Affirmations for Financial Success

I saw a post going around at the beginning of January that was encouraging people to set aside a certain amount of money each week with the goal of increasing that amount weekly so that you would have reached a savings amount by the end of the year.  I didn’t comment on the post but the thing that stuck in my mind about this plan was that it did not deal with the core issue that many people who don’t save money have.

In order to achieve the financial success that many of us seek, we need to change our mindset about money.  We can not have something that we have never had if we are not willing to do something that we have never done.  Yes, it’s great to start setting money aside but the probability that you will be able to maintain that program is very slim if you have not changed your mindset about saving.  The probability that you will not dip into that savings jar and spend some of the money is slim if you have not changed your mindset about spending.

The problem for most of us is not that we don’t have the desire to save more and spend less but the problem is that we have unhealthy financial habits.  Most of us are consumer driven and will spend more quickly than we will save because we don’t have a long-term purpose for our money.  We are not financial visionaries.

Read these financial affirmations and consider how they can help you to improve your financial situation.

Financial-Success

1. My self-worth is not determined by my net worth.

Your net worth is calculated by subtracting everything that you owe from what you own.  Unfortunately, many of us put our value in the things that we own while hiding what we owe.  We want the world to perceive us as being rich while making no attempt to build wealth.  Many years ago, I read “The Millionaire Next Door” which illustrates some of the habits of millionaires.  It stuck with me that people who are truly wealthy do not go around showcasing their wealth.  They live in modest homes, drive efficient cars and wear sensible clothing.  Contrast that with many people who drive luxury cars while living in apartments, people spending thousands of dollars on rims with no retirement plan.  Trying to create an outward appearance of wealth will not make people like you more, it will not garner you more respect.  Rather than spending your money on things to impress others or in an attempt to fill some void in your life; stop and assess how much you are spending to create an external image that is not supported by your core values.  Think about what you are sacrificing in your future to have stuff now.  If your self-worth is tied to your car, the type of house that you live in or the kinds of clothes that you wear then you may never find happiness.  There will always be a newer car, a bigger house and a new style of clothes.

2. I will invest in myself and commit to working hard.

There is a temptation among some people to assume that the world  owes them something.  There is a misconception that we don’t need to save and plan for retirement because it will take care of itself.  Many people have goals that are within their reach but they are unwilling to invest in themselves to make it a reality and/or they expect someone else to do the work to make it a reality.  Whatever you want in this life, you should first ask yourself what can you bring to the table.  Then you need to assess what you need to do to make it happen.  Along your journey, there will be people and resources to help you reach your goal but the primary driver should be you.

3. I will budget and stop wasteful spending.

In the My Money Matters workbook series, we focus on the Basic Money Management Principle – I will not spend more than I earn.  Of course, this sounds like a simple statement.  However, most of us are not doing it.  We are spending more than we make and not budgeting.  Each month, there may be a bill or two that doesn’t get paid or we are not able to save because we are breaking even each month.  You may have the desire to change your financial situation but you also have to put the actions behind that desire.  I love to see the liberation that people feel when they pay off a credit card or pay down their student loan debt.  Yes, spending money on stuff you like will make you feel good but I promise that freeing yourself from the noose of debt will feel even greater!

4. I will find balance in my life.

If you are working all of the time trying to pay your bills or to get money for this or that, you may be doing too much.  Please don’t misunderstand… I know that we all have bills and obligations but at some point, if you find yourself constantly stressed out or always tired of chasing the cheese; you need to do an evaluation of your priorities.  It may be necessary for you to go back to school and get a degree so you can find a job making more money.  It may be necessary to cut some of your expenses so that you don’t have as much going out.  The purpose of life is not to be so consumed with working and getting stuff until we miss out on the living.  I can’t honestly say what you need to do to improve your situation if you are that financially strapped but I will encourage you to seek a change.  Talk to a financial professional to help you assess your situation and develop a strategy to find the light at the end of the tunnel.  You may have been doing it your way for a while but if your way isn’t working, it may be time to get some help.

5. I will honor God with my giving.

To honor God with your giving is to give without expecting anything in return.  There is a lyric in a  song that I like that says, “One day I hope to live on my 10% and give the 90% away.”  Most of us cannot imagine reaching that space in our lives because the more we have, the more we want.  We are constantly praying for financial breakthroughs and looking to God for an abundance of blessings.  We give with the expectancy that we are going to be  blessed.  What if God is not pleased with that attitude and that’s why you aren’t being blessed?  What if God does not see the honor in your giving?  Many Christians place so much focus on what God is going to do for us and what He is going to bless us with that we forget to honor Him with sharing our time, talents and tithes.  We treat him  like our personal investment plan, thinking that every deposit should yield a return with dividends.  Imagine the change in mindset when you give of yourself without expecting anything in return…

