By Kristine John
Throughout my married life, I have spent a considerable amount time feeling as if our family was financially poor.
There never seems to be quite enough money to provide for all that I feel that we need.
Two years ago, for the first time in our marriage, we started budgeting.
We reached a point that was embarrassing to be asking our parents for help when we had overextended ourselves financially, and we finally realized that it was within our control to fix this problem.
We have effectively paid off about half of our consumer debt within the past 2 years, and feel that we have a much better grasp on our finances and how to move forward rather than bury ourselves in needless spending.
Budgeting has helped us a great deal, not only financially, but spiritually as well.
I hadn't ever considered that buying outside of our means was a dishonest act...but ultimately it is, as we tell ourselves that soon we will have enough to afford not only all that we have, but also a little bit more.
It felt liberating, spiritually to say, "That's not in the budget." and have people respect that answer.
It was embarrassing to me at first to admit we didn't have money for things, but now my mindset and heart have changed enough that I'm not embarrassed anymore.
It is a huge blessing to see that as we are wise stewards, the Lord will help us in ways we were not prepared to see previously.
This week I visited a home where there was true need.
The cupboards were literally bare, the home little more than a shack.
I came away with a gift.
A gift that many others have received before me, but somehow I had neglected to receive in the past.
The gift of a paradigm shift.
A shift to the understanding that we never have been truly poor.
We have always been able to provide for our needs, as well as many of our wants.
Our lack of financial understanding has affected our lives, but we have never really been in need of the comforts of the earth.
At this season of Thanksgiving, I give thanks for all that I have.
It is far more than I ever understood it to be.
May each of us have our eyes opened to the blessings that surround us daily.
May we generously give to those around us, whether it be in time, talent, or money, and may we be able to impart our understanding of our blessings to those whom we love.