“giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,” Ephesians 5:20.
Anthony and I filed our taxes over the weekend and ended up owing almost $200 (we kept pressing the “explain this” icon on Turbo Tax, but the explanation never seemed to be complete). We were disappointed, to say the least. I think I cried. It once again just felt like we had been shoved backwards after taking many small steps forward. The money we ended up not spending in February was going to fill up our Beginner Emergency Fund. Now it would cover the amount we owe.
Sunday morning, we studied through the middle-ish of Ephesians, the above verse included – and I knew that even with $200 owed to the government, there is always something to be thankful for. The “everything” part was still a little elusive.
Fast forward to this evening, just a few hours ago.
We sat down together for our March Budget Meeting with the mindset of No Fun March. Besides paying off our owed tax money, the first three paychecks we apply for March are smaller than normal because one to days of pay are nonexistent in February. So we cleared out February’s items in EveryDollar and the amount still left to be budgeted exceeded $300. (Keep in mind that March is Car Registration Month for Mozzie, Auto and Renters insurance went up – on top of an extra payment to insurance because of the transition period between getting the Mazda and getting rid of the Taurus). And we had purposely decided not to spend money on too many extra items because getting $1,000 in the Emergency Fund is our first priority right now. (Our non-negotiables this month: boxers for Anthony and colored ink for the printer).
Even after our usual walk-thru of the house, we still came back to the table with nothing necessary needed. So, we adjusted Gas and added money to Special Occasions (for my birthday). But in the end we did what we consider to be fun: $208.17 was assigned to the Emergency Fund and $46.29 was added to the credit card payment (on top of $77).
GUYS! Do you realize what this means??
Our Beginner Emergency Fund – which should really be renamed Peace Fund – will be full for the first time since September! AND the best part: the credit card will be UNDER $400. Three Hundred Fifty-two Dollars and Something Cents to be exact. The credit card will cease to exist in JUNE!
The “everything”part of Ephesians 5:20 was just defined.
“God is so weird!” I exclaimed as I tried to process what we would be able to accomplish financially this month. “In the best way.”
I don’t know if it that was a spiritually accurate thing or a very Christian thing for me to say that. But I did. And, who knows, maybe He laughed over it. What I do know is this:
“giving thanks always and for everything TO GOD the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,” (emphasis added).
It’s not that God leaves and comes back when He feels like it. He’s not some big meanie who likes to watch Anthony and I struggle. It didn’t make Him happy that I cried over owing money. God is always with us. Always. Through the big and the small. It’s (obviously) not ideal to owe money when filing taxes, but he used March’s Budget Meeting to remind us to be thankful and He can do everything. We can accomplish everything we set out to because He is gives us the strength to carry on, to push forward, to take the next small step.
Tonight is just one of the moments that Ant and I will be able to look back on in the small things, when Life is hard and it feels like we’re spinning our wheels. Tonight will forever be a reminder that it is God who takes care of us.
I’ll leave you with a quote from a friend of ours:
“Faith is all around us. God (practically) demands it of us.” – Phil C.
Even when we owe $200. Even when it feels like we’re going backwards. Even in the same routine of work and school and making ends meet. There’s always something to be thankful for. I trust God.