Friday, August 3, 2007

Jesus Goes to the Sale Barn

God reminded me of something this week: following Jesus seldom makes me comfortable. For some reason Jesus likes to take the road less traveled. The road without Five Star accommodations or on/off ramps!! He likes the scenic route and camping along the way. Camping is not high on my list of things to do. And the scenic route often makes my stomach queasy.

Last fall we followed Jesus down a road to Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University. Compared to most of middle-class America we were in pretty good financial shape. No credit card debt. No car loan debt. We even had an emergency fund. Though we weren't carrying a lot of debt weight we weren't fit for the scenic road either. Jesus didn't give us an "Extreme Financial Makeover" but he did tone and slim us.

Specifically, in eleven months from start to finish, we will have worked off a Sewer Assessment bill (the city installed sewer pipes and we paid for the privilege of having the pipes buried in front of our home) and a home equity loan (we were naive when arranging our mortgage!). Neither of these endangered our financial security. In fact, we were comfortably making the monthly payments. But Jesus wasn't comfortable with us making those payments. He wants us fit to follow Him; not comfortable.

So, He toned our budget and gave us the discipline to live by the plan. All that toning resulted in a budget surplus (where had that money been going before?!). Then He started selling off cows. You know, as in He "owns the cattle on a thousand hills." First He sold a Holstein named "Whole Life Insurance." Then a Longhorn called "Federal & State Tax Refunds" provided a tidy sum. Finally, a Limousin tagged "Promotion & Raise" increased our budget surplus and monthly payment. Most recently we discovered we own stock, as in Stock Market, not Livestock. Hee! Hee! We haven't decided exactly what to do with this Jersey, yet. We may "milk" a college savings account, or three, out of her. Ha! Ha! I'm on a roll! Sorry, couldn't help myself.

Seriously, this road to being debt free has not always been comfortable; like when we've spent all of our eating out money for the month and the last thing I want to do is cook. But I am comfortable being financially trim and toned. And I'm learning to be comfortable following Jesus because I know He always has my best in mind.

Now that this road feels comfortable, I'm wondering what's around the turn up ahead. A turn that requires us to be financially fit. I already have an idea of what's in front of us. In fact, this week I registered for a meeting on August 7. I even have a babysitter so we can both attend the meeting! If Jesus is taking us down the road I think we're on, oh Baby! is it going to be expensive and life changing.

Two of the links are to articles that got me thinking this week. They also give a hint at our mystery meeting.


Tech Daddy said...

We are indeed blessed.

Sean and Lendy said... looks like you are in for an amazing ride. I will tell you from experience that the foster/adopt world is crazy and wild but so amazing. I don't know if you have talked to your kids about the idea yet but if you haven't there is a great book that you can use to explain the idea of adoption to them. It is a Golden Book called Blessing From Above. It explains adoption so well and it is written by a Christian. We'll be praying for you guys!

Marc and Charity said...

Wow, praying for y'all. Keep us updated.

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