Friday, October 26, 2012

30 Day Challenge - Day 28

For an explanation of the challenge, please read Day 1.

God is doing AMAZING things in my life right now.  There is way too much to type, but here is what blessed and motivated me today.  I just had to share!

Here is what I'm learning:  God blesses me so I can bless others.

Confession:  I am obsessed with my budget.  I love spreadsheets, charts, and calculating things in Excel.  My personal budget has over 11 tabs that cross reference each other.  I keep attempting to create a dashboard of sorts, but I can't stop changing it long enough to enjoy the finished product!  I am not saying this to brag, God has convicted me on multiple occasions to just walk away!  I would spend hours changing amounts, moving funds, analyzing different scenarios.  Especially since this is money-related, it is a form of worry and fear of the future.  Neither of those things honor God and He is the one in control of my finances - not me.  It is important for me to be a good steward of what He gave me, but I must learn to manage my finances without taking God's role.

My church started a fundraising effort to put us in a better financial situation.  I am totally on board with this because of my passion for paying off debt and using God's resources wisely.  They published an announcement stating that there was a particular weekend that we would begin giving generously.  I panicked.  I even talked to my small group leader about it.  There was no way I could contribute.  I have all my money allocated and the weekend they selected was in the middle of a pay period!  She calmly said, "Just pray."  Duh, why didn't I think of that??

So, I "just prayed".  I told God that He knew my resources and saw my bank account and budget.  If I was going to participate in this initiative, He was going to have to show me where the money would come from!

While at work the next day, where all my great ideas for non-work related activities come to me,  I remembered that my Home Owners Association (HOA) has been sending me a statement the past few months saying that I had a credit balance of exactly 1 month's fees.  I sent them an email and asked if I could either skip a payment or if they would send me a check to zero out my balance.

God's provisions:
1) Within 24 hours, the HOA replied and said that I could skip the payment!  Money was arriving and God was not done yet!!
2) That week, a retreat I had paid for was cancelled, so the registration fee was reimbursed!
3) God reminded me that just last month in my crazy budget spreadsheet, I randomly found unallocated money in my savings account!  I figured I could save it for an unexpected need, and this qualifies!
4) I have a "bucket" in my savings account for future giving.  This is the future and it's all about giving!
5) My electric bill was only half of what I had budgeted.  Why was I even surprised?!
6) I was saving the amount of my Emergency Room copay because I knew that the bill would be coming eventually.  I finally realized that if God was giving me all this money just to give back to Him, He can surely help me come up with the money for the hospital bill!  So, I added that money to the offering!
7) Two weeks ago, I attended a work conference and because I am attempting to pay off my credit card, I paid for everything out of my checking account.  By God's grace, I was able to skimp and save to where I lived within the tiny bit of money left over for groceries and eating out!  I realized that when I do receive the reimbursement check, I can give the whole check to God!
8) After I submitted my expense report, I was informed that I would receive 75% of the per diem rate for the day.  I questioned her (I'm not sure why), but I said that I had only been gone for 1 day and it was local.  She said that it didn't matter, I still received it because I was "travelling" for our company.  I literally made MORE money on the transaction that what I spent!

As of today, the amount that God has given me to give to the church is MORE than my monthly tithe.  While my monthly tithe will be given to the church on another Sunday, God more than doubled it for this month!   He gave me money out of His abundant resources just so I could give it back to Him.  How can I not be thankful?  How can I not give it back to Him?  It was never mine to begin with!
Philippians 4:19 And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. 

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