Thursday, May 22, 2014

Just Doing It: Giving and Saving

"There is one who scatters, and yet increases all the more, and there is one who withholds what is justly due, and yet it results only in want. The generous man will be prosperous, and he who waters will himself be watered."   ... Proverbs 11:24,25


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Last night I bought a chair.




Was it used? Cheap? From a yard sale? Salvation Army?

No. It was brand new. Twenty-five percent off and I used a coupon code for an extra $5 off, plus, shipping was free. I'd been watching that chair. I've wanted a real, non-wicker chair (which stays on our porch most of the year) for my upstairs room for nearly 3 years and I couldn't find the right one, used, not even one I could slipcover. It's probably the first new chair I've ever bought for myself. Tom said that was fine and I told him it was just a pittance compared to what I saved on our groceries last year.

I've spent money more easily lately--because we have money now? Not really. It's more because we finally got smart (took 3 decades, sigh) and saved-up 10 months' worth of paychecks. We built that cushion, so now we can spend money with a clearer conscience. We could have done that ages ago (or at least some of that), but we got stupid presumptuous and thought, "Oh, Tom will never get laid-off. God wouldn't let that happen."

Huh. Well, as you know, it did happen back in August of 2010. And although, when it happened, all our bills were paid, we had just one month's worth of savings leftover. Just one sorry month's worth. But God came through (and the story is in this blog) and when we, in 2012 got down to $200, it's like we began getting money from The Heavenly Bank of Reaping What You've Sown. Money came from the strangest places!

Then Tom got another job, then another, and let me tell you--we had two new goals. 1.) To give more money away than we'd done in previous years (part of true religion is giving to the needy...James 1:27) and 2.) To quickly save-up at least 8 months' worth of paycheck amounts.

We so didn't want God to have to stretch His mercy toward us again. He's good that way, yes! But I feel bad because we made Him do that unnecessarily, for we could have saved up money earlier for a possible lay-off, yet we didn't. 

Oh, I don't feel condemned, just wiser. Already God has blessed this new wisdom: with money saved up, I spend my dollars with a freer, happier head.

Why share this? So to encourage those of you having rough times financially. Please do hang in there and keep (or begin) making financial decisions the way God advises us in the Bible. Give to others. Sow cheerfully. Reap. And remember: things can change for the good suddenly and become better than ever before! For God can make a way where there is none.

And to the more financially secure? The same, but also obey those godly nudges to put money aside now for possible future rainy days. You'll never, ever regret doing so.


This is an older photo and I've tweaked some things since then.



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Proverbs 21:26
"…the righteous gives and does not hold back."


Proverbs 28:27 
"He who gives to the poor will never want, but he who shuts his eyes will have many curses."    (Very sobering, that one!)



"Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the Lord Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it."   ... Malachi 3:10


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5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Looks like a good chair that will last a good while and it matches so nicely your other colors!! Enjoy!!
Elizabeth in WA

Deborah Raney said...

We went through a layoff in 2009, Debra. It was one of the hardest things I've ever been through. But it was also one of the times I grew most spiritually. We still struggle because my husband chose to start his own business. He's never been happier, and that makes me happy. But money is tight. Yet, I wouldn't go back for anything in the world. It's been amazing to see how God has provided. And how He's been with us every step of the way. And I've worried less in these last couple of years than all the years of plenty put together. I hope I NEVER forget that lesson: He will always take care of His people.

I love the chair! My sister has dining room drapes from that same fabric and it's even prettier in person. It will look perfect in your room! Enjoy! (And be sure to show us a photo when it comes!)

Tracy Hathcock said...

Inspirational!

Pam said...

There's a time to save, a time to spend and a time to give away...that's wisdom! Thanks for sharing your and Tom's story with us. What a sweet chair! Love the floral/bird pattern.

Debra said...

A special thanks to those of you who like the new chair I'll be receiving!

And Deb--thanks so much for sharing your story with us here. I'm trying to always remember what I learned during those lean times! (And your sister's curtains must look so cute!

Thanks again, Everyone... Blessings, Debra