A Letter To Myself

This idea was spawned from Ninja over at Punch Debt in the Face. I hope to write this and put it in an envelope and open it in 10 years.

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.

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Friday Faith

Trust in the Lord and do good;

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?

Do You have a Bible on Your Phone?

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Man in the Mirror (Part 2)

Previously I talked about the need to please and the need to feel accepted. Both of these needs, if not handled correctly, can be devastating to your personal and financial well being. There is hope though. Your hope is you. It’s that easy. Here are a few recommendations for recognizing your self worth.

1. Find Your Strengths
Do not pass go, do not collect $200 until you can pin point and understand your strengths. I personally used the Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath. This is a great resource to understand your uniqueness and how you can leverage your strengths to achieve and exceed your goals.

2. Leverage the Power of Positive Thinking
Once you have discovered your strengths begin to surround yourself with a community of positivity. I personally suggest a church community. Norman Vincent Peale suggested reciting Philippians 4:13 to yourself over and over in his book The Power of Positive Thinking. “I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me, I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me”. This is a great starting point for you who may feel hopeless and need a quick fix.

3. Seek Counsel
My final suggestion is to seek outside counsel. I am a true believer in seeking a non-biased opinion of what you could be doing better. Your church pastor is always a great starting point. They have many resources to get you started and then launch you into a counsel that is more tailored towards your specific needs. Proverbs 15:22 says it best, “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed”.

Are you ready and willing?

What is holding you back?

Resources:

Confessions of a People-Pleaser by Anna Light (annalightministries.com)
Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale (Overstock.com)
Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath (Amazon.com)
YouVersion.com

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Man in the Mirror (Part 1)


Why can’t we get past ourselves? Why do our selfish desires ultimately lead to our demise? There are many psychological behaviors that can lead to many destructiveness with money. In my first post I will explore the problems. The 2 areas that I believe I struggle in the most are:

1. The Need to Please

I ultimately believe that a person has to please others because they deeply yearn for others acceptance. It is through this need of acceptance that we will display various behaviors that we never expect and don’t realize until the actions have already occurred. During extreme needs to please we buy stuff that we can’t afford to please people we don’t even like. Our whole reality takes on a form of a needy child that has never known love. Which leads to the next example.

2. The Need to Feel Accepted

Whether it was being the last picked during basketball (me) or not wearing the right kinds of jeans (you know the ones with all the drawings on the butt). We feel left out. We want to gain acceptance from worldly items. We go out and buy expensive clothes so that we can keep up with the ladies at church. Guys buy toys that they can show off to their buddies. In reality, we just want to have the stage for a few minutes. We want to be talked about for awhile.

And yet in the background we wreck our families. We destroy our homes. We lose the respect that we need the most; our kids and spouse. It doesn’t have to end like that though. Hope is attainable. Your life can be meaningful. You can be happy without worldly possession. You don’t have to die by the sins of the father. I will tackle the steps you must take to find your yourself in my next post and how gaining your identity will help you win with your finances.

Do you struggle with the need to be accepted and please others?

Do you know someone that does?

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