Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs, and he will give you all you need from day to day if you live for him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern.” Matthew 6:32-33

When the Kingdom of God is on the forefront of our agendas, we are on the forefront of God’s favor. When our will aligns with His, there is great peace, provision, and protection.

This past month I have been investing – pun intended – in my finances. In the past I have been less than mediocre at budgeting, and this month I wanted that to change. With the help of Dave Ramsey, I came up with a simple budget and organized envelopes of cash for each spending category. It is a modest budget, and I quickly came to realize the value of a dollar. I realized that purchases I would normally make on a whim would require several months of saving.

Like that new weight belt I want for heavy lifting days at CrossFit. Sure, I can borrow one from Cat or Lisa, but it’d be nice to have my own. And that purple headband to cover my sweaty hair from working out and teaching PE classes. And that unsweetened shredded coconut from Whole Foods that would be divine for some of my adventurous paleo recipes. And Winnie’s RipFix for my torn hands, since my old jar is running low. And a custom jump rope, because it makes all the difference when doing double-unders in a workout. And a new book, because I just finished my last one and I’m anxious to fill the empty space on my nightstand… You get the idea. So many purchases, so little money. I will admit, all of these things are frivolous wants – not needs. I am incredibly blessed to have the basics and more. Still, they have been important in teaching me how to be a good stewardess of money.

That is my goal for this season of life- to learn the meaning of being a good stewardess of all I have been given: academics, finances, friendships, time, health, etc. “To whom much is given, much will be required.” I have especially focused on being diligent in sticking to the budget. Two weeks ago I actually used the scales in the grocery store to weigh my fruits and veggies, just to be sure I didn’t overspend. After my Kroger rewards card was applied, my total came out to the exact amount I had left in my envelope. Success! Well, I wanted mushrooms for my paleo chicken pot pie, but broccoli was an agreeable alternative.

Then the craziest display of God’s favor happened at our very own CrossFit competition – Takes Two to Tango. After competing against the one and only Emma Carter in the Spring Fling Throwdown, I was thrilled to have such a stud as my teammate. On my way to the competition I prayed for opportunities to encourage others, and that we would choose to be joyful no matter the outcome. To be sure, Emma and I wanted to win, but mostly I wanted us to be examples of the true spirit of CrossFit – fierce in the way we workout AND encourage.

Long story short, we had a blast and took 2nd place in the Women’s scaled division. We also won two of the four workouts. This particular competition had sponsors for each workout, and for the event as a whole. That meant that the winners of each workout won a prize, and anyone who placed top three in their division won a bag of prizes. Needless to say, Emma and I walked away quite decorated.

But this is the amazing thing about God. He doesn’t just give us blessings – He personalizes them. He proves His unfathomable love by addressing the smallest details in our lives and validating their importance to Him.

For winning the first workout, I won a weight belt. For the second, I won $25 in cash. In my prize bag I pulled out a purple headband, a $15 gift certificate to Books a Million, a bag of unsweetened shredded coconut, a can of RipFix, a 50% off certificate for a custom-made jump rope, a free pair of compression socks (this will be my 5th pair – and I haven’t purchased any of them), two t-shirts, a water bottle, $20 store credit to Reebok, and several coupons to Dick’s sporting goods. I was almost in tears!

All that said, this is not a story promoting a prosperity gospel. Scripture doesn’t say that following Jesus is easy, or that we won’t have to make some big sacrifices. But I think we as Christians can get trapped in discouragement and defeat and believe that following Christ is hard, tiring, and we will never be good enough at it – end of story. But that is not the end of the story!!! We are God’s children – and He DELIGHTS in us! When we do His work, He promises His unlimited resources in the physical and spiritual realms!

“The Lord God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right.” Psalm 84:11

Dear friends, let us awake every morning and turn our faces to the Lord. May we seek His face all day long, and listen to His wisdom. He promises to lead us along the right path. He promises to speak clearly. He promises to be our strength. He promises to be our place of rest. He promises to love us with an everlasting love. May we RISE UP together and receive His great promises!

To all of you who helped make Takes Two to Tango possible, thank you over and over! You blessed me more than you know!