I started writing a post about prayer, but the browser crashed and I lost that post so I decided to write something about money.
Today I made some changes at the Ranch with how money is allocated to me. Details don’t matter, but I will no longer be getting a paycheck (my paycheck before was not really income but for ministry expenses). For some reason, this realization (no paycheck) kind of upset me, and it took me awhile to recognize why I was upset. I think it primarily stems from the fact that a paycheck represents some kind of value to me. Even though my “paycheck” didn’t really bring any money into our family budget, it felt like it to me and I could see that number and be proud of the money I had raised through supporters. It made me feel like I had worth, value…at least financially. And let’s face it, in the American world financial value is extremely important.
I am going through a book about simplifying, and one of the battles I have seen myself fighting through the process (of the book) is with materialism. It is so easy for me to look at someone’s house or lifestyle and want to live or look like they do. When I walk into Target I find myself thinking Oh, that would be nice to have. I would imagine that this is the sort of thing that most people struggle with, especially in such a consumerist culture as the one we live in. But I can’t blame it all on the culture. Part of it is me. I want more. I want to feel financially secure. I want to know that if I want/need an item, I can just go out and buy it. But deep down I know that this is all worthless in God’s economy.
Mostly I’m grateful for this change in finances because I think it is one step closer to stripping me from materialism. I need this, though it is hard. I need to learn to find my value in God and not in dollar signs.