Monday, October 24, 2011

Worried...Why?

Last Spring I began couponing, trying to plan and prepare for purchasing a vehicle that would accommodate our growing family because I knew we would not have the money to pay for something fully with cash. That has been going well and I honestly hate buying something without a coupon (but sometimes we need certain items so I at least try to buy them during a sale). Anyway, my plan was in full swing and going great: our grocery budget was cut in half or more depending on the week and so I was able to save a few dollars.

In August our budget shrunk unexpectedly. We took a whirlwind trip to Ohio to visit family. While we were gone, we received a phone call from the people watching our house informing us that our A/C wasn't working. By the time we got back home, the house had warmed up to a toasty 87 degrees!!! We ended up having to replace our entire A/C unit. It was definitely an unplanned expense!

We also received notice that we have hail damage to our roof, meaning we need to get it replaced. TJ found out the insurance company didn't take into consideration all of the materials needed, so we are now in the process of appealing to them to include those in the price of the roof. Regardless, we are still responsible for covering our deductible, and again is an added expense.

About a month ago, we found out the family currently renting our other house was moving. We immediately cut out any unnecessary spending and began fervently praying that the Lord would provide more renters. We found out this past Wednesday that the Lord answered our prayers and a new family is moving in soon (praise the Lord!!!).

The same day the Lord answered our prayer regarding our rental situation, we received notice that our property taxes are increasing. We have to pay the difference for this year and then our mortgage is going up starting in January to cover next year's taxes in our escrow account. Again, an unexpected expense.

I have been struggling with worry regarding our finances: how are we going to pay the taxes due by the end of December? How are we going to afford to pay the deductible on a new roof? And what about a larger vehicle-how are we going to be able to buy something so that we can all fit in one car? I get sad every time I think about the fact that we will no longer be able to go ANYWHERE together as a family unless we get a bigger vehicle.

Nevertheless, I do know God has a plan, a much better plan than mine. Truth be told, I think the Lord used couponing as a way to prepare me for this. All of these expenses came as a surprise to us, but they sure were not a surprise to Him. The last three church services I have attended have all dealt with finances, worry, and anxiety. I have been so convicted regarding my lack of faith in God's ability to care for me and my (not so little) family. To be quite honest, it is going to take a miracle (or close to it!) for us to be able to pay for all of these expenses, but thankfully God is in the business of working miracles. As I was reminded in today's service, the Lord knows of our need and will provide (Matt. 6:25-34).

I have been faithful in saving money and caring for my family as best I can, and I just need to continue to fulfill those responsibilities. My worrying isn't going to make money grow on the Oak trees in my yard, and it actually prevents my mind from focusing fully on my responsibilities. So, please pray for me, for us. Pray that I wouldn't worry and that I would remember to "cast all your care upon Him, for He cares for you" (1 Peter 5:7). Pray that I would "be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God" so that I would have "the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding" to "guard my heart and mind through Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:6-7).

*I wrote this post Sunday, 10/23 and just now found out that the insurance company is going to pay an additional $1700 to off-set the expense of the roof. Obviously the Lord is showing me He is going to provide, I just need to trust Him. I have tears in my eyes from both joy and shame: Joy that the Lord keeps His promises and shame that I didn't fully trust Him.