Ask Chuck: Resting and Resetting for the New Year
Between the kids, my husband, house cleaning, cooking, juggling my part time business and the chaos of the holidays, I am exhausted and our finances are out of control. I feel like a little hamster running around the wheel as fast as I can go but getting nowhere. Help! How can I possibly ever get caught up on the rest that I need?
Dear Exhausted Mom,
Your question gives me empathy for my wife and all the other busy moms out there who feel your pain with the daily demands that you face. My wife can so identify that I asked her to help me with your question. Here is Ann’s input.
“To give up the ‘busyness’ that characterizes our quick-fix, techno-speedy, exorbitantly efficient, oppressively overworked society, we begin by recognizing ourselves as God’s saints, called to an alternative life, dwelling in grace and responding with non-frenzied ease.” – Marva Dawn, The Sense of the Call
Most adults are tired after Christmas. We have an internal need to restore balance in our lives. Some of us carry emotional burdens, physical pains, financial stress, or mental fatigue because of our jobs. These final days of the year are an opportunity to lay our burdens down and rest in His mercy. But to really rest – our minds, our bodies and souls, we must intentionally release anything that draws us away from God and family.
Rest restores order to our weary minds, helps us embrace healthy eating and exercise, and even enables us to think properly in order to set financial goals for the new year.
Many things have happened in our lives this year. Some have robbed us of time and attention that should have been given to loved ones. Some have provided freedom to love and serve better. These final days of the year are gifts that enable us to regain balance and discover new strength in the Lord.
…the Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him. (Habakkuk 2:20 ESV)
When we slow down and intentionally choose to be alone with God, we can focus our attention on Him and listen without the tug of work and world. Don Whitney says, “More than any generation in history we must discipline ourselves to enjoy the blessings of silence and solitude.”
We are bombarded with noise, sometimes by choice. We need silence therapy to hear the Lord, to process our days and prepare us for the year ahead. That will look differently for all of us. An hour, a morning, a day – whatever you can take will renew your heart, mind, and outlook on life. It is a time to set the mind on the Spirit to reap life and peace.
Resting and preparing financially requires us to look backward and forward. In reviewing the year, it is important to learn from our mistakes and celebrate the victories. God is merciful, but we need time to be reminded of how He is working to restore beauty from ashes and causing all things to work together for our good.
We take the lessons learned from looking back and look forward with great anticipation for the year ahead. There are unseen opportunities and a need to fully trust our Sovereign Lord with that which is yet to be.
Thank you Ann for sharing your personal insights on finding rest in the craziness of it all. Now, I will provide some ways to find financial rest.
Rest for the mind, body and soul can come through managing your finances well. I once had a friend who says that he grew an inch taller after getting out of debt. He thinks the stress had him hunching over and the freedom allowed him to stand up straight. He said there was such a physical impact that it carried over to his mind and soul as well. He was truly free from carrying a heavy burden. Getting to this level of rest will take some work, so you will need to set and reach financial goals.
Set specific financial goals in these areas:
- Living within a budget
- Tithing regularly
- Reducing debt
- Saving consistently
- Investing wisely
- Adjusting lifestyle
Start the New Year with a thankful heart and enthusiastic commitment to bring order to the chaos. Recruit some family help if you and your husband are not yet aligned on your goals. Ask the children to do their part. This can be the turning point of your life.
List the Lord’s provision in 2017 and goals for 2018 in a journal or on a poster for remembrance. Rejoice with gratitude for the ways He provided in 2017. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Col 3:15 ESV
In humble reverence, praise Him in faith for the coming New Year. Now get some rest so you will be ready to start with renewed hope and energy to tackle your financial goals when the calendar rolls over to 01/01/2018. Let us know how we can help. And in case you need it, we have the new Crown Help Line: 800-722-1976. Call if we can pray for you, answer your financial questions or offer solutions to any financial challenges you have.
Originally published on the Christian Post, December 29, 2017