I have several recurring dreams. I’d love to have them all come true, especially the one about…oh wait—not sharing that one here. ;) They’re all great dreams, but one of them involves a winning lottery ticket. And right now, it’s the dream that would be nice to have come true.
We’re in the ‘life is expensive’ phase around here. Oral surgery. Old cars. Two girls in college. Old appliances. One girl in private school. Old house. Two kindergartners this fall (although they’ll be homeschooled, not in private school, it still costs money.) Braces. Driver’s ed…for the 4th child. Weddings and graduations. Solutions for Logan’s hearing issues, which more than likely won’t be covered by insurance and could run several thousand dollars. Most of the time it’s okay, but right now we seem to be doing the ‘more month than money’ thing.
We’ve have used a budget for over 20 years and been pretty faithful to it. Our major investments in life so far have been twofold: education for the big guys, and the adoption of the little guys. I have no regrets about any of it and know for sure that every penny we’ve spent over the years has been well invested! Through it all, God has faithfully provided everything we’ve needed and then some—my checkbook says that what we’ve done is totally impossible and yet every bill is always paid on time. God’s blessing, for which we are eternally grateful and humbly in awe…
So why the grumble? Well…some very large unanticipated expenses with those aforementioned old cars have me stressed out. Totally stressed out. We went on our annual vacation this year (camping, which we love!) and the Suburban needed nearly $1,000 worth of work before we could come back. Talk about a shocker to the bottom line! And what’s worse: they didn’t really fix the problem. They sort of fixed it, but the ‘fix’ caused a new problem in a related system that will cost another $400 or so to fix. Ugh. Then on Saturday my mechanic (aka Jim) was working to fix the brakes on the car the girls use. It’s a 1994 Honda Accord with 217,000 miles. Awesome car! Anyway, it needed the front rotors changed. So, after many hours of work, Jim got the spindle nut and the steering knuckle off, but the rotor and the hub won’t separate from the bearing housing. (NOT Honda’s finest engineering design!! It definitely had my engineer using some choice words yesterday.) Then, because we use this car every day, he decided last night to put it back together and work on it in a couple of weeks when we’re down one driver—Emily leaves on Sunday for WSU—so that being without the car isn’t as big a deal. Sounds good…except that as he tried to put everything back together, the CV joint came apart! So now I have a dead vehicle in the garage with another $200 or so in expenses to fix it. And one exceptionally grumpy, frustrated husband! And a checkbook that says, simply, “NOT possible!”
In all of this, my poor husband gets very frustrated. Expenses pile up quicker than the income, it seems. He works hard to provide, and every need here is always met. But still he struggles. And today, looking at the rest of the month, I’m finding my faith being stretched. It’s not a bad thing, but it’s sure not fun. While the winning lottery ticket sounds heavenly, I am fairly certain that it’s not the solution God will provide. After all, if we have the winning ticket, we don’t continue to lean on Him. We don’t have to trust that He is faithful. We don’t get the opportunity to practice Hebrews 13:5 “Keep your lives free from the love of money, and be content with what you have, for God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’’ And we don’t have stories to share with our children about God’s provision every day, in every season of life.
So today I put this out here. It’s not a complaint; instead, it’s an opportunity to publicly remind myself that my God is faithful. My God cares. And my God provides. Those are good things! My only job is to trust. Waiting on His provision can be hard, but with friends to keep me accountable and not grumbling, it will be fun to see what happens next.
And in case anyone thinks life is all gloomy and terrible around here, it’s not. We’ve had some exceptional weeks with Logan! He’s making good strides with speech therapy. He’s working hard on his impulse control. He loved vacation last month, VBS last week, and had a blast at the Mariners game yesterday afternoon with Ryan, his big sister Hailey, her boyfriend Alec, and Alec’s siblings. What a treat! Everyone is healthy. There’s plenty of food to eat and clothing to wear. The girls start new adventures in school over the next few weeks! So do the boys. Jim has a job that he (mostly) enjoys. I am blessed beyond measure to stay home and take care of this crew. That’s just a short list of the blessings of the day. Blessings like that make the faith-stretching days easier. :) And today, that’s a good thing…