Dear Future Self,
I hope you are doing well in 2020. It has been a short journey in my married life but the most important as far as I’m concerned. We have been debt free since November of 2007 (but of course you know this) and you had still better be debt free as you open this (threat included). Right now we are going through some financial adversity. I thank the Lord everyday that we learned the basics of personal finance from Dave Ramsey. If not we would have to resort to credit cards to cover many of our expenses during this time.
As you are reading this my hope is that you have not forgotten the most important thing in life. I hope that through your financial adversity you have learned to hug your beautiful wife a little harder and loved on your kids a little longer. I can’t wait to see how our lives are going to look in 2020. The steps that we have taken now will be so important when you open this letter. I don’t really have the patience for adversity at the moment. My hope is that we will see the end result of our hard work and self discipline by the time you open this letter.
More importantly than finances remember that it has been your relationship with Christ that has brought you to the point where you are today. You have been blessed beyond your knowledge and more importantly your family will be blessed through many generations because of the steps you have taken. Never lose sight of who sustains you and blesses your path. If you do let this letter be a reminder. You are NO ONE without Christ! Remember that your time line is not God’s. Your life will be a whole lot less frustrating when you realize that.
In the end, remember that communication is key. You will not win in life if you can’t learn to communicate in relationships. Your old self is going to be really disappointed if you have abandoned any of your top 3 pillars (God, Wife, and Family in that order). I have 3 instructions for you that you must do in the next week.
1. Open your bible and connect with Christ.
2. Take your wife on a date and do mention the budget ;).
3. Spend a full day with each of your children individually (Greyson 15, Ava 11, and TBD 10)
Do these 3 things amidst whatever victories or struggles may be going on at this point in your life. Never lose faith and never lose sight. See you on the flip side.
Yourself 10 Years Ago
P.S. Thanks Ninja for the idea. This is a really great way to reflect on the most important things in life. I encourage you to do this on paper or on your blog. Shoot me an email or a tweet with the link. I’m interested to read your letters to your future self.
I’ve been fairly busy lately and haven’t felt to inclined to blog much. I though I would keep this Friday Faith section going because it seems whenever I open the good book I smile on the inside.
And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality. Colossians 3:23-25 NKJV
Sometimes I wonder why I actually open up God’s word (today being one of those days). When I was looking for today’s passage in I opened my handy scripture reference text and looked under the section Things to Remember When. I scrolled down to the section which was titled Life is Unfair in the Workplace. And this was scripture noted. Talk about a punch in the face.
Work life is not always fair. What do you do when you are faced with an unfair situation? Do you bow down or do you do as the scripture says? All too often (me especially included) we bow down to the the pressure to find fairness in an unfair world. We tend to blame God for our unfortunate situations.
I think the key point is missed though. As in the scripture above, we tend to forget that we are not working for earthly gratification. Finding God’s will is our top priority. So if you are in an unfortunate situation at work remember that God is your ultimate audience. I needed this today as much as anyone.
Find this verse at Youversion.com
Here are a few Personal Finance blogs I follow. I suggest you follow them as well.
1. Punch Debt in the Face – The Ninja has some great illustrations and great insight into his own PF journey.
2. Christian Personal Finance – This a great blog for the faith based follower.
3. Budgets are Sexy – The title itself speaks volumes. J. Money knows his stuff.
4. Rich Christian, Poor Christian – The author of this blog is a stewardship pastor. He has some great insight for the church folk.
These are just a few and as usual I don’t always agree with everything they say so keep that in mind. Check them out and give them a follow on this Follow Friday Blog Edition.
If you like this blog try giving it a follow via RSS or Email.
Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring it to pass. Psalm 37:3-5 (NKJV)
I think the most important thing to draw from this passage is that it includes every situation. Some days we are all on top of the world and some days we are very low. Whether it be financial stress or relational problems there is an importance wherever you are in life.
The very first text says “Trust in the Lord and do good”. This is key. Above all else God must be trusted. We can not always see the end result of every situation. You have to trust, through the pain or the pleasure, God is using each segment of life as a teachable moment.
I know right now many of the readers of this blog are experiencing some sort of financial stress. God is saying to you that all you have to do is trust Him and He will give you the desires of your heart. This is key though. The desires of your heart are not always pure. So we sit around and wait for our own selfish desires. If you are calling on God to change your situation and nothing is happening you need to reexamine your heart. God will answer prayer in His time and for His glory.
How do you think this scripture is speaking to you today?
Are you working on your time line or His?
Tonight I led a new Financial Peace University group. For anyone that doesn’t know FPU is a 13 week course that teaches the savvy to the most destitute how to win financially. As we work through this course I’m going to be blogging all 13 weeks as a recap for my students and an introduction to the skeptics.
The first class subject was Super Saving. Obviously in any financial plan there needs to be a level of saving. FPU stresses the importance of making saving a priority. This is further magnified in explaining Baby Step #1 which is $1000 baby emergency fund in the bank. It is priority and must be done quickly. This will allow everyone to have a little money set aside for a rainy day while working through Baby Step #2.
My challenge tonight was to help facilitate a mental shift. I could tell that many people were daunted by the task of raising $1k to put their savings account. It seemed like a collective sigh of relief when the class was over ;). We had some great conversation about the different barriers to saving and concluded that money is not the problem. The problem is the person in the mirror. Once we get passed the person in the mirror we can really start gaining self control. We also discussed how life situations can easily become “emergencies” if we don’t plan for them. One example that I love is Christmas comes the same time every year. However, we always remember that around Thanksgiving time. All the sudden it becomes an emergency because 52 weeks is reduced to 4.
Sitting in the first class always reminds we when my wife and I attended FPU during our first year of marriage. When we attended 3 years ago we thought $1k in the bank was a huge hill to climb. We had around $36k in debt and could not really justify putting aside the baby emergency fund. However, we committed to the baby steps, worked extra jobs, and did nothing for a few months and were able to get our $1k in the bank. It felt so great. We had accomplished something together in our first year of marriage. For anyone that is married accomplishing things together doesn’t come often in the first few years :).
I am excited for the next 12 weeks. We had 26 people that had taken the first step in changing their family tree. The seed has been set. I believe that many lives are going to be changed. I can’t wait until next week which for our married couples will be intense. Relating With Money is always a tough session.