Inpiration From the Heart

Inspiration from the Heart

Posted by on Apr 9, 2015 in Blog, Inpiration From the Heart | 0 comments

Inspiration from the Heart
“The generous soul will be made rich, and he who waters will be watered himself.” 
Proverbs 11:25

One thing that I have learned throughout my financial journey is that you have to be a giver.  At the very top of our budget is the word “Giving”.  The first thing that comes out of our paychecks is a bi-weekly tithe to our church.

I have often taught people that if you can’t afford to give in that moment then quit giving temporarily.  Then I read the book “Taming the Money Monster” by Ron Blue and it says to never quit giving of your tithe.  That really made me rethink what I had been teaching.

When we were first trying to find a way through our financial mess, a financial advisor suggested that we quit tithing as an option to find extra money.   I thought he brought up a good point when he said that he and his wife started giving their tithe in other ways.  They started spending time with people and giving some of their possessions away instead of their money.  I have given things out of my stockpile when I could not afford to hand people cash.

Either way, you need to make sure that you are a giving person and your heart needs to remain open to this idea.  I don’t think you should be doing this just to get something in return, but I think it makes us remember our place and where we came from.  We need to remember our humble beginnings and realize that all of that money is God’s in the first place.  What would he want us to do with that money?

I read on a blog once that a lady’s husband was trying to think of a different way every day to be a blessing to someone he came in contact with.  How inspiring!  That is definitely a giving heart that remembers his place as a Christian.

As a side note…

Just remember that if you are giving to “receive” that the Bible never tells us that God will give to you monetarily.  He doesn’t promise that just because you give money towards His work that He will give you money in return.  He  may bless you in another way.

Share how you will be a more giving person this week.  Tell me your beliefs about paying tithe versus tithing in other ways.

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Made Perfect

Posted by on Jan 25, 2014 in Inpiration From the Heart | 0 comments

Made Perfect

2 Corinthians 12:9

 

“But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness…” (NIV)

As I was reading through a blog the other day, I found this verse and just had to write it down.  I have a better way of remembering things if I write them down and I did not want to forget this verse!

While rereading the last part of the verse “for My power is made perfect in weakness” I started thinking about how that applies to my life.

There were so many times through all of our financial heartache that I didn’t think I could make it another day.  I was searching and looking for all of the right answers and nothing was helping.

We would ask our dads if they had any advice to help get us out of the mundane cycle of living paycheck to paycheck and the only advice offered was that we needed more money.   How?  We were already working two full-time jobs and barely saw each other as it was.

We would talk to church members and they were kind to help pay for an occasional meal out or help my husband find work when he was out of a job.  But these were just temporary band-aids that were not fixing the real problem.

Unfortunately, I can’t remember a time where we ever just opened the Bible and searched for what God says about money (and trust me…He has a lot to say – especially in Proverbs).  I don’t remember holding hands and praying that God would show us the way other than saying “Lord, help us with our finances” or “Lord, help us find some money.”

Now when I read that it sounds so selfish.  God didn’t put us in the place that we were in.  We created that bottomless pit out of greed and the idea that we “needed” something right then and by golly we were gonna get it!

Despite our failures, looking back it all makes sense.  As we’ve gotten older and grown up a little God has shown us that He was still at work.  He was working behind the scenes the whole time and hoping that we would turn back to him.

This reminds me of the verse in 2 Chronicles 7:14.  “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

Spending money that you don’t have is a sin.  Period.  It is not something to be proud of and it will bring you down fast if you’re not careful and wise in your spending.  This happened to Greg and I.

So, after a long spell of trying to fix things on our own, we finally turned to God and He has forgiven us.  He has shown me that we can do all things through Him and that His ways are perfect.  The part that I love is that He never left us and He let us have a do-over.  It’s kind of like when you’re playing kickball and missed the ball when the pitcher threw it to you.  Ask for a do-over!

