The other day it occurred to me that I've never really felt in control of my finances this whole time I've been working for myself. The fault in my thought process has been that I "earn" the money so why should I have to "manage" my money. However, I've been blessed with a wife who is very detail oriented when it comes to numbers. But at the same time I've developed a crutch expecting her to handle all things money related. I'm not sure if I would call it being lazy so much as I would a lack of care about money. But am I a man or a boy? A boy does not yet know the pressures of life and lives in oblivious bliss. A man, a God fearing man no less, faces the stresses of this world head on with much patience, prayer and practice at the helm. So last time I looked in the mirror I saw a man, dammit! Time to step up and step in to my role as a better husband, father and son by being a better steward.
Not a Healthy Place to Be
I've stood under this dark cloud of uncertainty about where my money is going for so long that I am tired of feeling cold and wet. I'm ready to run inside and sit by the warmth and light of the fire. I want to rule our finances. I want to take back the peace that God intends for me to have in this area of life. Like all things, our finances (our provision) is from The Lord. I wholeheartedly believe that. Why? Because I've seen it play out again and again in my journey over the past two years. He has proven His faithfulness even when I am not. So then why would I continue on trying to hide myself, and my money, from Him? But this area, sadly, I feel is really comfortable to live in. It takes a lot less work to live with my head in the clouds than it does to live in the real world. And therein lies the clues to knowing we need to look for higher ground — that feeling of being comfortable.
Knowing Your Weakness
Admitting you aren't strong isn't something any man likes to do. We have a lot of pride and we take a lot of pride in our work. For me, I've prided myself on facing the unknown of working for myself and rising to that challenge. It has at once both proven to deepen my walk with God and expose my weakest areas. And I'm learning to be okay with that... I think. But just admitting you have a weakness is only half the battle. Taking this new information about yourself and putting together a plan of action is tough stuff. I feel like my wife and I have been talking for years now about getting on a budget and sticking to it. We've tried the envelope system, we've tried reading books, but nothing has really stuck. And I can't help like feeling it's mostly my fault. Not taking the lead when I should. Dropping the ball when I shouldn't. But one thing as of late has become more apparent — you can't do this alone, even as a couple.
On Letting Go
I'm learning how difficultly awesome it is to loosen the grip I've had around my life and business. A grip that's told me, and my family, that I can do it all on my own. But that couldn't be further from the truth. Sure, starting out on my own it was shaky ground and I felt hiring people to help me with financial stuff was a bit overkill. But within the past year it's really begun to stir in my heart that in order to build something bigger than myself I need to learn to let go of control and trust people. Boom! So how then am I moving forward? I've begun a conversation with a friend of mine who really enjoys spreadsheets and keeping track of money. We are planning to work together come the new year and I couldn't be more excited. I've signed up for a new budgeting app, YNAB, and am in the process of establishing new habits to help make it a part of our daily lives.
This adjustment, these steps I'm taking now, I feel are somehow tied to the bigger picture of my families financial peace and the beautiful story God is writing for us. I would love to hear your thoughts. How has God been leading you to manage your money better? In what ways do you find it difficult? What ways have you experienced growth around this idea of letting go control? Thanks for reading. Keep up the good work.