Finances are hard for us.
It’s hard to admit this when you live among people who have so much.
But there are days when our cupboards are almost bare and our frig is almost empty. There are days when I feel like Jesus feeding the 5000 on 2 fish and 5 loaves. Trying to make sure my family has enough food to eat is a full time job. Forget about organic. Forget about non-GMO or grass-fed. I just need to keep these kids fed. Sometimes it takes a ton of creativity to accomplish this feat–especially on the days leading up to the next pay day.
Can I be very vulnerable with you here?
There are so many times when I can’t give my children basic, essential things. There are times when they need new socks or underwear, or deodorant or a book for school and don’t have the money, nor do I have any idea of when I might have the money.
There are times when $10 might as well be a million because I have NO money. I’ll admit. I do get tired of living this way. It’s frustrating and often even heartbreaking.
It’s so hard to tell your children that you don’t have the money ALL OF THE TIME. As a mom, it’s even harder seeing them struggle, when their friends aren’t struggling. It’s hard when minor issues are a crisis, because it stops your world.
I’m taking a big risk sharing this.
I’m sharing this because I know someone needs to know that they aren’t alone. It can feel so lonely when everyone else seems to have it all together. It’s so embarrassing to admit your financial failures.
And especially when you chosen the road we’ve chosen in homeschooling our children. To admit that things are hard is to say that homeschooling should be out of the question, right?
The obvious answer to our problems seem glaringly simple:
Put the kids in school and get a job!
Believe me when I say that I often contemplated this simple and obvious solution. Yet, my husband and I always come to the same conclusion.
Our children are flourishing.
Our family is flourishing.
We are confident that we are right where we need to be.
So much good is happening. I love what I’m able to give my children.
My husband and I are both convinced that we are called to serve the people that we serve even though we don’t make enough for our family. Believe me, I’ve considered going back to work full-time MANY, MANY times, but I keep hearing the Father’s call to keep doing this good work.
Here’s what makes finances hard for me personally:
I know how blessed we are. I know that we are extremely rich compared to most of the world. I know that life could be MUCH, MUCH harder financially. And it just feels wrong to admit how hard it is. We have so much!
And yet it’s not enough to meet our needs.
How do I live among those who have so much, serve those who have so little and live under the strain of our own financial pressures?
Life doesn’t always come with nice, neat little answers, does it? Sometimes we have to live in that hard, uncomfortable place and find peace in Jesus alone. Perhaps there really is no answer to “fix” the hard.
That’s hard to accept when it comes to finances especially, because finances seem like something that can be easily controlled and fixed. The answers seem simple, even if they cannot be easily executed.
That’s why there’s so much guilt associated with financial failures. That ‘s why it’s so embarrassing to admit. To admit financial hardship is to admit my inability to manage and produce income.
Or it could mean that I’m too lazy to work.
But maybe, just maybe, it could be that we’re right where we need to be. Maybe this hardship was uniquely chosen by God to supply what is lacking in our faith. Maybe living under this strain allows me to better identify with a mom in Africa who lives with the daily heartbreak of not being able to send her children to school.
I don’t know about you, but I thought that if I went to God for direction, he wouldn’t lead me into a place that looked like failure or suffering. I totally get suffering or persecution for the gospel or maybe suffering as a missionary.
But what about ordinary people being led into hard places by God? Places that we could avoid if we choose too.
When God directs us into these hard places, he always goes with us. He’s in those valleys with shadows and death all around us. He’s with us on those stormy seas, as we fight to survive. He will silence the wind and the waves when he’s ready. In the meantime, he wants us to find our contentment in knowing that He’s with us.
That doesn’t mean we won’t shed some tears. That doesn’t mean we won’t ever become angry and overwhelmed with the barage of needs that threatened to capsize our little boat. It doesn’t mean we don’t become weary with the constant financial pressures.
Today I’ve found myself overwhelmed with all of unmet needs of my children. I can’t do it.
But my Father can.
He’s done it in the past, and He’ll do it again.
My eyes look to you, Oh God. Amen.