for the grace to again echo the Psalmist, who prayed, "As the deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God.  My soul thirsts for God, for the living God." 

This is why unless you have redecorating in your budget it might be helpful to throw your Pottery Barn catalogue away.  You don't need inspiration when you are seeking to cultivate contentment for what you currently have.


Candy said...

I don't like you right now lol.. true but painful... I am in the same journey with you Tami why do these "things" please us and inprision us at the same time. I say I want God to be my everything and all I need but when that means losing out on some thing "I" think I need I am like a little kid pitching a fit.. oh to be rid of our vices. What that really means is to be striped to nothing and praise God for it.. as painful as it is I praise God that he goes to such lengths to bring me to him.. oh the pain...

Anonymous said...

Amen, I love a proverb that speaks of a house with little is better than a house with abundance and there's trouble inside (I'm paraphrasing, LOL)

Thanks for that reminder, Sister.


Melannie said...

Oh Tami, how right you are!! Great post. Thank you.

Renata said...

So true. As for the ice cream, have you heard of the baggie homemade ice cream?
Or you can use two cans:
Or maybe a baggie in a can?

By the way, I don't remember using rock salt when I did it years ago. I think regular salt will do fine.

I don't know why I didn't remember this before. I need to try this with my kids.

Jerralea said...

You are so right! Great post! It hurts, but still ...

I admit I DO get depressed when I can't buy even the little things sometime. Spending $20 doesn't seem like much but if you do it all the time, by the end of the month, you may be short of what is needed to finish in the black.