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What If You Didn’t Need to Work?

Shannon Kenealy loves her part time waitressing job in Louisa, Virginia.  She says she does it just for fun and shares, “The people I’m working with are like, ‘You’re crazy.  You work because you’re having fun?  I do this cause I can’t make ends meet.’”

That used to be the case for Shannon and her husband Frank.  For the first 12 years of marriage, they lived paycheck to paycheck, while raising children.  The Kenealys worked long hours, but they mismanaged their money and were always overspending.

“We bought a car; we had a car payment.  We had a credit card; we maxed it out,” Shannon admits.  She continues, “And, you know, I mean we were $15,000 in debt.”

The debt took a toll on the couple.  Frank says, “I watched her cry a lot.  That was hard.”

Shannon adds, “I was sick constantly.  Like I had the flu back to back to back.  I’d be broke out in hives and worried if we’d be able to afford food and have the lights turned on.” 

So they met with a Christian financial advisor.  The couple learned how to budget and the importance of tithing; something they never felt they could afford.

Shannon confesses, “I knew that it was supposed to be 10%, but it was one of those things that I’d bargain with God and say, ‘Okay well this week I have the money, I’ll bring it to church. I better pay my light bill to make sure that, you know, the electricity doesn’t get turned off.”

Frank and Shannon found out they had it backwards.  Shannon declares, “If I didn’t have God first and I wasn’t tithing regularly, the rest of it would fall apart.”

So the couple started tithing off of the top of their income.  They stuck to their budget and within a year and a half, completely paid off their debt.  “It was like the grass is greener, the sky is bluer, life is so much better,” says Shannon.

Now they had enough to give more and became CBN partners.

Frank says, “That’s a healthy thing to be giving to.   I don’t know how to help people but I like being a part of something that does know how to help people.  It’s amazing.” 

Later when the Kenealys had to come up with $3,000 for emergency repairs on a rental property, Shannon contacted CBN, requesting prayer for a financial breakthrough.  Just a week later, Frank met with his boss.

“I got a good raise—a solid raise and a good review,” Frank reports.   “Then the next day, I came into work and he kind of called me aside and said, ‘Well wondering what you think about moving up.’”

Frank got two raises in two days – and a promotion!   That’s why Shannon can work a part-time job she loves, and spend more time with her kids.   She says, “My husband makes enough money to pay all the bills.  I would say that we are financially successful.”

The Kenealys say this is all a result of following biblical principles of money management, and giving obediently to God’s kingdom.  “It’s freeing.  There’s a lot of peace in not having financial stress constantly,” Shannon confidently shares.

Frank concludes, “I think you do better when you do what God asks you to do.   You’re more successful, you’re financially better off and when you do the things God wants you to do, I think you get blessed!”

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