Tag Archives: finances

Still

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I still have Dillon at home. Not for much longer I know, but for today and that’s all I have…today.

Kathy is still an Evans. That will change soon, too. She will become a Smith. But, I will still love her no matter what her last name is.

I still love to hear Will laugh. His laugh is contagious. When you hear it you have to at least smile. He has a “from the gut” laugh.

No he is not eating the couch. He is asleep! He makes me laugh!

After 24 1/2 years I still love My Man deeply.

Only one of many car problems he has solved.

I still love to decorate my house for Christmas. I go overboard at times, but I’m learning to keep it simple.

 

I still wish we hadn’t put the tv over the mantle. I just have never liked it there.

I still have most of my brown hair and it is still curly. Although it could really use a cut.

WHEWW! More gray than I thought. May have to do something about that.

 

We still have Bandit. We have had her for about 12 years now. She is still sweet and loves to be petted.

I still wonder when things are gonna get better financially. Not only for my family, but for many who are effected by this economy.

I still trust God completely.  I still put my hope in Him. I still go to Him as my refuge and my strength. I still trust in His promises. I still believe that He has got this and will never leave me nor forsake me. I still worship Him. I still love Him with all my heart, all my soul, all my mind and all my strength.

My Heart’s Desire

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“It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.” Luke 2:26All I want for Christmas is…

If you had asked me that question two days ago I would have said a higher income for My Man and me, to be out of this financial mess we are in, to be able to go grocery shop and not “worry” about what I throw into the cart.

But today my heart’s desires are different. I desire to have a closer walk with Jesus. I desire to do His will and to share His gospel with more people.  I desire for my heart to be captivated by Jesus.

Yesterday, our pastor’s message was from Luke 2:22-40. It is the story of Joseph and Mary taking Jesus to the temple on the eighth day as required by their law. They meet two very godly people, Simeon and Anna. Our pastor pointed out how they had longed to see the Messiah.

The question was asked, “Do I ache for Jesus’ return? What is the desire of my heart? Do I have a desire to glimpse into God’s glory here and now?” I had to honestly say, “No…no, I do not desire that. I desire to be out of the mess and back on our feet financially so I can spend money again.” I felt so ashamed. It could be, and probably is, the reason we can’t get out of it. I am so focus on it that it has become my god. That is possible you know. To be so focused on something other than God that it becomes your god.

But that god didn’t die for me. It didn’t love me enough to give up everything for me. Shoot, it can’t love me. So, yesterday I  laid that at the altar and gave my heart back to Jesus. I am His child and He will take care of me now and in the future. He always has and alway will. It’s just who He is…love.

These questions were also asked as food for thought.

  • Have I grown content with the absence of Christ?
  • What am I doing to make a difference in this world?
  • When was the last time I made a true sacrifice for the Lord? willing to give up something (like a vacation) to help spread the gospel?

This are questions we must ask ourselves on a regular basis. Really, all we need to ask is what do I really want…God’s will be done or mine? I choose God’s. It is soooooo much better!

His Expectations

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“Love the Lord your God and keep His…commands always.” Deuteronomy 11:1

Going through a crisis, difficult time, trials, struggles, whatever you want to call them, is no fun. No fun at all. I get those anxious feelings, those feelings of being trapped, not able to get out or even see a way out. I guess you might call that hopeless. When you are going through a rough financial time the upcoming Christmas season doesn’t help. I like to give gifts to my loved ones. And even homemade gifts, which I do love to do, still take money. Maybe not as much, but still…

I am so thankful for all we have. There was a time when we could have -should have -lost everything. But God, in His grace, allowed us to keep it all. Tomorrow we celebrate Thanksgiving and all month on Facebook I have been posting something daily I am thankful for. To say I am thankful for His provisions is an understatement.

Yet, with the Christmas season upon us, I find myself anxious once again. Just paying the bills is hard enough. Now, I need presents on top of that. How in the world am I going to do that? Oh yea! I’m not…God is. Even if it comes down to the eleventh hour God will provide. We will have a good Christmas. He has done it before and He will do it again. Even if He doesn’t I will praise Him for all we do have.

I was thinking this morning about God answering my cries for help. He rarely answers them the way I have pictured in my mind. I was focusing this morning on what I hope it will be like when this crisis is all said and done. (And hopefully that will be sooner than later) I found myself thinking the way I did before the crisis began. I can’t think that way anymore. God has been showing me I need to rid myself of that thinking and begin thinking more like Him. Should He restore our income to what is was before, I can not handle the finances like before. I must be obedient to the way He wants me to handle them. I must change my attitude about spending money.

