Friday, February 13, 2015

Being Practical

While some people get the opportunity to travel to exotic destinations, purchase expensive jewelry, vehicles, and homes, most ministers and their families must make ends meet and live in a more practical way.  Is it because we are more spiritual?  No, I believe it comes from juggling finances and deciding between an expensive vacation and a new roof.

My husband and I have always been frugal.  For instance, very early in our marriage, we learned to stretch our shoestring budget. All our pocket change goes into a container.  A couple times a year I will take it to the bank to see how much we have collected.  That amount is then saved toward something we need or sometime put toward a mission trip or a simple vacation. 

However, I do have to tell you this little story.  After my husband’s college graduation, my in-laws took us to Hawaii for a week.  It was fabulous.  This little beach bum was in heaven.  Being the naive minister’s wife that I was and still am, I told my husband that on our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary I wanted to go back to Hawaii and to have an emerald-cut emerald ring. (Gee, even I am rolling my eyes recalling that statement).

When our twenty-fifth anniversary rolled around, we were neck deep in a mortgage, had a son heading off to college, and had a high school sophomore needing a vehicle.  There was no romantic trip to Hawaii or a beautiful emerald cut emerald ring.  We chose to be practical and give each other a new set of mattresses.  Yes, sisters, a new set of mattresses is a great gift especially when your old, hand-me-down mattress set is lumpy, saggy, and killing your back. The day the mattress set arrived my husband and I said “happy anniversary” to one another and kept dreaming of that Hawaiian vacation.

Sometimes ministry just calls us to be practical in our decisions.  Have we been back to Hawaii? No!  Can we dream?  Yes! That is what God wants us to do.  However, we should never want something that is not in line with God’s plan for us.  The Lord is always going to give His best whether it is an exotic vacation or a new set of mattresses.

Practical Note:  One minister’s wife shares that her husband’s practical idea for Valentine’s Day was to have her order 12 rose bushes then he built a rose bed to plant them in.  He told her that he would never have to buy her roses again. (What a great idea!  A gift that keeps on giving year after year!)

Do you have a practical way of saving?  What is your most “practical” gift you have received?

Please share your ideas!

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