I do, I do; I DO want to be a Good Steward!

steward quote

Honestly, I have never been good with money – As a matter of fact I completely fail when it comes to saving money and using it for the “right” purposes – If I get the littlest of change, I spend it. The craziest thing about? The money that I so helplessly spent was either the light bill money or for some other bill that was “currently due” – I would spend it all, sometimes on a gorgeous pair of shoes that felt like I just “had” to have (as if the world was going to end, if I didn’t have them in my possession) I mean how many more shoes could a girl need – I already had a closet of 60 but one more wouldn’t hurt, so I convinced myself to think….

PAUSE/INTERMISSION: The testament that I am about to tell is “a true story” but then all the articles that the Lord allows me to write are, however; there are some things that are surface stories meaning they are very easy to write about and then you have those “core” stories that you don’t want anyone to know about, the stories that if you tell them; people will have a tendency to judge you and/or look at you sideways like they ain’t ever did anything out of the ordinary…well, this is that story….

I spent every dime, it was either wasted on unnecessary “fast food” – clothing, shoes, jewelry, other people and the list goes on and on; I would be the one at the end of the month looking for ways to pay a bill that I had the money for at the beginning of the month, I would also be the one at the end of the month wondering what my kids were going to eat – when I full well had enough money to buy enough groceries for at least two weeks until pay day. So what would I do? Take off work and go to the food bank just so we could have food to last until next payday…..sad, I know – Trust Me, I’ve beaten myself up many times for that one.

I would spend money on so-called friends – buying them gifts, knowing good and well I couldn’t afford it but because I wanted people to accept me; I felt like buying them gifts would surely put me first on their list as a “true friend” – I would always purchase the things that I wanted, really never paying attention to the things I needed until they started piling up against me. I took advantage many systems especially the bill payment systems; because I knew if I was late with a bill, I could make a payment arrangement to give me some wiggle room which only caused the bill to be higher the following month. Once, a friend of mine had turned me on to my local bank, at the time if you had at least $1.00 in your account – you could fill your tank up with gas, I have to tell you – I milked that to the max, more money in my pocket I thought, however the downside of that was when I got paid, I had to pay that money back and trust me $30.00 may not seem like a lot coming out of your check but for me it always happened at the most unfortunate times when something else was due and I was just shy of having the money to pay for; which went toward a gas credit that I could have easily paid for in advance.

Money
Money – The quicker it came in the quicker I spent out.

I can’t tell you how many countless times I misused money, the most hurtful experience of misusing money for me was not when I didn’t have the money to pay the bills, or when I needed food in the refrigerator, it wasn’t even when my children had a need and I couldn’t supply it – because I misused the money on my selfish wants and needs, It wasn’t how much I needed gas in the car & it wasn’t the countless mistakes of not cooking at home just to fill up on the drive-thru’ s all week long. The most hurtful part was – Out of all the money that God had blessed me with, I didn’t have enough for him. I would go to church feeling so guilty when the plate came around knowing that I had the money (tithes and offering) to place in the plate a week or two ago and spent it on decorating a house that no one ever visited; or shoes that I had just one too many pairs of, or clothes that I wanted to look so well in just to show people that I had it like that, jewelry that was in such excess in my cabinet that it was falling out the drawers – I neglected God, I mean I gave sometimes but it wasn’t consistent with my paycheck; as most of my giving was out of a guilty conscience…..

giving to God

When I was younger, I started working at the tender age of 15 to help my mama take care of the house, I never got a chance to do the things that I wanted to do with my money as it always had to go on a bill or for household purposes, I grew up with a single mom whom had to work multiple jobs just to put food on the table, so I vowed that when I got old enough to work that I would help her out no matter what and that is what I did.

However going to school and seeing girls with nice clothes, fresh hair-do’s and new shoes didn’t help the situation of working all summer and really not having anything to show for it but thrift shop clothes and shoes handed down from a cousin; while this was all that my mama could do and I knew she generally tried her best and I’m so grateful to her for that – I never really got the chance to spend my money on the things I wanted because it always went toward what was needed. As I grew older this trend continued of making sure mama had money to keep us afloat – she would suggest that I go and get my hair done or buy a new outfit and I would, but it was short lived as now I had responsibilities – A car and insurance payments to add to the bills that needed to be paid in mama’s house.

