Shabbat and a Budget

So, I was going to spend this post talking about what Shabbat is, what it means and how special it is to me and my family. Which I will do. But today was also a pretty informative day for me. Up until now, I have not really had a strong ability to mange my money well and surprisingly, I also realized I haven't managed my faith well, either.

Did I pay the bills? For the most part, yes.

But could I really say my money was "working for me"? Oh heck no, I was WORKING hard for it!

So, after my post yesterday, I decided it was time to stop acting like a victim to my money and start acting like the owner of my financial freedom. I looked up budgeting and found these articles through Google. None really connected for me...maybe one will help you.

Since those weren't really sinking in and I am constantly getting emails from my bank about utilizing some of the other services at the bank; I went to the bank today and reviewed my ENTIRE financial status with a bank associate. He was really kind about explaining things to me, showing me how to use different features of the bank's website and (most importantly) demonstrating how to set up a budget.

How does this connect to the celebration of Shabbat?

First let's start with what Shabbat is...

Shabbat, is the Jewish holiday celebrated every friday night at sundown and ending on saturday's at sundown with the Havdalah service. Shabbat is celebrated, generally with others, by sharing bread, wine and lighting shabbat candles. Prayers are said over the wine, the bread and the candles and the evening is spent sharing time and dinner with friends and/or family. Saturday is spent relaxing and rejuvenating the self for the week ahead.

Havdalah, which begins at sundown on Saturday, is the celebration of the end of shabbat and ushers in a new week. The service is spent lighting of a havdalah candle, drinking wine and smelling sweet spices.

Both services are meant to rejuvenate and remind us of our connection to each other, to ourselves and to G-d. Some rabbis suggest setting religious or faith goals for the week. The intention is for you to think about the services, the time spent with others and your actions and interactions. Lately though, much like my financial income and outcome, religiously, I was mostly going through the motions, and not connecting with the core values of my faith, or for that matter, my family.

I could share all sorts of things about what the holidays were, what you needed to participate and what foods were traditionally eaten at the time, but the real meaning for our weekly shabbat, was not sinking in. Writing about the holidays over the last few weeks had started to make me feel more connected.

So, today, after I left the bank, I realized that money management is just like your faith management. The two take energy, practice and faith. You must put forth energy to control what is happening around you; how are you spending your time, your energy, your spirituality and your money? What practices are you participating in to enrich your life? How are you practicing good stewardship of your wallet, your heart, your faith and your family? What faith are you investing in yourself, in your family and in G-d?

I know this may have felt a bit strange. But there is something to be said for taking the time to consider these questions as they apply to your faith and financial practices.

Maybe you won't be financially rich any time soon, but I can promise that you will easily be faithly rich in family, in self and possibly in a different type of relationship with your own spiritual G-d, in whatever form you practice.

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