1040–A Taxing Experience

A three-ring binder works for us

I met with the tax preparer this week. Relatively painless, I anticipate the annual meeting with a sense of expectancy. There’s something about sitting down with a year’s worth of receipts and reliving the past twelve months. Sort of like life flashing before your eyes?

My husband and I, after several years of stuffing our receipts into a bag until tax time, developed a new system with a three-ring binder and plastic sleeves. I know there are lots of methods out there, but this has worked for us over time.

 Each sleeve holds a month’s worth of receipts, plus we have extras at the back for doctor bills, writing expenditures and rental deductions. At year’s end we only have to tally the numbers and slot them into the organizer our tax preparer gives us. What used to take a day or two of our time now requires a couple of hours. Heavenly!

I find it fun looking over the evidence of how we spent (literally) the last twelve months, recalling dinners out, a surprise storm that damaged our trees, and trips we made. Like a video recording, the list of expenses detail the minutes of my life. Some receipts are a pleasure to remember, others not so much.

Recalling our life will be required when we stand before the holy God of heaven at the end of our days. For Christians, those who have placed their trust in the gift of salvation offered them by Jesus at the cross, our deeds will be covered and washed clean by the sacrifice the Savior made for us.

In Romans 14:11-12 (NKJV), Paul writes, “For it is written, ‘As I live, says the Lord, Every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall confess to God.’  So then, each of us shall give account of himself to God.”

To think of giving an account before the Creator of the universe makes me much more aware of how I live each day of my life, seeking time for prayer and direction from the One who wants to give it. Before God, I won’t need a receipt. Jesus will be there, covering the deed for me with his love.

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