His Perfect Peace: Calming My Anxious Heart {Part 1}

I expected this to be a post about “How I saved $500 this month” or some similarly impressive number. With my September goals I posted, we were on track to limit our spending by at least that amount.

But life.

Our kids had a required fundraiser at school. We have two kids in school, so that means double the fundraiser payment. Husband desperately needed new tennis shoes because exercise is a required part of his workday and his were extremely worn out. We bought new contact lenses. We had an unexpected bill relating to when we moved three months ago. Little by little, unexpected costs added up.

As I balanced our budget, I grew frustrated that the money I had planned to save was no longer in our bank account. I had taken active steps to set aside money but it seemed like a wasted effort. With one week left in the month, I felt like my goals weren’t met because of the final numbers on my spreadsheet.

But God.

Why did I decide to budget September differently? We hadn’t had to dig into savings in previous months and we didn’t have difficulty paying our bills. So why did I decide to budget differently?

“Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ Or ‘What shall we drink?’ Or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your Heavenly Father knows that you need them all.” Matthew 6:31-32

We had some unexpected financial needs, the Lord knew those needs, and He provided. I purposed to save some extra money, but God in His wisdom knew there would be additional expenses that month. God is in the details. He knows our needs better than we know them ourselves. In a month that could have caused financial strain and stress, God providentially provided by realigning my priorities.

As I reflected over our finances while inputting the numbers into my spreadsheet, I realized that my focus shouldn’t be on the actual numbers- even though that’s important to make sure we’re living within our means (because stewardship). Instead, my focus should be on cultivating a thankful heart. I felt frustrated because I set aside my personal wants and desires to try to save some money for my family’s future. Instead of wishing I could purchase the pair of shoes I’ve been wanting for a year or new jeans because mine have worn holes in the knees (and not the fashionable kind), I should be thankful that I have more shoes than any three people need and that my jeans have holes because I am physically able to crawl around on the floor with my boys. Instead of the concept of consumerism I need to adopt an attitude of gratitude.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

The previous verse above from Matthew is prefaced by a passage about not being anxious in any situation. I am no stranger to anxiety and finances are a key source of it in my life. By turning my focus towards thanksgiving instead of consuming, I see the evidence of God’s hand working in my life. September was a prime example and situations like that are why I have grown in my trust in the Lord. I remember the times He has been a guiding cloud and a pillar of fire (Exodus 13:21-22) in the uncertain and dark times in my life. He has always proved Himself faithful and I can rest my anxious heart in that truth.

So, no, I did not save $500 this month in 5 easy steps. But I did see the Lord guide and provide and that is worth far more.

Visit His Perfect Peace: Part 2

Visit His Perfect Peace: Part 3

9 Comments

  1. Amanda

    October 14, 2017 at 1:12 pm

    So timely for me! Loved reading your words

    1. myjoyfulMOMent

      October 15, 2017 at 10:02 pm

      Thank you, sweet friend! It is such a battle for me! I am so thankful for our Sovereign God and am learning to fully rely on Him every moment.

  2. Jamie

    October 14, 2017 at 7:29 pm

    I feel like this happens to me so often. I think “finally, this month I will be able to save” and then something happens and alas, poof the money is gone. With a family of 6, there are always doctors bills or needs or at least wants and then there’s the unexpected fun things that we do that we don’t plan for as well as we should. God is good. He provides. He watches over us. It seems that whenever I am feeling most anxious- the verse about the lillies of the field comes up at church. Thank you for sharing and prayers for a great save next month.

    1. myjoyfulMOMent

      October 15, 2017 at 10:04 pm

      My husband and I constantly say “If we didn’t keep having kids we’d have so much money!”… but our kids are worth so much more than any amount of money. They are worth the extra expenses and I am so thankful that our money can be spent on their wants and needs.

  3. jhilmil

    October 15, 2017 at 7:58 pm

    Beautiful, indeed if we are pure and good towards intentions, God helps us in some way or the other to fulfil our needs. Prayers are a great source to connect with God and hence loved this post which lays emphasis on this.

  4. amber battishill

    October 16, 2017 at 6:10 pm

    I feel like this happens often for us too (it did this past month with an unexpected car repair), but then I remind myself that in the scheme of things it’s really nothing but a blip. I’m thankful that when these unexpected costs come up that we are still okay and that we don’t have to stress about it.

  5. Nikki

    October 18, 2017 at 2:49 am

    Absolutely beautiful! I definitely needed to hear this. Thank you!

  6. Dena

    October 21, 2017 at 5:38 am

    This is beautiful! It is amazing how God provides even when it’s not what we’ve planned for. I get so anxious about our finances too…. and a thousand other things God can definitely handle. Thank you for the reminder. 💕

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