What does this year hold? Have you ever just sat back and wondered? I do all the time...even in the middle of the year. It is almost frightening to think that something bad could be lurking around the corner. Especially in this time of financial crisis for our country. Every day a person comes home to break the news that they were laid off. Depression, desperation, deprivation all prevail in the ensuing months that it may take to get a job. Houses, cars, even precious belongings can be lost because of one life changing moment. Then there is the flip side of the coin....what about those life changing blessings? Engagements, babies, new homes, promotions, job transfers, or even new jobs. All of these things, good or bad, bring stress to our lives. They may bring in more money or suck our bank accounts dry. They may afford us more time with each other or make our communication options limited to facetime and tango. Either way....we are supposed to trust in God but is that all? It actually isn't and I had a DUH! moment while talking to a friend the other day. If we could prepare for the good and the bad moments wouldnt it be easier to not freak out in the bad or go over board in the good?
1 Corinthians 16:2 says 2 On the first day of
every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping
with your income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will
have to be made.
Now this is kind of out of context but it was a lesson revealed so lets take it at that. I pay my tithes....I pay my bills....I keep my emergency fund up when I can....but do I ever pay ME? Nope, never. I am too busy being concerned with this or that and paying this down or that down. Well??? Don't I deserve to be ready when someone comes knocking (or a situation)? How can I be ready if I am too busy paying everyone else back? Even if its $100 a month you will have $1200 at the end of a year if nothing bad happens. If you keep that in conjunction with the Dave Ramsey emergency fund of $1000 then you have $2200 at the end of a GOOD year with no surprises....if you end up having to spend your emergency fund for some unexpected reason...you have paid it back PLUS $200 without even trying.
Last year my husband and I decided after 9 years of paying off debt and living to the penny of paying and saving, 2011 was going to be a year of "If I want it, within reason, I am getting it" and we did. I got a lot of much needed dental work, braces, furniture, ipad, and went wherever I wanted. He hunted....and if you don't think thats a lot....check our bank account. We ate out whenever he didnt like what I cooked, I didnt want to cook, or we were running around buying stuff. We spent and spent and spent....an by december...we had NOTHING to show for it. After an elaborate hunting trip he came back empty handed. After eating out all those nights and not cooking, my house isnt cleaner, I dont feel rested, and lets give a great big shout out to those UNNECESSARY 20 POUNDS!!! Also, by december...we were broke. Poor? No! But Definitely broke. We had to whip out the credit card because I needed an alignment, new tires, brakes, to go to florida to see my family, and the kids both had a growth spurt that is beyond comprehension! We were NOT prepared!!
This year its not about paying the student loans....its not about having fun with our money. Its all about preperation!!! We want to save!! We want to prepare!! We both want a bigger house but because of where we live we are going to have to build. We have to prep our house to sell it in this economy and just pray that it picks up enough to break even. But then it hit me....WHAT IF IT DOESNT? We are 10k upside down on our house...how would we deal with that? We prepare!!! We want to build a bigger house but what if the market picks up and the prices increase for building? We prepare!!! What if all things remain the same and I save up all this money that we plan to save and the house is cheaper than we are anticipating? Then I have almost the EXACT amount I need to put the house payment where I need it to be AND pay off our student loans!! Do you know what that means? If there are no hiccups, no major changes to our lives....and we are faithful in this endeavor....we will be DEBT FREE AND HAVE OUR DREAM HOUSE!!! WHAT?!?!?!
Ok dont laugh because yes I know life comes along and bites you sometimes. But you have to admit you have those years that just feel stale because you staginate and nothing changes but your moods for a while. This can't harm us right? We wont eat out, we wont take elaborate trips, we wont spend foolishly, and what will we gain in the end even if we don't realize our dreams in the next 24 months? We will have to be skinnier!! I mean cutting out fast food alone will have to take my pant size down what it increased by right? IF we are not traveling and spending a ton of money doing stupid stuff....then we are at home more...TOGETHER!!! And if there are no hiccups between now and then....we will have a happier life because we will owe no one but the bank for our house and even that will be substantially more paid down than we were planning when we tried to buy last year!! All good things!
That brings me to my final point of my happy soap box today!!! As I lay in bed last night, honestly stressing over everything about to happen and trying to plan it out, something profound hit me!! God makes awesome road blocks!! We were in the process of trying to buy a house and everyone and everything thing was bending over backwards to make it happen! It all seemed to be falling in our laps. I was super excited and I think dh was too! We both went to pray over it and would you believe that my Dh went from excited to depressed? I was so mortified! I was horrified!! I insisted just one more look at the house thinking he would remember why he was so excited. He agreed but to my shock, awe, and amazement God answered my prayer with a resounding NO! I walked through the doors and I no longer loved the house! My rose colored glasses shattered at the porch and I saw everything in a completely different light. I went home with my tail tucked between my legs and my tears freely flowing....WHY?!?! Now I know. We had never been able to completely agree on anything so we were both settling on what we thought we would want. The house was the exact same thing as the house we have now with 2 extra rooms and 1,000 more sqft .... but we dont like our house now! We hate the layout! Had we not turned to God we would be miserable by now, I am certain of it! After 2 months of searching plans I found our dream home and thanks to pinterest I have made it even more expensive but we found something we both just LOVE!
God doesnt tell us no to be mean. He tells us no because He has this even bigger yes in the works that this no, if changed to a yes, would halt a yes so big....it could change us from happy and determined to miserable and mournful. God knows better. If that relationship didnt work out...God knew. If that house falls through...God knew. If you don't get that job....God knew. THATS WHAT THEY MEAN BY IN ALL THINGS GIVE HIM PRAISE!!! Because a year later you can look back and say "GOD KNEW!" and your "no" will become a bigger YES!!!!
So my new years resolutions are to wait for my bigger yes while enjoying the fruits of my no and saving up for that moment (or the hiccups that will try to get in the way) because in all things....I give Him thanks! (oh and to lose those eating out pounds)