This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves
to be my disciples. John 15:8

Poor Choices

>> Sunday, April 26, 2009

When Mark and I first made the decision that I would stay home with Elijah, things were tight. In fact, I'm not even sure that tight is the correct word. To give you an example of how tight things were, one payday Mark and I decided to take the kids to IHOP. I hadn't balanced the checkbook and payed bills yet, but it was IHOP. How much could that cost?? Our meal came to just over $15, with tip. That meal ended up putting us so close to overdrawing our account I was sweating over every penny for two weeks until we got paid again. I wish I was exaggerating.

What is extraordinary to me about that story is that I was walking in more freedom financially than I am now. Mark is currently bringing in nearly a thousand dollars more a month than he was when we made that trip to IHOP, and yet I am more stressed out about money than I have ever been in my life. Never have I been more convinced about the old adage that "Money can't buy me love" or peace, or happiness, or whatever it is that I might be looking for. I can not begin to tell you how many times back then I asked God for just a "little more breathing room" in our budget. I have the breathing room I asked for. I've just spent it all.

So this January, when my New Year's Resolution was to "die to self" more every day, God placed it on my heart that the focus was financial health. I thought physical health was really the priority (and certainly, it is important), but He made it very clear that He needed me to submit our finances to Him. Not just the tithe check I may (or may not) have written. All of it. Every penny we were blessed with needed to become His. I had, over the course of the last few years, become very loose with the "discretionary income" we had and the credit cards I had in my wallet. Like the frog in the kettle, the water got warmer and warmer and warmer as my credit card balances got larger and larger and larger. My mantra became "What's 20 more dollars?". My prayer became "Forgive me that 20 more dollars".

So I find myself in a position to pay off debt that I owe. Financially and Spiritually. I'm ashamed of it. Part of me doesn't even want to write this post. The reason I am is because I know I feel like the only Christian who has made these poor choices, yet statistics prove otherwise. I want someone out there to know that there are others out there who have blown it financially. Just because we attend church, lead Bible study and are on Women's Ministry Leadership Team does not mean that we have it all together. No way.

So after lots of prayer and even more tears, I have started my own business. I wanted so badly to help our family financially, yet I was not willing to squander my children's childhood working Saturdays at Taco Bell if the LORD was willing to give me another alternative. Praise Him, He did. Through several prompts, He led me to a home-based business called "Scentsy". Anyone who knows me knows that I have spent hundreds of dollars at "Yankee Candle" over the years. I love candles and I love home fragrance. I do not want this post to become merely an advertisement for my new company, so I won't dwell too much. Suffice it to say, Scentsy is a new way of thinking about fragrance and I ADORE it. It's easy for me to sell because I really, really love it. I have a link on my sidebar to my website and if you decided to purchase anything it would bless me tremendously (OK....end of pitch).

The purpose of this post is not to sell you anything (honestly). It's to tell you how faithful our God is. Despite the fact that I made poor financial choices and withheld from Him what was rightly His, He has blessed me with a way to repay my debt with a product I absolutely love. He is faithful. Even when we are not. He could have made me scrub toilets to repay my debt (not that there is anything wrong with that. I love you, Dad!). But He didn't. He's letting me repay my family and enjoy myself doing it. He is far too good for me.


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