So as I grew older and moved out, I knew how to pay bills but didn’t necessarily want to do it as I felt like that was finally my time to splurge on the things that I always wanted, which again was short lived as well because “First came love, then came marriage – Then there I was with a baby carriage!” So more responsibilities were in tow but it didn’t help as my addiction with spending money only worsened as you read up top… As a cover up to my lucrative habit; I always thought of the days of not having money to spend as I wished and used that as an excuse to do the unnecessary things that I did.

While none of this was easy to say, I said it because the bible says “If we confess our sins, he’s just and righteous to forgive us of our sin and cleanse us of all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9) You see when people think or talk about addictions, the first thing they think of are the “BIG” sins as we call them like Sex, Drugs & Money but there are other sins that we tend to go through that we sort of sweep under the rug, first let me say that there is no such a thing as a Big or Little Sin – Sin is sin no matter how you look at it or view it. However God is calling for us to be Good Stewards over the things that he places in our possession like:

Our Resources

Our Time

Our Finances

Our Words

Our Relationships

If we’re not being a good steward over these things then we’re causing our path in God to shift, our direction is driven by the lust of the eye which knocks us completely off course in obeying God to the fullest.

We may go to church but if you’re not being a “full-time” steward then you’re walking in disobedience.

self_made_man Maybe you haven’t been the best steward with the money that God has given you and maybe just maybe you haven’t been the best listener in your relationship; it could be that your timing for some reason is always off, because you can never get anywhere on time; you might even exhaust your resources every month or it could be that your words are a little harsch when you’re speaking to someone….Well Guess What! We’ve all been there and while we’re all works in progress – Don’t forget that true change only happens when you face your addiction and/or issue head on and quit denying the fact that you don’t have a problem. Once I owned up to my responsibility of being wasteful with my money – I could finally let God in to fix those holes in my pocket. I’m on a better track now and improving daily as now when I get money I consult the Lord first and ask him to lead me to think wiser and do the right thing concerning it….

While the BIG stores are still calling my name and while I may feel tempted to accept the calling, I know that I have a responsibility not only to myself but to be a really good steward for God; it may not seem like the most popular thing to digest but it beats sinking in a hole every month and crying out to a merciful God for help whom will pull you out, BUT gives us all 5 senses to do better, think better, act better & give better…

tweety bird - halo

But What About Me?

little-boy-pouting

About 16yrs ago, a boyfriend in which I thought we were going to be together forever ended up proposing to someone else in our church (right in front of me), I have to tell you that balloon popped very loud in my face, A year of telling me that “the Lord” told him that I was his wife and how we would never part, ended up actually being someone else “whom I guess” the Lord also told him was his wife as well. Go Figure, the Lord is very shady if that’s how he works and maybe I need to reconsider my walk with him, so glad I know the “REAL” Jesus….Okay??

About a month of playing like we never had anything strong and tip toeing around people in church whom wanted to ask so many questions of why, what and how – a church meeting one night brought me and his now wife face to face; should I say something really mean and crazy to her to make her hurt as much as their then “secretive, behind closed doors” relationship hurt me? – But I was always the one whom wanted to be the bigger and better person, no matter what. She looked at me that night and said “I seen you in a vision, you were getting married – you had a white wedding dress on” – your time is coming soon! Seriously, I Thought – All these months and that’s the best you can come up with??

I looked at her and said Okay, Thanks…Needless to say, her vision was somewhat accurate as I did get married but it ended up being at the justice of peace, however as far as the “white dress” was concerned, there wasn’t one instead it was khaki’s and a denim top; to this day I still have yet to see a white flowing gown. While the marriage was something that I had always wanted and longed for, it was not meant for me as I rushed it and didn’t take the time to seek nor consider the Lord about it, I just jumped in – but the marriage that she ended up in (with my ex-boyfriend in tow) was actually meant for her because she was ready for it and only God truly knows what we actually need at a certain period of time in our lives and besides that’s what God had prepared for her, I said all of that to say sometimes things in life happen quicker for other people than they do for you; does this mean that it’s not meant for you? No – it just means it’s not your time yet; We have to be prepared mentally, spiritually, emotionally and physically for certain things to take place in our lives.