Isn’t that a lesson He has shown us all through His word? When we are in a crisis and we ask Him to deliver us, He is faithful and helps us. But He does expect us now to be obedient to Him and to share what He has done for us. It is the testimony He has given us to share. He doesn’t deliver us for us to fall back into our old ways. And He warns us that if we do, we will have to suffer the consequences for our disobedience.

So, I have decided to do my best to listen more carefully to Him and follow Him. He knows that best way out of the mess and once I’m out, He knows the best way for me to stay out of it again.

Father, Thank you for hearing my cries for help and getting me out of this. You will see me through to the end. I will give You the praise that You deserve and I will share the testimony You have given to me with others. I love You!

Read Deuteronomy 11:1-12

 

My Goodness…Last Friday…Ugh!

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“The steps of the godly are directed by the Lord. He delights in every detail of their lives.” Psalm 37:23 (NLT)

I woke up last Friday with the worst pain I have ever felt. My tooth was killing me. Not only that, but the whole left side of my face was swollen! I looked like Droopy Dog! I immediately called my dentist!

Looking back the whole thing was kind of comical, minus the pain. Let me try to draw a word picture for you.

The dentist receptionist answered the phone, “Good morning this is Dr Elder’s office. This is Leslie. How may I help you?” Me, “My name is Jayne Evans. I haven’t been to the dentist in years. I am a former patient of Dr. Hixon’s.”

Ok, quick insert. Dr. Hixon had been my dentist since I was 8 years old. He had retired and Dr. Elder had taken all his patience. Back to the story.

Here’s where I start crying, “My tooth is KILLING me.” Really, I am sobbing here. Sweet Leslie says, “It will be ok. Can you be here by 9:15?” It’s 8:43 am and I am literally still in my pj’s looking like the cat just dragged me in and I live at least 40 minutes away and I need gas in the car, so of course I say, “Yes, I can be there.” We hang up.

I call her right back and sweet Leslie answers again, “Good morning! This is Dr. Elder’s office. How may I help you? This is Leslie.” Me once again sobbing, “Leslieeeee, this is Jayne Evans again. My husband and I are under-employed right now and I don’t know how we are going to pay for this.” Leslie, so graciously says, “Come on in and we will work something out. We want to see you before the weekend.”  “Ohhhh, thank you!,” I say.

I fly upstairs to wash my hair and change clothes. I don’t even bother with make up. It won’t make me look any less like Droopy Dog. Then I tell Dillon where I am going and out the door I go. I do stop to get gas and fly to get there ASAP. Made it at 9:30.

As I walked in a wave of relief washed over me. I told them who I was and the tears started flowing again. They were so kind in reassuring me that everything was going to be ok. Thankfully I didn’t have to wait long. You see, my tooth had been hurting me on Thursday, too, but not as bad. Thursday was Dillon’s cross-country region race, his last race of the year and I didn’t want to miss it. I had popped more ibuprofen on Thursday then I should have in the preceding 72 hours and on Friday I didn’t want to take any more. I was already feeling funny and I knew it was from too many ibuprofens. So, Friday I was bearing the pain. When I walked into the office, I was glad to see a beginning of the end.

Dr. Elder saw me, took x-rays and told me I would have to have an oral surgeon take it out. Of course my mind went straight to how were we gonna pay for this. But, I could not keep going like this either. Again, Leslie came to my rescue. She told me about CareCredit. It’s like a credit card for medical needs. Now, the last thing I need is a credit card, but this is only for medical stuff so I can’t just spend it on wants. And it was the way for me to make payments instead of having to pay it all at once, which there was no way we could do. Again, I broke down into tears. This people probably thought I was nuts! But, this time and really all the times before, I was crying because I was witnessing how gracious my Lord Jesus is by  working out details I had no solution for.

My day and adventure didn’t end there. It was only 10:15 in the morning. I’ll tell you the rest of the story tomorrow.

Father, thank you that you delight in every detail of my life.

Read: Psalm 37

Find A Penny…

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“He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins.” Luke 21:2

Have you ever heard the saying, “find a penny, pick it up, then all day you’ll have good luck?”

I don’t believe in luck. I trust in God. When I see a penny on the ground, I don’t just leave it there, I pick it up to remind me to trust in God. He seems to know when I need a reminder because I seem to find a penny at just the right moment.

Once when I was picking up Will from college I looked down and saw a penny. On closer inspection it was about, oh I don’t remember how many, but Will and I were there picking up lots  pennies. He had no problem saying he was a broke college student and every penny helps. We got, I think, a couple of dollars worth.

My Man and I have always saved our change. We have a different jar for pennies, dimes, and nickles.

