Planning, effort and prayer to bring parnassah

I knew it shouldn’t be just about money.

In my family of accountants, making money was the focus.

Not creativity, souls, spirituality, or tzedakah.

All the things that now inspire me on a daily basis weren’t even mentioned when I was a kid. 

So I went to the extreme, and, subconsciously, I completely avoided bringing in money.

Relying on the mostly stable income from my husband, I went through phases of stay-at-home mothering, gigs, entrepreneurship, full-time jobs, and occasional resets to focus on myself.

Money would come and go through an elusively revolving door of direct deposits and debit cards, as I’d spiritually bypass financial stability, saying “G-d will provide.” And He does. But He also wants me to have goals.

Over the years I have tried various budgeting systems, coaches, and apps to temporarily feel a sense of control. As the revolving door continued…

But things shifted within me these past few months since making Aliyah to Eretz Yisrael. 

While I can and should fully trust in G-d to “provide,” I also can confidently set goals. They (I) don’t have to be perfect. I can do what I love and “make money” as well.

But as I started creating some structure around the strands of potential income existing within me, something still felt stuck. I just couldn’t focus on a financial goal, on the numbers. It didn’t feel authentic. 

Because, after all, what is the ultimate purpose of money (called shekels here in the Holy Land)? 

So instead, I tried to come up with a quantitative and qualitative “why” to keep me motivated.

It’s a work in progress, but the first part includes the number of souls I can potentially touch and inspire (starting with myself).

The other part is the amount of parnassah wanted/needed to enable me to have the life I want, including Torah learning, tzedakah, a peaceful home filled with guests, clothing to adorn the holy vessel that houses my soul, healthy food for energy to do mitzvot and to say brachot, and to provide parnassah for others as well.

Even as I type this, there’s a quiet voice inside saying it can’t be done. But I’ll continue moving forward anyway. 

It’s not just about the money. But it can be partly about money – earned while helping others, honoring my gifts, and serving my Creator. It’s an ongoing balancing act of bitachon and hishtadlut, faith and effort.

Daily prayer for parnassah, by Rabbi Eliezer Papo:

I now go to work and trust in G-d that He will give me the strength to be successful, to provide for myself and my household in an honorable way, to perform righteous acts and acts of kindness, and so I should be able to fulfill all the mitzvot of my Creator in their proper way. Help us, my G-d, rescue us for the honor of Your Name…do with us tzedakka and kindness for your great Name. May the words of my mouth and the efforts of my heart be favorable before You, G-d, my Rock and Redeemer.

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