Are you ready to ask God for a do-over when it comes to your life and finances?  It’s hard, trust me.  There’s nothing worse than giving up your pride and feeling ashamed.  Just know that God is waiting with open arms and He was made perfect so that he could  help you in your times of weakness.

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The Peace of God

Posted by on Jan 8, 2014 in Inpiration From the Heart | 0 comments

The Peace of God

Our ladies group at church  has been going through the study “Unglued” by Lysa Terkeurst and it has been simply amazing!  While going through chapter 4 last night, there was a verse brought up that I thought fit really well with our overall life – which includes finances.  Here it is…

Phillipians 4:8-9

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things.  The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.

I’m sure that you can relate to this story, but there have been many times throughout our financial disasters that everything seemed to be going wrong.  It seemed like we were the only people in debt in the world and that nobody could ever know what I was possibly going through!

My mind then quickly took over and started telling me that I was a failure, an embarrassment to my family, not a product of how I was raised, and the list goes on and on.

All of these things were false!  I felt like I couldn’t go any lower when Greg lost his job and I was only working part-time so that I could stay home with my kids.  Life seemed hopeless, dreary, depressing, and at times I was ready to walk away and leave it all behind.

Thank God I had a Christian friend who talked me out of that decision!

After that conversation of her telling me everything that we had done right and encouraging me that things were going to get better I was amazed at all the blessings I could see.  I felt like my heart was at peace and that God was showing me how blessed I really was.

I have two wonderful, healthy children who make me laugh all the time.  I have always had a supportive husband who sees the best in me.  But most importantly, I have a  God who loves me as His own child.  He has never left me, never forsaken me, and He has always provided.  We have never been without shelter, food, clothes, etc.

That’s what I started mediating on.  I quit feeling sorry for myself and started realizing that God had a plan and now His plan for my life has enabled me to tell people “I know how you feel”, “I know exactly what you’re going through”, “I know…I’ve been there”.

So, what about you?  Are you ready to be at peace with your situation and move forward?  Are you ready to fully rely on God and know that everything is still in His hands and that peace is on the way?  Trust me, it’s coming!

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Inspiration from the Heart – Proverbs 7

Posted by on May 7, 2012 in Inpiration From the Heart | 0 comments

Inspiration from the Heart – Proverbs 7

My son, keep my words,
And treasure my commands within you.
Keep my commands and live,
And my law as the apple of your eye.
Bind them on your fingers;
Write them on the tablet of your heart.
Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,”
And call understanding your nearest kin,
That they may keep you from the immoral woman,
From the seductress who flatters with her words.

Proverbs 7:1-5

What is Wisdom?

According to the dictionary definition, wisdom is “the quality or state of being wise; knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action; sagacity, discernment, or insight” {www.dictionary.com}.

How Can I Apply Wisdom?

I think it speaks very clearly in verse 4 when it states that wisdom should be like a sister and “understanding your nearest kin”.  These are things that you need to keep close to your side.  You need to be in constant communication with wisdom and understanding just like you would with your nearest of kin.

I think I have stated before that I pray for wisdom when walking through the grocery store.  Even though this seems like an easy task that I can do on my own, I really can’t.  One of my weakest links is SUGAR.  I have decided that I am addicted to sugar.  The root canal and (4) wisdom teeth that I had pulled last year can attest to this fact.  It is very hard for me to walk down the aisles where there are sugary things lurking in the dark.  So, I do pray that God lead me to the things on my list and not to things that I want.  I can’t make a meal off sugar (okay…maybe I could – it just wouldn’t be healthy for the children) and when money is already very tight you want to make sure and buy only the things that are needed for a substantial meal.

I pray for constant wisdom when making decisions with my kids.  It’s very hard as a parent because I always find myself doubting the decisions that I have made or questioning whether I did the right thing or not.  Wisdom is not always reacting so quickly.  I am learning that I need to make sure that I understand the story fully before blaming someone for their actions (especially when raising boys).  This is something that I will never be good at 100% but I am learning where I need the most help and this is one of those areas.  I tend to react quickly (or overreact) when all I need to do is just be patient and listen.

