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Wednesday in the Word

Updated: Feb 3

Hello jello beans,

I hope you are all well! It has been freezing cold here in SoCal - I'm not sure if my reaction is due to aging or a delayed re-adjustment to California temperatures - so I have been breaking out my fuzzy blankets and sweaters these past couple of weeks. Is everyone else having a cozy start to 2024?

With taxes coming up, something that has been on my mind a lot has been finances. It's always fascinated me how much faith and worth we put into money. Growing up in an underprivileged home, there were always conversations surrounding how money would make things better, and I know my dad felt stressed sometimes about what he could provide. Yet money is essentially just paper that is religiously used to trade for services and goods that somehow the entire world has bought into. That is some insane faith; that's not to say it isn't backed up by a system of gold standards and global stocks, but it ultimately does require faith for worth to be put into currency.

I've been pondering what I am worth, in terms of money. My husband constantly reminds me that if I know I am worthy of Jesus dying on the cross for me, then I must see myself of worthy. What does that mean? In 2020, I remember being told that I was getting "overpaid" even if I were to only receive wages of about 20k to work 60+ hours from home, because I couldn't go in person to work while having a long bout of lung infections during the height of COVID. I remember in 2021, when I finally jumped ship, I told the HR of my new job that I was hoping to receive 40k for my full time position in Los Angeles. This was an Asian company, and she laughed in my face, telling me they could very much afford to give me more than that. In 2022, I was selling wedding packages as low as $1,000 to cover business costs, travel, and about 80 hours of labor. My now-husband tore apart my pricing and pushed me to up my prices based on the amount of work I put in, and the expertise and network required for different services. Due to this, my prices more than doubled for 2023.

Now in 2024, I ask again, what am I worth? As I look to the wedding industry, I have raised my prices to match competitors, but what does that mean? How much am I worth in my full-time position? As my current contract is coming to an end, I realize I will have to again have a conversation about how much I am worth.

In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. - Ephesians 1:11-12

The Bible is clear about how our worth is measured - it is in our inheritance that has been earned by and through Christ - not of our own works. I think that this perspective of worth tends to lean more towards more of "self-worth" than material worth, but I think it is important to factor it in.

I've not quite come to any semblance of a number to discuss, but I do think a part of self worth is taking care of myself - making sure that the amount I make is able to steward my family and time. I think being able to take care of myself is an important part of being able to reflect Christ's work in my life and make good use of the opportunities He gives me to share about His goodness. I'm still pondering this, but definitely still have a few more months to pray over this and discuss intentionally about how my time will be allocated.

I hope you are all doing well, and please feel free to reach out if you would like prayer for anything! :)

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