Christmas of 2014 we had amazing gifts under the tree - and none of them were store bought! The story of God transforming us and our finances started nearly a year ago- last November to be exact.
After twenty years of marriage and four children later, we realized that we had never successfully kept a budget. A friend had told us she liked listening to Dave Ramsey's financial radio show. I heard him speak at a one day seminar years ago but it didn't stick - in one ear and out the other. This time I looked on his website and found a local Financial Peace Class starting in January and Geoff and I agreed to go together. Anticipating the class we decided to make it a full family commitment and told our children their Christmas gift would be Dad and Mom paying off their credit card debt and cutting up the card. The kids agreed but didn't totally understand what that meant.
We explained to them that during Christmas break there would be no shopping at stores for gifts, no snow skiing trips, no eating out, no special activities that cost money, etc. We were getting on a budget and all our extra money needed to go toward paying off our debt. Christmas gifts would be creative, inexpensive and thoughtful.
Who could have guessed the blessed Christmas morning we were about to have? Our daughters surprised us with a self-written, self-illustrated story- later making it into a play for the whole family to enjoy. Our sons brought tears to our eyes wrapping up a special handmade clay fish they knew we loved and reading poems they wrote to the family. They exchanged old yo-yos and passed on other meaningful items to each other. The joy of the Lord Jesus was evident in all our smiles, laughter, and caring for one another. Jesus' birthday and the truth of our finances belonging to Him and His Kingdom was greatly celebrated that day!
As a family, we made a deliberate choice to positively change the direction of our lives, as well as future generations, by telling every dollar where it should go and how it should be spent. God blessed us with a gift bigger than money- His presence and His peace. Thank you, Jesus!
By the Grace of God and in His perfect timing, He's opened up a door for us this summer to share the knowledge we’ve gained and the peace that follows by coordinating a Financial Peace Class here at Summit- to God be the glory!