Thursday, August 18, 2011

Stop worrying and keep moving

This last year+ has been an exercise in faith building for me. I've been a Christian since I was 13. I've been through many stages of faith and belief. But never have I been required to learn such faith and patience in financial matters as I have since leaving California. When we lived in California, I never trusted God with "my" (our) money. I never thought there would be enough and I was always hoarding it in my heart...even trying to control and keep it away from my own husband. The funny thing is that I didn't have a reason to try to control our money! Yes, life is excruciatingly expensive in Southern California, but we had a good paycheck to count on. We were never without and we didn't have a lot of expenses. On top of all that, my husband's family, who tends to be quite generous when they know there is a need to be met, lived 5 miles away from us!

Thinking back on it, I'm really not sure why I worried so much.

When we left California, we left our steady jobs, our family, our home and any allusion of financial stability we may have had. We were doing what we knew God wanted us to do. We were moving back to the place He'd called us, trusting that He would provide what we needed as we needed it.

And he has done just that. But I have not lived believing He was doing that until the last few months. Since making the decision this time last year to put Bella in preschool so I could work, we struggled with making tuition payments every month, as well as paying for her to be in dance class (which drained every bit of extra money we could have had...for those of you who don't know, DANCE IS EXPENSIVE). I can't say that I consulted God about dance or schooling, or believed in his ability to provide beyond our circumstances, but once I got us into it, we made it the skin of our teeth!

When I started praying about a summer job, God orchestrated a meeting with friends of mine who wanted me to work for them. That wasn't the job He had planned for me, but that was the meeting that made me trust that God was preparing something for me past what I could see. After all, he had provided jobs (MANY jobs) since coming back a year earlier. I didn't really have a reason to believe He wouldn't continue to provide. Topher has found favor at his job, and God is providing for us through that. Right now, Bella is not enrolled in pre-K, I will possibly have the opportunity to work two jobs starting in September, and I don't have a consistent caretaker for my daughter.

I trust that God is going to provide what my family needs. If Bella is to go to school, it will be provided. We won't have to pay for it because that's going to put us in too much of a bind. If she's not supposed to go to school, then we'll trust that I'm supposed to be spending more time at home this year. We're taking a break from extracurricular activities because we can't do it right now. I'm not going to live beyond our means anymore. I'm knocking on every door that I see in front of me because God has reminded me that, although He is happy to provide for me, sometimes I've got to be the one to seek it out and do the work. He has something waiting for my family. Something greater than what we've found already. Not just with finances, but in matters of faith and matters of life and His Kingdom.

But He has to come first. Feeding our faith has to come before feeding our bank account. The glory of His Kingdom has to come before the glory of my family or the building of a personal empire. It's not about me. It's about Him. And He is good.

"Seek first the Kingdom of God, and all these things will be added to you."

"Taste and see that the Lord is good."

"The Lord longs to be gracious to you, and he waits on high to have compassion on you. The Lord is a God of justice; how blessed are all those who long for him."

"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good and his love lasts forever."

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