Hello Everybody! I posted a picture on Instagram earlier this evening that received the comment, "Aaaaannnnd she's back! Good to see you're still saving money." This is referring to our returning from our holiday in Ohio to visit my family the past three weeks and, jokingly, that I haven't thrown the towel on saving money... at least, that's the way I read it. I know this person personally and am very sure this person meant it in a loving way, so I replied, "Yep, we're back! Always trying to save money... and motivate others to save money along with me."
I continued to clean up the kitchen that I started before feeling the urge to post the photo, then thought, "that's not really what I wanted to say!" So, I corrected myself, "*correction* I desire to be a good steward of "my" money and inspire others to do so too." - This is the main purpose for my blog! To inspire YOU to be a good steward of "your" money by being a mentor, of sorts.
My aim is not necessarily to teach you all I know... because I don't know "all" nor do I necessarily know how to teach, but my desire is to let you know that there is someone else out there who isn't doing what society or the world in "Christianese" is doing; someone else who avoids debt, someone else who is making difficult decisions, someone else who really and truly considers where every penny goes by budgeting and planning, someone else who "lives like no one else, so later I can LIVE AND GIVE like no one else" (quote courtesy of Dave Ramsey). I desire to inspire others. If I don't inspire you, that's alright... no hurt feelings here! I won't be hurt if you don't read my blogs or following Finding the Pennies on Facebook or Instagram. However, I know that I have inspired a few of you out there already and that's fantastic! My hope is to inspire many more readers in the world so we can navigate life together.
The photo of the leftovers we had for supper this evening that I posted to Instagram that prompted this blog post.
Bear with me, I'm working my way backward on my corrected quote above: "I desire to be a good steward of "my" money and inspire others to do so, too." "And"... yep, this one word binds the two desires I have... I desire to be a good steward of "my" money AND I desire to inspire you. I don't want to merely be a good steward of my money, but I want to to also share my thoughts and tips... even if it's a picture of our leftovers from tonight's meal that will be our lunches for tomorrow. If you think, that's weird... I AM weird and am 100% okay with that! I want to share how I take small (and sometimes big) changes in my life - remember the subtitle on the FTP homepage is "Trusting God with the Small Change"... small changes to make small change that ADDS UP to BIG money-saving mindset change".
Ok, let's back up again on that comment: "I desire to be a good steward of "my" money and inspire others to do so, too." - "'My' money." My money is not really my money at all. It's God's money.
Of David. A psalm.
1 The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it,
the world, and all who live in it.
We often think it's "my" money because I've earned it. I've worked hard for it. I've deserve it. Me... me... me... Well, not according to Scripture. EVERYTHING on the earth belongs to the Lord. You may be wondering, "if EVERYTHING belongs to the Lord, then why do I even have money?!" You have money because the Lord has blessed you with it; he has given it to you.
17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
EVERY good and perfect gift has been given to you. It isn't your doing. It isn't in your might. It wasn't due to your efforts...*gulp*... With that in mind... let's quickly take another step backwards and look at "to be a good steward". Since money doesn't belong to me, but rather it has been given to me, I truly desire to take the best care of that money, or to be a good steward. "But Lauren... when I think of the word 'steward' I think of someone managing a house or taking care of a group of people." Yep, it's exactly that... taking good care. A steward does, to their best knowledge, what they feel is best for that thing they are taking care of. "Stewardship" is taking dedicated care of something.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines "stewardship" as: the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one's care. That something is money, in this case, and the understood "has been" before "entrusted" points to God's entrusting of money to us. We have the responsibility to carefully manage HIS money. I consider myself to be more than a "saver". While I do enjoy saving money, both in terms of not spending too much and also saving money for the future, I honestly want to care for money that God has given our family to the best of my ability. I do this by making smart decisions before I spend, we plan and stick to a budget, we live pretty frugally and make the most of what we have and not wasting what I do have (an area I want to learn more about), we don't take on debt and pay back any debt that we may owe (like our mortgage) as quickly as possible, we invest and save for the future and we tithe and give to others. I believe this is what is meant by being a good steward of money, though stewardship can also relate to time, talents, family and other possessions.
How am I desiring to inspire you? By writing posts about lessons learned, by explaining the thoughts I have or "rules" I live by, by posting what may seem like completely silly or insignificant posts about leftovers or the like. I may save money and thoroughly enjoy doing so... but more important to me is that I am a good steward of the blessings God has entrusted to me... for His glory.