What Can Happen if I Don’t Search Out Wisdom and Understanding?

If you keep reading in vs. 5 then you will see what can happen when you don’t stay on the straight path.  The seductress (I believe) does not have to necessarily be a woman.  Although, if you keep reading in this passage it does talk more about the life of a harlot.  My seductress is money and I fully believe that Satan knows this.  If there is ever a way to make me doubt or cause me to make a rash decision without using wisdom then throw a kink in our budget and I don’t know what to do!

This brings me to last week when daycare called Greg and said that Drew had a rock in his ear.  Well, he took him to the ENT who noticed another rock below that one.  He wanted to take him to the hospital and use anesthesia to get the other rock out only to find that it was not a rock at all!  It was a popcorn kernel.  The doctor said it looked like it had been in there for awhile.

That popcorn kernel is going to wind up costing us $950.  Ouch!  Instead of asking God what to do and searching out for His wisdom I automatically go into panic  mode.  I start questioning where we’re going to get this kind of money.  I immediately start cursing the fact that popcorn even exists and then I come to the rash decision that we must sell our child because he is costing us way too much money!

Fortunately, after Greg hit me over the head with a hammer I calmed down (okay – that didn’t really happen – but I’m sure he thought about it) and realized that it’s all going to be okay.  God has shown us time and time again that He can bring us up out of the worst situations.  That was all the understanding that I needed.  I have to constantly repeat this saying “Get thee behind me, Satan” because I know that he can sense my weakest link.  I think he enjoys seeing me react this way, but then after talking to my husband I am reminded that God has all of this under control.  We just simply said that the bill can wait and we will just budget for it like everything else.

Sometimes what we think can be a horrible situation can turn out for good.  I am so thankful that Drew did put a rock in his ear that day so that we would be able to find that kernel.  We have no idea how long it had been in there (especially considering the fact that I cannot even tell you the last time I made popcorn).  God shows us time and time again His wisdom and how He knows best.  Look for Him this week and see how He’s working in your life!

 

 

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Inspiration from the Heart – No. 3

Posted by on Apr 23, 2012 in Inpiration From the Heart | 0 comments

Inspiration from the Heart – No. 3

“Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains great understanding.”             Proverbs 3:13

Are you happy?  Do you feel content in the way that you are living your life?  This verse does a great job of telling us how to find our true happiness.  This verse could be misleading if you think that you are finding wisdom within yourself.  The wisdom that you should be searching out is what God wants for your life.

How do I find this “wisdom”?

Searching God’s word is one answer.  The Bible is so full of wisdom.  If you don’t believe me then just read through the book of Proverbs.  I challenge you to read one Proverb a day.  There are (31) Proverbs so this works out great if you want to complete this task in a month!  I have read and reread the book and still learn something new every time.  I can tell you that there are days that I can’t find the time to always sit and read my Bible.  So, what I do instead is during my lunch break I read an online version of the Bible at www.biblegateway.com.  That way there’s no excuse for me not being able to read the Bible during the day.

Another way to find wisdom is through prayer.  I am more of the praying kind and Greg is more of the reading kind.  So, we work well together!  I find myself praying about anything and everything.  I pray that God helps me to stay focused in the grocery store and not buy a bunch of junk that will just waste our money.  I pray for people that I come in contact with throughout the day.  I pray that God show me the answer to important questions in my life like “What am I meant to do in this life?  How are we going to make it financially this month?  Please show me how to parent my children and help them get through their day.”  My ultimate goal would be to pray for the wisdom to get me through a situation and then search in the Bible for more understanding.  I am still working on this!

Is this the only way to find wisdom?

