Wednesday, December 24, 2008


So I am the daughter of an accountant. That probably doesn't really explain anything but I pretend that's the reason I am obsessed with money. Or rather with the control of it.

I wasn't always this way.

We used to not really have a lot of money and we just spent it as it came. That was until we had to pawn a wedding ring to pay for medicine because the next paycheck had not arrived yet (a story for another time). Since then I have been a budgeting queen. I have to know where all the money goes - down to the penny.

I thought I was doing pretty good. We were able to start saving and we had what we needed. Then we started making a little bit more money and I was able to spend on more than just needs.

It was nice.

But I didn't realize how much money controlled my life until it all went away. We had almost 3 months with no income.

Talk about an awakening.

But the awakening was not so much the lack of money; it was the freedom that I felt.

I had never realized how much money was suffocating me. Not having it was almost like being able to breathe again. I didn't have to worry about where my money was being spent or how I wanted to spend it, because there was none.

I told myself then, that I never wanted money to take over my life again.

Well, now we have some money again. Not as much as we used to, but some money. I have to be wise about how to spend it. But I am trying hard not to let it take over my life.

I realize that everything I've been given comes from God anyway. And being a good steward over my money does not mean being miserly.

The reason I have been thinking about this is because we are the recipients of the '12 days of Christmas'. It has been so exciting for the kids each night to hear a knock at the door and see what has been left for us.

It has been even more humbling for me to see how generous our "secret friends" are. It amazes me that they would spend so much money on us. So generous.

Now, I believe that I am a generous person . . . in some things. I give freely of my time and my talents. But when it comes to money, not so much. I have done the '12 days' for others before. I was not so generous.

I realize that being generous does not mean overdoing it (going into debt). But I do not want money to be the controlling factor in the decisions that I make in life. Its said that the "love of money is the root of all evil". I think that obsessing over it like I tend to is not far off that same path.

I am happy for the lessons that I am being taught now. Thank goodness that I have examples to help show me the right way.

Thank you secret friends.

Saturday, December 6, 2008


Does anyone else ever feel like they just haven't "arrived" yet.

I look around at my high school friends, college roommates, family, etc. and they all look like they have it completely together. They seem settled, happy. They seem to have a real life.

But then I look at my own life and wonder why am I so late doing everything? My life seems so far behind where everyone else is.

I guess it's a matter of expectations. What does "arrived" look like to me?

Unfortunately, I'm probably mostly thinking of material things. The nice house, the nice decor (not things taped to walls), a steady job, the right kind of toys, the money.

But I also know what really matters.

 Its the question: have I "arrived" spiritually? Am I where I should be now?

When I think about how much I have learned and grown in the past few years I definitely see improvement.

In some ways I will never really "arrive" spiritually because its the journey that counts.

And I can't do it on my own anyway.

Luckily, I have a lot of really good examples of people "arriving": high school friends, college roommates, family, etc.

Its always good for me to remember these things and know that I'm doing ok, even if it may not look that way with my own "material" eyes.

And to make sure that I look at others this way as well.

Because hopefully someday we will all "arrive" at the same place anyway.


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