Are you content?
Before you answer let me share with you the "three elements to the secret of contentment" outlined in Navigating Your Finances God's Way (Jon & Evelyn Bean, Compass Catholic Ministries).
Ok, now you can answer... are you content?
My honest response -- kinda! I am kind of content at least when it comes to our possessions especially our home. I love my home, it is small (aka easy to keep clean not that I always do), the location is fabulous (minutes from Dunkin Donuts), and it has afforded us an opportunity to have me home with the children for the past 20 years. It has housed a daycare and later a preschool program; it is now where I operate the ministry and host my radio show. The close proximity of rooms and limited common areas, I believe helped foster a closer bond between each of us as a family. It has even provided a very cozy location for Monday night bible study off and on for almost ten years now! Would I like a 'fancier' house - sometimes I think about that, but honestly not much. The thought of packing up this one definitely helps keep me content.
My discontent comes from the fears associated with the maintenance, repairs and running of this home. We need a new roof and furnace, um badly. Our bathroom repairs are unfinished - we lack the workmanship skills to tackle the projects our budget forces us to undertake. So, it is functional but not pretty! Our rugs are aging and the driveway is cracked. While I am content here, I would be happier with the means to keep this place in tip-top shape. So basically my contentment is sprinkled with some anxiety!! When I think about these issues the lack of funds causes my stomach to knot, hands to tingle and heart to pound.
This week's lesson was all about Crisis & Perspective. It was about preparing for future storms - although I am presently clinging to the cross in the midst of a financial hurricane. The preparations I failed to make before can be mitigated by actions now; both in my heart by learning to trust God and be at peace with knowing HE is in control and also in taking a deeper look at my spending and saving habits.
Tweaking the Plan ...
At the end of Lesson 8; we are asked to take another look at our income and spending to consider where we might tweak the plan to continue (in our case) to bail out and right the ship. Here are some specific areas of spending that Kevin and I are looking at this week - some we just have NO idea what is spent and others we are well aware that the expense does not fit our current budget:
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