Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Here We Go Again...

The one time of year that it really pays to have very little income and three kids is tax time. It is like Christmas in February for our family. Thanks to the EIC and the Additional Child Tax Credit, it is usually nice chunk of change. I think it is the government’s way of saying, “I’m really sorry you have to try to live on what you make.” We actually feel pretty blessed because we try to live on as little of God’s money as possible and we have more than enough.

I believe strongly in having financial goals. Our short term goal, outside of giving, is to pay off our house sometime next year. That is a big step toward my long term goal of working for The Pursuit for free. (Last week I spent some time writing out a salary reduction plan over the next 35 years!) A big part of the house-payoff plan is to use our tax-time “gift” to put extra on the mortgage and then put a good amount in savings. After giving, mortgage reduction, and saving, we planned on spending a little of the money on ourselves, just for fun.

But here we go again. Giving at The Pursuit can't seem to get any momentum. Even though attendance continues to grow, giving is about 70% of what we were anticipating. We were already planning on giving a good percentage to God and suddenly it didn’t seem like it was enough. My flesh was frustrated. “Don’t we have a right to have a savings account? Don’t we have a right to spend something on ourselves?” And then in my spirit I thought about what is really the most important thing to me. My savings account? A new toy? No way! God has abundantly met our needs and I was reminded that we had decided a long time ago that the priority for our family is God and His work. We haven’t settled on a percentage, but we are excited to give again. Who can put a price tag on having a front-row seat to a movement of God? That is priceless.

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