Financial year in review

Last night, we had our church business meeting. Nothing more exciting to do on a Sunday night than go over finances! Ha. It was good though because it’s a bonding experience with the other committed members–about 1/4 the regular attendees on a weekend. There was something comforting about whittling down a big church to the core, getting to know those you are familiar with better. And it’s exciting to be involved, even if rather innocuously, to the details of our church.

Anyway, just last week we did something similar at our house. We didn’t crunch too many numbers but we had a good discussion about the previous year. As I’ve mentioned before, 2009 was not our favorite year. And financially it was hard. We did get to finish redoing the kitchen, which was the major reason we didn’t have money for pretty much anything else. It’s also the reason we haven’t been able to do a lot of things since we moved into the house. We’ve been holding on tight so that we could afford to do it … some day. Thankfully, that day finally came! I think I felt that now we would be free from this burden. Quite the opposite! Now, we actually spent the money and have some debt to pay off as well. Needless to say, as many can understand, it’s frustrating to have your hands tied. Especially when we want to do “good” things with our money, above and beyond tithing to our church. We are so rich and know there are so many who have needs much greater than our own. And I know that, despite my sour attitude at times about our situation.

At the end of the year, I had my appendix removed. It was an “emergency” and required dr’s vists, er visits and obviously surgery. Lots of little bills that kept piling up. It cost much more than I thought it should, more than $1200. Of course, without insurance it would have been 10X that. But, thankfully, we were able to pay it. So, one thing I brought up in our discussion was maybe we were being too miserly with our money. Maybe if we’d loosen up, God would bless us in that area. Technically we apparently “had” $200/month that we could have spent throughout the year. Maybe if we had used that money to bless others, God would have provided for my surgery. Or maybe I wouldn’t have needed it. Maybe God’s trying to get our attention. My husband thoughtfully said “That’s one way to look at it.” Then explained his side of it: God already was blessing us.

Each month, we spend more money than we make. How is it that we had the $1200 at the end of the year (just before Christmas even)! It’s amazing how reflecting on that one little fact can change your perspective on things. Not that I don’t think we both can’t be right. But instead of feeling like we need to “buy” blessings, which was my attitude before, I truly feel the desire to share with others out of the abundance we’ve been blessed with.

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