Week 4 (Part B) - Honesty and Counsel
This week forced me to take a very long hard look at my mindset towards what I admit and will share about my personal finances and what is really happening. Although my name Allison means "truthful one" and I do feel sometimes I am honest to fault; this week's teachings and ponderings on the topic of honesty made clear, there was some areas I saw okay to paint gray. There really is no legal or honest gray areas with regards to money, especially if those finances are shared. This week also challenged my filing system (or lack there of) and how pride had (and probably still does) hinder my seeking and accepting counsel.
Let's evaluate each area more closely ...
Filing -- we'll start with an easy one
Here is my filing system...
Perhaps ... I have some work to do!!
Staying within my budget - and being honest with what I need to make this a workable system. I will be purchasing some accordion files and digging in the basement for my box of manila folders to create a system that mimics our tracking and tax categories. We looked at an electronic filing system but at $350 minimum, we opted for the old fashion filing and data entry method. The sad thing - is I KNOW what to do. Every January I say this will be my year - and time the next January rolls around and it is time to organize papers for taxes .. THIS IS what I allowed my filing system to deteriorate to!
While I am super honest with Uncle Sam. I am NOT that way with my husband, at least when it comes to spending. Our marriage is on seriously firm ground everyone but in this area. I did not want to be told no, so I never asked. He trusted me and never asked - and I just went upon my merry way. Spending. A Lot. If I am honest now, it hurts to see where that brought us, and to know I have nothing really to show for all I spent. It was consumables: clothes, CDs, DVDs, hair and nails, overnights, eating in restaurants. Even the bigger items like cars and furniture - wear out or are replaced. I have been very generous with our belongs - which I am hoping will leave me feeling better about myself after NEXT week's lesson, but for now I am heavy of heart. "Don't do anything from selfish ambition," Philippians 2:2 Ouch, St. Paul .... ouch!
One of the bible verses to ponder was Proverbs 20:7, "The godly walk with integrity; blessed are their children who follow them." Conversely -- a dishonest mother should not be surprised when she discovers her sons have been hiding things from her. It was not until I sat with this verse in contemplation did I realize what my behavior had taught them. Those seemingly innocent times I would say, don't let Daddy see that new toy; or don't tell Daddy we went to McDonald's (again). I did indeed reap what I had sown. Thank Heavens - it is the same God that also said, "SEE I make all things new!"
If you do not ask permission or discuss what you will spend to avoid being told no- you certainly will not be the type of person who will seek counsel. First, I never felt I had someone to come to for counsel on financial matters - especially not when we were young and newly married anyway. The Beans recommend seeking counsel from 3 main sources:
Can I just share one more thing...
This is my App (available on Android and iTunes).
The Basic Idea ...take the words Jesus spoken in the Gospels and create daily (shareable on social media) reflections around each one. The idea came to me in Adoration. I sat with it and prayed with it for over a year before stepping out in faith to make it happen.
I found a developer to work with - and it was expensive. However, not only did crowd-funding help finance some of it but also the idea was to launch this as a series. Each additional app would cost considerable less, making this initial investment worthwhile. The next is to be Words with Mary, which for the record is in BETA. It sadly has been for a while as I await on the developer to add my edits and then launch it- but that's another issue.
So what went wrong ... I brought this to the Lord and prayed. I sat with it in prayer with the scriptures. I waited for what I felt was God opening doors with the right people to make it happen. Yet, this project failed miserably. Why?? I believe it is because I failed to heed the third component to the Bean's advice - SEEK COUNSEL from godly people. "The words of good people are wise, and they are always fair. They keep the law of their god in their hearts and never depart from it. " (Psalm 37:30-31).
The counsel of godly people - like my husband, my Spiritual Director, even our financial adviser and accountant who is a very faith-filled young man. I was convinced it was a mission from God - that doesn't mean it wasn't, it just might have still not been the right time or order of progression. Maybe I needed someone to say RAISE THE MONEY first, then move ahead, not JUMP BOTH feet and then beg others to save you!! Bottom Line: I did not want to hear no. SO I never asked. See a pattern here!
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