Open the Eyes of My Checkbook, Lord.

I can think of no way to compound a mild recurring headache than to ponder my finances, so that’s what I did tonight. Headache successfully compounded. If only I could apply the magic of compounding interest to my headaches. I take that back. Compounding pain is probably not a good idea. I’ll take 10% interest, compounded daily, with extra whipped cream and a dash of cinnamon please.

I haven’t been able to pray for months. Not that I haven’t said any prayers, they just haven’t flowed from me naturally. Saying my nightly prayers, for instance, has been a painful experience–like threading together a wound without any anesthesia. I might be exaggerating a bit, but you get the idea.

Rather than expend the energy required to string together meaningful sentences, I’ve opted to close my eyes and drift off to sleep, occasionally asking the Holy Spirit to pray for me because I’m too tired to do it myself.

However, I’ve recently decided to break out of my rut. I can’t expect the inspiration to come, I just need to get back into the habit and then prayers will flow naturally again. To that end, I forced myself to pray a prayer that I’d rather not: “Lord, help me face the realities I’ve been avoiding.”

Oh, why couldn’t I have prayed a Joel Osteen prayer: “Lord, I pray you will grow my finances exponentially so that I might give 10% of it back to you and use the rest to buy a big big house with lots and lots of rooms.”

But I’ve already tried that prayer a few times, and it doesn’t work.

God will show me the gory details of reality, though. I’ve prayed for Him to open my eyes before, and it works. In fact, right now He’s showing me that my finances are gonna go down the crap hole if I don’t take charge and create a budget.

I could say, “In answer to my prayer, God led me to take a closer look at my finances” but that’s not true. He’s been telling me to take a closer look at my finances everyday for as long as I can remember. Sometimes I listen. Sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I go through periods where I feel like I’m being a good steward with my money. Other times I feel like nothing I do could possibly help make ends meet, so I just quit paying attention to the details and spend money “intuitively” instead.

I do thank God for giving me parents who didn’t believe in paying with plastic, thus I’ve never fallen into the credit trap. I’ve never fallen into the adjustable rate trap either. I’m not that gullible, nor am I rich enough to pay off loans quickly. (If I was, why would I need a loan?) The trap I tend to fall into starts with a slow slide into discouragement and ends with a long walk through la-la land.

(Don’t look at me like that, Dave Ramsey. My husband lost his job. I had a kid. I changed jobs. My furnace died. My washing machine died. My sewer pump died. My stretchy, old carpet tossed me down the stairs. It’s been kinda chaotic. Just sayin’. *fingers in ears* La la la, I can’t hear you…)

It’s time to leave la-la land, wipe the sugar coating from my eyes, roll up my sleeves, and figure out a budget. I know what I need to do, I just need to do it. So, I dusted off my Financial Peace University kit tonight and created a Quick-Start Budget. It gave me a headache. My husband and I quibbled. But I did it.

And that, friends, is enough accomplishment for one day.

What did you accomplished today? (Keeping in mind that sometimes, not accomplishing anything counts as an accomplishment.)