It’s All About the Money…Right?

The world has taught me that it really is all about the money. I mean if you want to be happy you have to have the nicest car, biggest house, and own designer clothes. You will never have enough “stuff” and because of this you will always want more. If you get a raise it’s nice at the time, but it won’t be long until that is no longer enough money for you and you want more. This is the mindset that the world gives us. I have a newsflash. NONE OF THIS IS TRUE.

We’ll-realize-money-isnt-happiness

Somehow, money gained extreme importance in our lives, and so many of us have let it take over our thoughts and minds. When we let money take over our thoughts, then it will control our happiness, but this should never be the case.

Hebrews 13:5

“Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have…”

As a blogger, it is sometimes hard for me to open up about certain things on here. It’s easy to write about workouts, recipes, or the fun things I am doing, but sometimes it’s hard to share my difficulties and struggles. But, I want y’all, the readers, to know the true me and how the Lord is working in my life. In order to do this, I have to share some of my own struggles and sin so that I can share how the Lord is helping me through it. Also, maybe someone can relate to me, and they can gain some encouragement from this.

Let’s go back to this past Monday. I went to the dentist to get my teeth cleaned like I do every six months. No big deal. I actually kind of like going because my Mom and I usually go together, after they clean my teeth the dentist tells me my teeth are perfect, and then my mom and I go have lunch. Not a bad day at all. Well, on Monday as the dental hygienist was cleaning my teeth she goes, “Oh, you have a cavity. No, two cavities.”

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I was in shock as I heard this. I think I had one cavity when I was six or seven years old, and that was it. I brush and floss my teeth often and didn’t understand how that could happen. Of course I asked the dentist and hygienist what I should do so that this wouldn’t happen again, and they told me it wasn’t my fault at all. Apparently I have really deep grooves in my teeth, which make me very susceptible to cavities. They were surprised I haven’t had more in my life. As the hygienist continued to work on my teeth I kept wondering in my head how much it was going to cost to fix my cavities. I hate spending money, and this unexpected expense right at Christmas time definitely wasn’t making me feel good.

After she finished cleaning my teeth I went to the receptionist at the front desk to schedule an appointment to fill my cavities. My heart sank when I saw that the bill was going to be over $200. “Great,” I thought. “This bill couldn’t have come at a worse time. It’s a week before Christmas and  we have other things to pay for too”. I was so mad at myself for having two cavities, even though I knew there was nothing I could have done to prevent it.

I waited while my Mom got her teeth cleaned, and when she came out we went and had lunch together at Subway. I was not a very fun lunch date that day. I totally let the expensive bill consume my thoughts and upset me. My mom, being the wise woman she is, gave me some very important advice. She told me that I will never like it when stuff like this happens, and yes it is a lot of money, but it is not detrimental; the bill could have been worse. I have insurance, which of course makes it much better than it could have been. She told me to remember to be thankful that I do have the money to pay for this, and that unexpected things like this just happen, and you have to pay for them and move on. I can’t resonate on it or let it bother me because that does nothing but upset me. I knew she was right, but for a girl who loves budgets, it wasn’t easy having a big expense that was not budgeted for rise up so suddenly.

budgets mug

As I got in my car to drive home I began to think about what my Mom just told me and why I was letting this upset me so much. This is when I had a realization and a conviction. I am letting myself be too much in love with money, and that’s a huge problem. I think people can love money in different ways. I don’t love it in that I always want more so that I can buy more things. I am actually so cheap it’s hard for me to spend money and buy things.  I am the exact opposite. It is hard for me to spend money because, for some reason, I just want to keep any extra money we have after all of the necessities have been paid. I also don’t mind buying gifts for other people; I actually love that! But it’s when I suddenly have to pay money that I didn’t plan for that it really bothers me. But as I was driving and thinking, I realized, it’s not my money to hold onto. Everything Ryan and I have, it’s because the Lord has blessed us with it, and it’s still his.

Matthew 6:19-21

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

 

Why do I feel a need to store up money here on Earth when I know it does not matter. Yes, I think it is important to be financially smart and save money so that when unexpected expenses do come your way you can pay them, but you cannot obsess over money or let it consume your thoughts. After all, in the end, we can’t take the money with us.

1 Timothy 6:6-10

“But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing in to the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.”

