What does mental toughness have to do with stewardship? A lot!
Have you ever been distracted when taking on a project? Listen as I draw an analogy here. Without fail, every time I get on the computer to work, my children come out in full force. I declare that when I get on the computer it's like telling them:
"OK guys, yell at the top of your voice, boys beat up your sister, please tear up my house, remember to write on the walls and the windows, feel free to get whatever you want out of the fridge and leave the door wide open, while you're at it please slam every door in the house, and make sure you run from room to room, this will make mommy very happy!" Maybe it's just my kids.
So, I have to stop, deal with the issue and kid at hand, bring order and pray for nap time to come quickly. Only then can I resume working.
This can happen when you decide to make positive changes towards stewardship. Let's say you started a new regimen of saving money. What happens? Everything. In the same week the car breaks down, the dishwasher goes out (I would be lost without mine), you have to pay $60 co-pays for sick children (happens to me), and your car tags have expired. Your savings go right out of the window. What do you do? You stop, take some deep breaths and REGROUP. Here's an acronym for you.
R egain composure and remain calm
E xpect to find an answer
G ratitude for the right now blessings
R elease to God what you can't change
O pen you heart, mind, eyes and ears to solutions
U nderstand that it will all work out
P ray until something happens
This is a crash course in mental toughness. Stewardship is not for the faint of heart. Anything worth having is worth fighting for. Empowerment comes through stewardship and through challenges we gain knowledge, confidence, power and wisdom.
Always know that there is a solution for every problem and every problem has a solution. We just have to look and listen for it.
In the ideal world, we should always have cash reserve for emergencies or incidentals. However, if we don't, we have to handle the issue at hand, get back up and start again.
If an emergency depletes your savings, so be it. Start saving again and thank God you had it when it was needed. If you saved once you can do it again. If a repair causes you to charge your card to the limit, it's ok. This means you have to start paying it down again, as soon as possible. It can be done.
If you just started saving $50 a pay period but your children got sick instead of $50 save $5. Saving $5 is better than saving nothing at all.
The bottom line: work with what you have, right where you are. God is faithful but make sure you do your part.
When distractions or emergencies come up, REGROUP.
Remember: "True empowerment comes through stewardship"