6. I will be a blessing to others.

Our final affirmation is almost a culmination of the previous ones.  We live very self-absorbed lives.  We have a tendency to think that everything is about us.  If someone says something, then they must be talking about me.  If someone does something, then they must be hating on me.  What if we took ourselves out of the equation and just focused on being the best person that we can be?  What if we used our resources as tool to be a blessing to others?  Of course you have financial obligations but what if you took care of those obligations and instead of spending $300 on a designer item, you  bought something just as nice for $100 and sowed the $200 into something that could reap a harvest? What if we stopped asking for blessings and started focusing on being a blessing to others?  This change in mindset may not make you more money, it probably won’t cause you to win the lottery but it will help you to see why saving is so important, it will take your focus off the accumulation of material things and it will bring honor to what you have to offer yourself, your family and God.

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Happy 35th Birthday to ME!!!

I remember growing up and thinking that 35 would be sooo far down the road…

Well, here it is!

The past year has had its share of ups and downs like most years but this year the valleys seemed especially deep and the mountains very steep.  For the first time, I was convicted, not criminally but spiritually, which put me on a path to a life altering change.

“From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”

Luke 12:48

On my birthday last year, my aunt passed away and I was wrestling with my spirit.  I have always believed in God but I began to sense that He was calling me to a higher level of service. I didn’t think I was good enough, that I was prepared, that it was time… Let’s face it, I had a million and one reasons why I should not follow where He was leading me.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.  For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.  And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.”

Romans 8: 28-30

As I labored through those valleys and climbed those mountains, I began to realize that there was a straight and narrow path that I could follow or I could continue the treacherous journey that I was on.  Needless to say, I surrendered it all.  As we began to usher in the bright flowers of spring, so was I ushering in a new phase of my life.  I still stumble here and there but the lows aren’t so low and the climb isn’t as high.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” 

James 1: 2-6

God has blessed me to see the calendar tick another year onto my life and I am grateful.  Despite whatever circumstances that I find myself in, I praise Him.  I thank each of you, my silent supporters and my vocal encouragers.  I’m nowhere near where I want to be but I thank God that I’m not where I used to be.  I have had to go through a lot to get to this point but… I am here, I am right where I am supposed to be…

“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.  I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

Philippians 4:11-13

Happy 35th Birthday to ME!

it’s not always good news…

Most of us try to live life on the good side but at some point we must confront the bad stuff that happens. One of the joys of the human experience is our ability to continue to believe in the goodness of this world despite all of the evil that surrounds us.

Over the past couple of weeks I have found myself in situations praying for good news…

Twin nine-year olds missing from a local town and their picture was circulated by the news and online media as we prayed for their safe return

A friend texts me to say one of her friends is on life support after suffering internal bleeding because of a domestic violence incident with her boyfriend.  We prayed to God for her physical and mental healing

In both of these experiences, I tried not to think of the negative outcome that could result.  Instead, I felt comfortable believing that God would answer our collective prayers and the twins would return home while this young lady would leave the hospital with the strength to confront her boyfriend and move forward in her life passed this situation.

However, that’s not what happened.  The twins were found dead on the side of a dirt road along with their elderly caretaker and the young lady died several days after being admitted to hospital.

Many of us have to reconcile these events within the context of our spiritual selves.  Why didn’t God answer our prayers?  The Bible says that the prayers of the righteous have power (James 5:16) so we sometimes wonder why our prayers aren’t answered. How can these innocent children be killed and tossed aside like bags of trash?  How could this young lady’s life be cut short because of foolish love?  Where is God in the midst of these situations?

I stand firm on the promise of eternal life (1 John 2:25).  Many of us are concerned with the effects of life here on Earth but believers in Christ have to stay focused on the real prize, eternal life.  No one is too old or too young to confess their sins and accept Christ as their Savior.  It is no longer enough for us to believe but we need to ensure that those around us believe and believe with all of their heart because none of us know the day nor the hour that we will be called to meet our Savior.

