Some time ago I mentioned that all of my excitement about where my faith is and where it is going does not make me a blubbering idiot. It also does not guarantee 100% sunshine and rainbows. I make a deliberate effort to share every possible good thing with you, because honestly that is what sticks out about my day and two because isn’t there enough gloom and doom in the world. Why would I want to add to it?
What I am sharing now is both a request for prayer and I hope an encouraging word to someone. It seems as the fast presses on and I press in, that more obstacles are being thrown up in my path. I cannot say that I am discouraged, I have faith it will be fine. Anxious…that is probably the better word. I want to know how God is going to help me through this one. I have to pray through that as well.
My Granny used to fuss about people “puttin’ up a poor mouth”. Basically, she did not like it when people shared their issues and it sounds more like they were pandering for a handout. Let me be clear, my family will have food on the table, my lights will be on…but some bills might not get paid till 11:59 PM on the final due date this month, or a late fee could be incurred. (Who hasn’t been there…right?) This situation stresses me out and that is why I want to share it with you.
If you have been following my blog, you know I was out for about 3 months on worker’s compensation due to a knee injury. During that time, I received a reduced paycheck. For most people that amount is about equal to their regular check less the taxes, since WC is tax free – most people break even. Not in my case. My husband has a contract position. It pays fair, has no benefits and the conditions are awful for him. (He has a job for which we are thankful, but he is desperately looking for something else.) Because of his job not having benefits, I carry benefits for both of us and our children. That is a large chunk out of each paycheck, as you can imagine. Normally, it comes out pre-tax so it actually helps my bottom line for my paycheck. On Worker’s Comp, you pay your portion of benefits out of pocket. If you look at it that way, I was basically getting about 45% of my check, while I was out in order to keep insurance going.
The last payment I made, the computer glitched. I had to split the bill between two payment methods and the second one would not go through. (Turns out they would only process 1 method per day…REALLY?) The full payment was not made so my benefits were cancelled. CANCELLED. Do you know what I could have done with that money…argh? I admit, I was angry. Everything will be reinstated as of September 3, but essentially that last payment was wasted and it will not be refunded.
Sunday we went to the river for a nice (free) family fun afternoon. We were not there 5 minutes when our youngest jumps in the water and hurts himself. For a brief while we thought it was going to require a trip to the emergency room…with no insurance. (Panic and prayer were cycling in rapid rotation here.)
Now I am back to work and it is like being a new employee, I have to wait two weeks for my first full check. I anticipated this and had been trying to tuck money away, but guess where that money went…yep to the insurance that was cancelled anyway. (Perhaps I should add that fasting is saving money to my next blog on the fast.)
We have a bathroom in our basement that needs to be finished. We have tried to coordinate with someone to help us mud and tape the walls, either it falls through or they want to charge more than we can afford. My husband’s schedule right now leaves 1, sometimes 2 days that he can do anything, but he needs help. (Mudding and taping, not really his forte.) This is the last thing before putting in the floors, painting and connecting the fixtures. (I mean once the room is mudded and taped…I can even do most of the rest of the work.)
There are so many other financially based issues I could mention. Most of which are small by themselves, but coupled with everything else they feel enormous. If this were 6 months ago I would be sick with the stress of it all. Instead, I keep remembering another comment made by my family as I grew up, “If you are trying to do God’s work, the devil is going to try to stop you.” Honestly, I do not like to give the devil credit for much, but I do feel like something is just pulling at me, barking at my heels trying to stop me from moving forward. (Under my heel where you belong, devil.)
Sunday, I wrote out my check for tithe and placed it in the offering bucket. Someone is reading this in horror thinking “God will understand” or “You need that to pay your bills”. Yeah, I could pay a bill or two. The thing is, I have always been taught and I have raised my kids that “if you can be trusted with the little stuff, you can be trusted with the big stuff”. I am not writing out my tithe check like I write out my bills. I want to give my tithe. God has made provision the entire time I have been out of work, in one way or another. I trust he will continue to do the same now. So each week, the tithe check is the first item paid.
I’m having to lean on God. There is a temptation to keep that check in the checkbook, but I can’t. I want to be trusted with bigger things, in time. So every time the worry creeps in…and let me tell you it is creeping – I pray. I remind myself, God says this is something I can test him on. Malachi 3:10 (NLT) “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the Lord of Heavens’ Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! PUT ME TO THE TEST!” (Permission to test God – that is like a big daddy no-no everywhere else, except in tithing.)
Yes, I realize you know entirely too much about me at this point…even if this is your first time visiting the blog. However, I learned the other day that my blog is helping. That by being open, slightly unedited, and willing to share my struggles and questions; what I am writing is helping address concerns in others and their relationship with God. That means what I truly wanted for this blog has been accomplished. God answers prayer. He will provide. We just have to trust him. So please, pray with me, pray for me. Life is not perfect in my little corner of the universe, but I am thankful for what I have and in that I am blessed beyond measure.