I hadn’t got to a point where money was consuming my thoughts and where I always wanted more, but I didn’t want to get there. In the car as I drove I prayed that the Lord would forgive me for this love of money that I had and that He would help me get over it. I prayed that my thoughts wouldn’t be consumed with how much the bill cost, but instead that I would be thankful that I was able to get done to my teeth what needed to be done.There are people who desperately need dental work done, but not only can they not afford it, they have no access to any type of doctor. All of a sudden me complaining and worrying about my dental bill that I have insurance to help out with and that I can afford seems pretty ridiculous.

Matthew 6:24

“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

I want to serve the Lord with my whole life, which means I don’t need to worry about money. I need to be smart with the money I have, because that is something the Lord has given me and entrusted me with, but I don’t need to ever worry about how much I have because the Lord will take care of me. It can be hard to not let money consume you when you live in a world that is so consumed by money, but I have to remember that I serve God and not money. Falling in love with money is a dangerous thing, and I know it would take me down a dangerous path. I am very content with what I have and where I am in life, and I pray that I can keep this contentment. All of the fancy, expensive things that money buys are just extra things in life that won’t make me happy. If I focus my time, energy, and thoughts on things that really matter, on things the Lord wants me to focus on, I know I will be much happier.

No questions today. I would just love to hear your thoughts and opinions.

 

 

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32 comments

  1. I think we all go through things like this. I feel like if it rains it pours haha I’m sorry you’re going to have to pay so much, but you’re mom and you are right. Money isn’t everything, and we just gotta roll with the punches.

  2. When I put value on things, I may walk away feeling I’ve been jipped. But she got more than me, better than me, bigger than me. That little voice that nags, nags, nags… won’t let me be, until I realize my treasure is, inside of me.
    What really matters cannot be bought in a store. Respect, honesty, and forgiveness will never be given back or asked to be exchanged. So this year… give the gift of Love. * smiles*

  3. I read your posts and think of how much we have in common! Like you, I am super frugal. My husband is continually teaching me that it’s ok to spend money and splurge … every once in a while. We just bought a new house, and we have a lot of work that needs to be done…but it costs money. Sometimes it stresses me out because I don’t want friends coming over and seeing that we haven’t “decorated” our home. Then I’m reminded that these people love me for ME, not my house or money.

    I’m happy that you’ve realized that money is not everything! I Every time I start thinking/talking about wanting more money, my husband asks “why do you want more of the root of all evil?”. That realization always puts things in perspective! As King Solomon wrote “Lord, don’t let me be so poor that I have to steal and bring shame to your name, and don’t let me be so rich that I will forget you.” Have a Merry Christmas and don’t let financial struggles bring you down! After all, money is just paper 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for sharing that verse! I love that! Sometimes I feel the same way about not wanting people to come over because I feel like my house doesn’t look “good enough”, but the people who I will have come over don’t even care about that anyway. I need to quit worrying about the pressure the world puts on us to buy everything for a perfect home and wardrobe.

  4. I totally understand this! I have been feeling such guilt lately on how much I’ve been spending considering I’m leaving my job soon but the reality is that I am spending money on things that are important (i.e. gym membership, flights for christmas, food) and not being too frivolous with my spending. You have to spend money to be happy and healthy, it’s just a reality of life and there’s no point in dwelling on it!

  5. I’m really sorry to hear about your cavities! I am actually like you and haven’t had any cavities since I was maybe 5? I also have deep grooves though and have been told I am suseptible, so I always worry I will get some…

    Your thoughts on money convict me greatly right now, too. I am on vacation now and a lot of shopping has already been done and will continue to be done when I’m out here. It’s a great area to shop and I like having girl time with my sister and sister-in-law. I get very frustrated though when I want to buy more than I can afford or just want everything and know I can’t have it. I came home the other day from shopping feeling rather defeated, but why? Even if I got it “all,” would that make me happy? Not really. It’s a very confusing part of our world, but at least knowing the truth – that money will not satify, and only the Lord can – is progress.

