I don’t talk about money very much on this blog. It never seemed a topic that I should be dwelling on or writing about. It’s also really uncomfortable for me to be open about our finances. When life threw not just another wrench, but an entire toolbox at me, I decided to break my rule and write about what I’m learning.
When Greg and I got married, I smirked a bit when my Daddy asked us to vow that we would take each other for richer or poorer. Richer just never seemed like an option. Not that I wanted poorer to be an option either. I’ve never wanted stuff, even though I do love a good pair of shoes and someday I want to replace the flutes that got burned up and stolen. My version of richer has always been an instant-hot tap so I wouldn’t have to wait for hot water for my tea and enough money to pay all my bills when I got them and have enough left over to go out for ice cream.
Even though my dream of an instant-hot tap is still unfulfilled, it’s only been in the last few years that we haven’t had enough for ice cream. Even though all the details of our finances is not anyone’s beeswax and I’m not going into the entire painful story, I do want you to know that our current financial problems are not our own doing. We haven’t gone out and racked up credit card debt, we didn’t buy a car we couldn’t afford, we don’t have an extravagant house.
Basically, having a house burn down, another one get broken into twice, having a past renter trash our house and screw us out of a few months of mortgage payments, medical problems resulting in big hospital bills bills, insanely high insurance premiums, and a few other situations which were not our fault, put a massive dent in our financial health.
The days of going out to eat, having new clothes, going on vacation, always having enough to put gas in the car have been past for a long time. This last week, however, was the first time we truly didn’t have enough.
Our truck broke down for the second time in two months and the repair bill was more than we had in our savings account. Another situation which I wrote about here (https://sistertwo.wordpress.com/2012/07/10/sifted-like-wheat/ ) was making me absolutely insane about emptying out our savings account since there is a real possibility we are really going to need that money in the near future. As a side note, the situation I wrote about in the previous blog is still ongoing. If we are going with the analogy of Daniel and the Lion’s Den, God is holding the lion’s mouth shut, but it’s still staring us down.
So, why am I breaking my vow of silence about all of this? Because it caused a major and possibly lasting perspective change.
A few months ago, our pastor did a series on The Lord’s Prayer. If you are unfamiliar with The Lord’s Prayer, it was given, by Christ, as an example to His followers of how to pray and what to pray. One phrase of it is the request that God give us our daily bread. Our pastor talked about how Christ didn’t tell us to ask for tomorrow’s bread, or next month’s bread. Just today’s.
Is it wrong to pray and plan for the future? Of course not! The point is that we, by which I really mean I, worry so much about the future that I forget to be thankful that I have enough for today.
Today, thanks to the generosity of a few friends, I have enough to pay for the truck to be fixed, plus a total of $24 to leave in savings. Today, I have food. Today, I have a place to live. Today, I have clothes to wear. Today, I have enough in my bank account to put gas in the car.
Sometimes, it really stinks to be a grown up and have a good perspective on life. Changing your perspective, changing how you think and act can frequently be a painful process. I have to say, though, that while this change in perspective has been painful, it’s been good. I’m learning to really cast my cares on Him, to stop the incessant worrying, and I’ve seen the peace that passes all understanding. (Philippians 4:-7).
So, thank you, God, for our daily bread. And, if bread is all we have today, thank you for giving me the ability to make really good bread!