My husband is spending the day hunting with his best friend, and I've been trying to clean and get ready for the next few days of festivities. Before heading out to the store, I decided to check the bank account balances, since we have a big bill due tomorrow, and I despise late fees.
The accounts were sadly low.... even empty.
How did this happen??? We budgeted and saved every penny we could so we could buy the kids Christmas gifts. We've never spent a ton, but we try to get a few things for each of them that they have wanted. We don't buy much in the way of toys for our kids except for birthdays and Christmas, and even then, we aren't afraid to gift used items. I've kept super careful records about my gift spending, and there is just no way we could have overspent. We knew my husband would be out of work for two and a half/three weeks unpaid. We know his hours will be cut back when he returns to work, so we have been doing everything we possibly can to keep ourselves from going into debt or getting behind on any of our bills. Insurance premiums and deductibles have gone up, power bill has gone up, internet bill has gone up, groceries cost more, and income is down. It's time to tighten the belts.
I've posted every article of clothing that the kids and I no longer wear online to sell, hoping to make a few dollars. I have filled out countless employment applications and shopped my resume all over the place. Apparently its hard to re-enter the workplace when you've been out of it for more than 8 years.
Maybe the last post had a lot more to do with stress and discouragement. "What else can I do God? I can't find work, and I can't make any more money appear. We have cancelled almost everything (still have internet and pay-as-you-go phones). What more do you want? I give up!!"
I found myself wondering what to do. God has always provided for us, but it just doesn't seem like we can catch a break right now. If He isn't helping me get a job, what does He want? Where is my ever constant Provider?
So this morning, we ran out of milk. And we really needed overnight diapers because the little man still hasn't mastered overnight bladder control. But there was no way for me to afford it. In fact, I spent the morning sending emails to our bill collector apologizing that we would be late on the bill we owe because we are $25 short. I was planning on returning a few stocking stuffers and found more clothes to post online. I started snapping pictures.... when the doorbell rang.
That's when God showed up in the form of a man with a substantial check. Then as a substantial gift card in the mail. All in one day...
The last few hours I've spent crying and praying, trying to catch my breath. Literally. God has shown Himself faithful once more. I can't help but feel guilty about my doubt. This is not the first time God has blown my mind in His provision. Why do I always forget that He cares? I'm not one to beg, I don't ask for help much because I always feel like there are others who are worse off than me, and who am I that I should deserve anything?
But that's just it. I don't deserve anything. None of us do.
Christmas becomes a time when we are thinking of gifts, food, family- and all of these things are great. Don't feel bad because you appreciate these things. But after today, I am reminded once more that the gift I received today was one from the God who provides every day. I have grace and mercy that I don't deserve because of the Son that was sent to a virgin womb. I have love unspeakable because of His sacrifice. There is not one iota of anything I have ever done or will do in the entirety of my existence that will measure up to what He has given me. I am so thankful for my relationship with God. I know I don't measure up and I never ever will, but it is humbling to know that I don't have to. He still loves me enough to make sure we are taken care of. And here's to hoping that I will stop allowing the fruitlessness of my doubt to linger. He has proven Himself faithful over and over and over.... endlessly.
My Christmas has been amazing. And it's still two days away. Thanks God.