I've wanted to write this for so long... Thanks to everyone who have bold enough to write about their own financial sucess' and failures! Thank you Crystal at MSM!
First let me say thank you to everyone who has kept our family in prayer. Things are getting better in Younde(?), Cameroon, Africa. They did have a hairy weekend.My cousin sent word to my Auntie that there hadn't been any more riots, but that the military is out in full force with m-16's. We haven't heard about the orphanage. The embassy still requests that ex- pats stay in their homes. Gas went over $5 this past week. The city survives on the taxi!
Financially it was an overwhelming month........I've had a hard time trusting that the Lord would provide. I will say that we did not tithe regularly in the past year in a 1/2. We've always tithed. Even before we were married and on our own. The major reason was that we had $400 in doctors payments monthly for that time and we had come out of a situation were we saw the church using the money for VERY inappropriate things, when we could barely get by. I also was a bit disillusioned. Somehow over the years I had gotten it in to my head that if we didn't tithe the Lord would hate me or not love me. Crazy, I know.(My husband did not have this problem)
So what we found: We still ended up with a small debt (somehow we create annually). The Lord still LOVES me and didn't shun us.He still listened to me and didn't leave me! But that it has now a rekindled a desire in both my husband's and my heart to give what is the Lord's and as much more a we possibly can! Our family thinks we're crazy.....but when has that been any different! Actually the Lord showed us so much this past year and I think not giving a set 10% helped us to see what He is trying to show us!I'm not recommending that everyone do this. This what happened to us due to OUR created circumstances.
So for Feb.we: *Tithed fully.
*Made our last major doctor payment.
*Started using cash for everything (actually Jan) instead of checks or debit.
*Taking our budget down to zero at the beginning of every budget.
*Having a budget meeting.(we hadn't done this in years and I felt I was all alone and in charge...I hated that feeling!)
*Put our house up For Sale (we've become house poor due to hurricane ins. and taxes rising drastically- about $530 a month!)So the plan is to sell. Fully fund our emergency fund and by another house outright or have a small 15yr. mort.
*Used our entire emergency fund on a infection and re-root canal.Still
need another $660. But the Lord is working it out!
*Cut out our 2 dates nights a month ($50)
*Figuring out how to refund our $1000 E.F.
****Crazy as it is we have had about $1000 E.F. for most of our marriage, but when a situation would arise we would put it on a the credit card instead of using the fund. The cash somehow made us feel secure while incurring debt???HUH??? So when my husband arrived at the dental office with cash in hand to pay for my pain it was like a huge ceremony. I'm pretty sure the office manager thought we were crazy! We counted out over a $1000 twice. I think she thought we were both on Vicadine! We took LarryBurket when we were first married, but for some reason we never learned how to save for "normal emergencies" so when they arose we put them on THE CARD. Then we would pay it off with our income tax. This year is totally different!
So the Lord has been faithful as ever. Praise Him for his mercies and blessings!