Situations will happen in life and we cannot always be certain that we will hear good news of a child’s safe return or that a friend will suffer will survive a catastrophic accident, so it is up to us to us to answer the call of the Great Commission  (Matthew 28:16-20) and teach them the ways of Christ so that no matter what happens, we can feel some level of assurance that despite anything they may go through, God is with them.  That is the only confront that I have when thinking of the final moments of these innocent twins wondering what is happening to them and why… when thinking of the young lady who must have spent her final moments thinking over her life and all of things she would probably do differently…

Image from dailybibleplan.com

Don’t forget…

All that I’m not…

It’s easy for many of us to list our flaws, all of the things that we are not, all of the things that we want to be, all of the goals that we have yet to accomplish, all of the things that we haven’t done…

It’s easy to sit and remember our failures, the time that we fell short, the moments when we felt that we didn’t do enough or give our all, the people that we have let down, the times we have disappointed ourselves…

It’s easy to dream of what one day will be, to look to the future and imagine who we will be and what we will be doing and how fabulous our lives will be…

It’s easy to think of all that we are not…

It’s not always easy to think of all that we are…

All that I am not makes me all that I am…

Image from kaufmanpsychological.org

Sometimes you have to make it easy for yourself to believe in yourself…

You’re not perfect but your flaws are opportunities to grow and become a better person… 

Your goals, dreams and mountains of to-do lists are a part of your purpose for getting up and working through another day…

Your failures, setbacks and missteps have helped you to appreciate all of the  moments when things go just right or come close, those moments show you how strong you are, they are not signs of weaknesses but demonstrate your ability to persevere and keep pushing forward…

You will always disappoint someone, even yourself, but that is only because you have the set the bar so high for yourself and continue to strive for greatness, don’t be afraid of not hitting the mark, keep your eye on the heavenly prize and not earthly accolades…

All that you are not makes you all that you are…

Speak greatness and positive thoughts through your negative situations!

Want to read more about “Living Young & Fabulous”?

[Book Review] Seriously God? by Jenny Smith

Normally, I can read a book of less than 200 pages within a few hours; however when I began reading Jenny Smith’s “Seriously God?” I knew it was going to take a bit longer.

Not because the text was hard to read or boring but because after reading a few pages, I would have to put the book down and do some serious thinking. Jenny reflects on her spiritual journey, not from the usual vantage of how great things are in life once you accept Christ as your Savior, but from the reality that most of us experience. The subtitle, “I’m Doing Everything I Know to Do and It’s Not Working,” is an accurate reflection of where many people are in their lives today.

We had become so accustomed to believing that everything will work out for the good because we loved the Lord, which it did when our economy was functioning at a high level, that many are in a tailspin now that things have changed and times have gotten rough. We are wondering where is God and does He even care?

I must confess that I do not struggle with my faith. I do not ask God why certain things happen to me or why the world is the way that it is. A long time ago, I put those questions out of my mind and decided to refocus on my daily walk trying to be the person that I was created to be. As I am beginning to make the transition into ministry, I am beginning g to look outside of my personal relationship with Christ and having to share information to help others so that they can develop and/or strengthen their relationship. I am finding that many people are in the situation that Jenny describes, crying to their Savior and wondering why their prayers are not being answered immediately.

In Jenny’s book, she asks very thought-provoking questions while also providing historical context when using scriptures, which is a delight to my soul. Not only is it enough to read the Word of God but to truly understand the message, it is necessary to have some background information. On several occasions, Jenny provided enough context about a passage of scripture until it caused me to question my interpretation and to grow into a new level of understanding.

One of the most profound questions that Jenny asks and provides some insight about is, “Where are the miracles?”

I recommend this book to anyone who wants to deepen their understanding of who Christ is and why God may not be showing up in your life the way that you expect. Jenny has done an excellent job of making me want to examine several of the passages presented on a deeper level so that I might be able to use them when ministering about who Christ is.

My reading companions... New Kings James Version of the Bible and a Life Application Bible (click on the picture to order your copy of "Seriously God?" from amazon.com

Motivational Monday – Philippians 4:11-13… What defines you?

“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.  I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.  I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”

As I have matured in my Christian faith, I am beginning to learn the true meaning of this passage of scripture.  During this episode of The LaKesha Womack Show, we will discuss what defines you.  Do people see you for the stuff you have accumulated or for the person that you are on the inside?  How do you resist the world’s temptation to continue wanting more and more stuff and learn to be content with what you have?

Want to comment or share your thoughts?

Tweet me during the show – @LaKeshaWomack

Call in and ask to speak with the host – 646.929.2031

http://blogtalkradio.com/LaKeshaWomack

I encourage you to be faithful…

Faith is often defined as belief in something unseen while we consider being faithful as sticking with something.

I want to encourage you to be faithful in your life.

Have faith in the things that you want for yourself and your ability to achieve and accomplish them.  There will be instances when you will doubt that you have whatever you consider necessary to fulfill your mission but stay faithful.  Whatever you may feel you are lacking, work to build the skill or find someone to help you.  In our technological age, you are able to network with or reach out to gain whatever may be missing toward the fulfillment of your goals.

There will be times when you may just want to give up because it may seem like too much… too much work… too much time… too much sacrifice… just too much but stay faithful.  If you are pursuing something that you truly believe is a part of your destiny, do not give up.  Have faith and be faithful to pursuing your purpose.