No.  I think it’s proven to be one of the best, but I believe that God also places people in our lives to help us gain wisdom and understanding through difficult circumstances.  There have been times that I have prayed about something and felt like I couldn’t really find the right answer.  Even after LOTS of soul searching I still just couldn’t figure out what God was trying to tell me.  Take this business for example.  I have felt burdened about making a change in my life.  I am 32 years old and feel like I am at that stage in my life where I want to make a difference in people’s lives.  I have felt like a change of some kind was coming since August of last year.  I didn’t know exactly what to do.  I just knew that something was about to happen.  Then during Spring Break, Greg let me listen to Dan Miller’s “48 Days” and I found my calling.  I have been a teacher my entire life and now God is telling me that this is my ministry.  I am meant to be teaching people about debt and how to reach their goals and dreams just like Greg and I have done.

The cool part is that God is the one who orchestrated all of this.  He just used Dan Miller to give me the answer I was looking for.  Now looking back it all makes sense.  I understand now why I went through a coupon class when I did.  I now understand why God laid it on our hearts to teach Financial Peace University four years ago.  I now see why people are coming to me and asking for financial advice.  I now know why I have read Proverbs over and over again.  All along God was giving me the wisdom and understanding that I needed to launch my new career.

Did you enjoy this post?  If you missed my other devotions, you can click below to catch up on some reading .
“Inspiration from the Heart”, “Inspiration from the Heart – No. 2″


 

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Inspiration from the Heart – No. 2

Posted by on Apr 16, 2012 in Blog, Inpiration From the Heart | 2 comments

Inspiration from the Heart – No. 2

“A man with an evil eye hastens after riches, and does not consider that poverty will come upon him.”  Proverbs 28:22

Do you know someone who is always searching for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow?  Are you one of those people?  I can honestly say that there was a time in my life when I was constantly thinking about money and hoping to “get rich quick”.  Guess what…it didn’t happen.  Big surprise!

Plus I came to dislike myself.  I was trying to sell a certain product and would find myself getting upset when people wouldn’t buy this EXPENSIVE product from me.  I wasn’t looking out for their well-being.  I wasn’t giving them something that would make their life any better.  I was only trying to make money and make it fast!

This verse discusses a word that we know all too well (especially in America).  GREED!  We are always wanting what someone else has or we want something that is bigger and better.  What is wrong with us?  We’re human.  That’s what is wrong with us.

The other day I was watching a television show about a guy who buys and sells real estate.  He has done this for his entire career and deals with millions of dollars.  But what struck me as funny was that this guy wanted to buy a house for himself and he was waiting on his tax return to pay for the property.  Really!?

Looking at this gentleman  he looks like he has it all.  Nice clothes, owns his own business, hired a maid, and drives a nice car.  But guess what he left out of that equation.  He, for one, never talks about having God in his life and secondly he is only chasing after money.  Guess where that is leading him….to poverty.  Where is all of his money?  You would think that if this guy is constantly buying houses that are in foreclosure and then remodeling and selling it to make a small fortune then he would have a ton of money just lying around.  Where has all of that money gone?  Why couldn’t he just pay for this house in cash already on hand?

It sounded to me like he had no money really saved so all that it would take is for one deal to go horribly wrong and he’s lost it all.  And what’s even worse is that if you’re only living for this life then you’ll never be satisfied.  You will always be wanting more.

We need to focus on our Heavenly Father and His plans for us.  We need to put those human “wants” aside.  God tells us in Proverbs that He will supply our needs.  That’s it!  He doesn’t promise that you will always have nice things.

Some may say, “Well, that’s not fair.  God doesn’t love me if He won’t let me have this”.  Yes he does!  I have always thought that when God says “No” then He’s looking out for your best interest.  He doesn’t want you to drown in debt just to buy something that in two years you may be getting rid of anyways because now you want something “bigger and better”.

So, watch your “evil eye” this week.  Make sure that it is focused on things above and not the things here on this earth.  Stay the path and all your needs will be met.

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