I have been reminded recently of God's amazing provision in the seemingly little details of my life. 20 months ago I received "The Total Money Makeover" book by Dave Ramsey from my mom as a gift. Not super thrilled to receive it, I cautiously opened the book and started to read. Not far into it I realized I wouldn't be able to put the book back down. This gift ended up being worth more than I had ever anticipated. In the next 20 months, I made some major life changes like budgeting, using cash, cutting up credit cards, etc. and all these changes, in addition to extra sources of income God continued to put in front of me, allowed me to pay off all $31,000 of my debt (mostly school loans)!
During these 20 months I still faithfully tithed to the church and was even able to give to a number of situations that came up. The budget became the tool that didn't restrict me but allowed me to use my resources in the way I wanted to.
The best lessons I have learned, or was reminded of from this experience, is that the money we have is not our own. We are only stewards of His resources and blessings. Another lesson was the fact that when you are in debt you are essentially a slave to the lender. Lastly, living with a budget gives your money more muscle and allows for you to have discretion about what it gets used for.
I look forward to seeing what God will do in our church family as we speak to and lean in to this concept of generous living!