Have you ever had some  what about me moments?

About a year ago we had someone close to us write a book, got it published and did a book signing – as of today that book is still selling out. Well, I know someone whom has written two books with another one on the way – but can’t seem to find a publisher; but yet it happened for the other person so quickly….

About two weeks ago, I was asked to join a Facebook page; this group started about 2 weeks ago and already have almost 75,000 members – I’ve seen others whom have a FB page pretty much garnered to promote the same thing which is empowerment, encouragement and upliftment; their pages have been up since the beginning of last year and haven’t even reached 100 people yet and here we at the beginning of a new year…how does that happen?

Some people I know have had a blog page since earlier last year and just two people shy of 100 followers and here it is someone else has a blog that started around the same time and have over 1000 people. Makes you wonder, what am I doing wrong??

There are others whom have waited patiently for a wife and/or a husband – but yet; the right person still has not come along, while their friends and family members and random people they don’t know seem to be getting married every day, they are still playing the waiting patiently game, which turns into resentment and depression, what’s wrong with me one might ask..

hasn't happened yet..

There are many instances that happen in life that makes you think “But what about Me?

I came to the conclusion that “life happens” for people in different ways, in most cases it seems like someone is getting ahead of you when you were actually there first; most people tend to give up and/or throw in the towel because sometimes things aren’t happening on the timeline that they feel as though it should have happened. Don’t fret and don’t count yourself out of the race….

Kind of reminds me of the movie “The pursuit of Happyness” when Will Smith completed his test before anyone else in the class, once he got on the elevator, one of the other guys from the room joined him; the guy proceeded to ask what answer he put on the test for a particular question, when Will Smith’s character told him what the answer was, the guy hurried out of the elevator in an attempt to change it; quick answers didn’t yield a good result for him….

A lot of times in life the reason why things have not happened for us yet, is because we still have a couple of things to work out in our own life, we hurry through things expecting to get quick results and microwave answers only to find ourselves in the shuffle of playing the waiting game again and again, all because (if we tell the truth about it) we don’t want to take the time to put in the effort to make it really work for us, so when we see others succeeding in something that we feel like we should have already completed, we get upset – frustrated – even depressed to the point where we want to throw in the towel and give up. The true answers to most of our common issues are this:

  • A lot of us aren’t ready for marriage – because we still have things on the inside of us that have to be worked out first and until you get to the root of that situation to figure out what it is – you’ll forever be single.

  • That book isn’t coming together like we want because sometimes you have to invest in yourself first before others will attempt to do it, “You are your first Investment” – (this was my first blog post back in March 2015).

  • Just because a person has more people on their site than you have, does not mean the message is different, sometimes people like to go where there are crowds and crowds of people – because it makes them feel a part of something if everyone in the world is involved; but if they really look at the message – it’s all the same, some people just have different ways of doing it. Find your niche’ and make it work for you, leave the drawing to God – he’s much better at it than your or I ever will be.

So don’t get discouraged because you haven’t walked down the aisle yet, or maybe you have a business and it doesn’t seem to be doing as well as someone else that has the same business as you – Maybe you have an idea for something and don’t know how to get it off the ground, while someone else’s ideas seem to be shooting for the stars right now.

Everything happens in its own season and at its own timing – sometimes we just have to WAIT, but while you’re waiting for that 15min to shine – think about things you could be doing in the meantime to “spruce” up your own situation, dream and ambitions which take work – because nothing is going to be dropped in your hand or given to you; maybe some things but for the most part you’re going to have to put them into action.

If you elevate God in the process and become Faithful to what he has called you to do, whatever it may be (this includes waiting – sometimes God could have us in a waiting pattern – if you don’t do it sucpray, trust, waitcessfully, then you have to repeat the process) then and only then will you see overflow; things out of nowhere will start to take shape and that dream will start to take form. So this year instead of you saying “But what about Me?” Find yourself saying “Why not me! & get to work on creating the best you that you possibly can create because It generally starts with you; You just have to trust that everything else will follow….