    1. I am glad I am not the only one who struggles with this. You are totally right though, we just have to remember that only the Lord will ever truly satisfy us. Oh, and I hope you never get cavities. 🙂

  6. This is a tough time of year to struggle with love of money, I think. I’m usually fairly content but lately I’ve been finding myself wishing for more case “just to get this or that” – and it’s all silly stuff. Things I wouldn’t consider needing/wanting normally. So be wise to the temptations around you. Remember that everyone is working twice as hard to get your money from you right now, more advertising and more sales, etc., and it’s probably on your mind more as a result. But the Lord hasn’t changed. But yeah… bleh. I feel you. And sorry about your cavities 😦

  7. this is one of my biggest mental hurdles. I can speak on this for days. I put a lot of pressure on myself to have that money that I know I don’t have. or feel like I can never spend my money even on myself or others. it is a tough time to really fight that barrier and just get it BECAUSE. I forget that I can just do it. So tough. Thank you for opening up and sharing this. I know a lot of people, myself at the top of the list, can relate to this.

  8. Unexpected expenses are always stressful (especially when they’re for cavities). Just like other unexpected things in life can be frustrating. But they don’t have to be. It’s all about rolling with the punches and being agile. Getting there is a process.
    I’ve been reading Money: A Love Story by Kate Northrup and it’s a game changer! It’s all about falling in love with your money–not in a vain way but in a way that it’s fulfilling to you and aligned with your values. I’d definitely recommend it!

  9. Cavities are no fun! I think your feelings are ones that resonate within a lot of us. It especially convicts me as I’m about to head to NYC. I’ve been trying my best to save up, and I’ve been worrying about having enough ‘spending’ money in the midst of all my Christmas gift shopping. When I really sit back and think about it, my money ‘issues’ are nothing compared to what they could be. My blessings reach far beyond a monetary value. Thank you for this important reminder!

  10. I just found your blog and read your post, and I feel like it’s fate for reading your post – so true! Every time I feel like I have a little extra money to do something that I want to do, I feel like something comes up, whether one of my dogs gets sick, I need to pay a doctor’s or dentist’s bill, etc. It’s especially hard this time of year. I am not one to buy into the commercialism of Christmas as much as others, but It’s in my nature to want to try and do something nice for my loved ones. I often stop and remind myself (and my husband) that as long as we have our health, and our loved ones surrounding us, that’s all that matters. I also absolutely love that fact that you incorporate religion and verses from the bible into your blog…these verses especially spoke to me today! Thank you, I truly appreciated reading your post, and knowing that I’m not the only one out there that has these types of problems when it comes to money…and that other people share my views. 🙂

  11. I just found your blog and with this being the first post I read, it really spoke to me, especially because of the time of year. As someone who tries not to fall for the over-commercializationnof Christmas, I think it’s really difficult, no matter what. It bothers me that so many people have lost the sight of what this holiday means, but at the same time (maybe it’s my generous personality), I always seem to want to buy my family things just to show them how much they mean to me. And like your dental experience, I often find that something unexpected often happens right around the holidays, whether it’s a medical expense, one of my dogs gets sick and they have to go to the vet, etc. Despite these things happening, no matter how much stress it causes me, I try to remind myself, “at least you have your health and your family beside you.” And for that, I feel lucky.

    1. Exactly. Unexpected things always happen in life, and a lot of the time it isn’t pleasant, but that is when we just have to remind ourselves of all of the blessings in our life. I hop you have a fantastic Christmas! 🙂

  12. Right there with ya girl. I am always thinking about money and making sure I work every day so I can bring in the most money. I am constantly passing things up for myself, but I love to give others things. Aaron definitely helps me stay grounded. He reminds me that we are only 23 and 24 and so what if we aren’t saving much right now (darn loans and no job). He assures me we have money (we do, I’m just a saver) and that it’s ok to go live our lives!

    1. Ryan constantly has to remind me the same thing. Like you, I just like to save money, and I feel bad when I spend it. But living life requires you spend money. Hopefully we can both get better at this!

  13. It’s extremely interesting how we can be consumed by money and material goods. I know I find myself in this whirlwind often and frustrated when certain expenditures (usually unplanned) throw me into a tizzy. I’m trying to become more aware of my budget and adjust expectations and realize that the unexpected happens and we just need to roll with it. This was a great TED talk I came across – http://www.ted.com/talks/graham_hill_less_stuff_more_happiness.html

    I love buying things for other people (even if it’s small), especially if it makes them happy.

  14. I always looked at money as a substitute for my time. We only have so many moments in our lives and how much we’re never really sure of. So if I find something too time consuming or something that could jeopardize the amount of time I have left in this world I’m happy to substitute money for it.

    To me it’s not about the material things but more about the opportunities we have to do what we were born to do.

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