We used these for postage and to wrap to put into savings. Right now we have $18.50 waiting to be taken to the bank. One year we saved over $500!

We do save the quarters too, but we keep them out of sight because they are too easy to spend. haha

Money is a tool meant to be managed well, and taken care of. God is the supplier of every penny we make, including the ones we find on the ground. So, go ahead and pick up that next penny you find on the ground. It’s God saying, “Trust me.”

Father, thank you that a penny on the ground can remind me to put my trust is you.

Read: Matthew 25: 14-30

10 Ways to Survive a Crisis

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“I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

There are so many people right now who are having to deal with some type of crisis, whether it be financial, an illness or physical limitation, being a single parent for what ever reason, or even losing the love of your life to divorce or death. Even knowing that the Bible says we will suffer, that doesn’t make it any easier and none of these are any fun to go through.

God has taught me these survival tips.

  1. Honey, Hold on to Him for dear life! Acknowledge your dependence on Him and trust Him alone! Proverbs 3:5-6 God has got this!!
  2. Put your hope in God and in His promises. If you don’t  know what those promises are start reading your Bible more carefully, seeking those promises.
  3. Pray!! Take everything to Him in prayer. Wear those knees of yours out!! Cry out to Him and seek His wisdom and direction. Ask Him to make you more godly during this time.
  4. Remember that God can solve your problem in an instant, but He is more concerned with your relationship with Him. Let Him teach you what you need to learn. He loves you more than you know.
  5. Give!!! Give with a cheerful heart because God has met all your needs. I’m not talking just money here. Give of your time and talents. Give because God gave His all for you.
  6. Serve. Serve Jesus and others. Put them above you and your needs and your problems won’t seem quite so big. Not big at all.
  7. Testify. Tell others how Jesus is working in your life today. Tell of the small need He met. Tell of the Bible verse He sent at just the right moment. Tell of the answered prayer request. Just tell!!
  8. Enjoy the simple pleasures of life. At my worst moment of my crisis I would not allow myself to enjoy the simple pleasure of picking wild flowers that grew in my yard. Now that is sad! God made those for me to enjoy. That was my loss.
  9. Find contentment in the “new normal.” No, it’s not what you are use too, but it is how it is now. Be thankful for what you do have. Things could always be worse. Things will get better.
  10. Rejoice in the Lord always. Again, I say rejoice. Learn the difference between joy and being happy. There is a huge difference.

Hope these helped!!

Father, Suffering is no fun. No fun at all! You warned us that we would suffer. But you also told us that You would never leave us or forsake us. I cling to that promise today.

Read: Psalm 113

This Thing Called Content

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“I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation.” Philippians 4:12

My devotional this morning was about a lady who is going through a very hard time with her husband being ill and the illness strapping them financially. One of her friends couldn’t understand her peace about the whole situation and why she didn’t complain more about not having more. The lady’s answer was that she had stop praying for God to improve their finances and help her be content with what they have.

Let me tell you, having been on the short end of the financial stick, this learning to be content thing ain’t easy. It’s hard to wear the same thing and watch other people buy new clothes. It’s hard to drive the same car and see all the new ones in the church parking lot. It’s hard to go home after church and make a sandwich while all your friends are going to the local restaurant. It’s hard to not be able to get the small extras that your kids ask for.

But what I was wondering is this; why do we have to be struggling financially to learn to be content. Didn’t Paul say he had to learn to be content whether in plenty or in want. The question is, have we learned to be content when we aren’t struggling financially? Are we willing to give up a want so that others can have a need? If we are making enough to pay all the bills and then some, what do we think about spending it on? They say if you want to know what your priorities are look at your checkbook. (By the way, learning to give is the first step in learning better money management and being financially free.)

Let me tell you, having been on the long end of this financial stick, this learning to be content thing ain’t easy. So many times I have gotten what I wanted and not even given a second thought to helping others. My attitude would be “but God, if I get that for those in need I won’t be able to get this for myself” (or better yet) “for the kids.” I said that with a totally whiny voice, of course.

God gave us the chance to learn to be content with plenty. We didn’t do so hot. Now He is giving us the chance to learn to be content in want. We’re not doing so hot here either, but we are learning. Learning does take practice. I am learning to remember to buy an extra can or two of food when I shop to share with our church’s food pantry. That might not seem like a lot, but God is more concerned with the attitude behind it. I could easily keep those cans for myself, but I remember there is always someone in worse shape than I’m in.

My challenge to you is this. Whether you are, right now, in plenty or in want learn to be content. “Godliness with contentment is great gain.” (1 Timothy 6:6)