Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Money doesn't grow on trees...

Today I am feeling completely overwhelmed...

I know I mentioned last week that finances are tight. Money is by far one of the most stressful subjects. I don't wish health issues for anyone - that can be scary. But for me, money is by far the most difficult subject to deal with.

While Dave Ramsey has helped us feel more secure, and I know that we are in the top 5% of the world as far as wealth, I still worry. I know we are where God has asked us to be, but I don't see the big picture yet. My husband is working two jobs, I am working, my kids get reduced lunch at school, we qualify for medicaid. We don't eat out as a family, my kids don't participate in gymnastics, music lessons, swimming lessons. We don't take vacations every year. We don't go to movies, or amusement parks, or even bowling. None of these things are needs and we have fun as a family, but I hate having to tell my kids they can't have gymnastic lessons, they can't go rock climbing, we can't go see that movie, we can't go eat at Texas Roadhouse...reason being there is no money for that. I have to pay the electric bill and buy groceries. I want my kids to understand that, but I don't know how to say it.

How much information do you tell your kids about money? Do you tell them you are struggling to pay the bills? I want them to learn that we rely on God to provide, but how?

The other day I overheard the kids talking to each other. One said they wanted to eat at Texas Roadhouse. The other said, "yeah, me too, but it costs too much money". I can have a great steak (venison steak) dinner at home and try to make it fun. No, I can't take six kids to Texas Roadhouse. I don't even know that I want to - just the chaos of ordering, cutting food, opening peanuts...but I don't like having to say no to things just because of money.

I want them to have piano lessons, I want them to learn to swim. I want to take them to visit family every year. I don't want them to worry if they will get enough food that day.

I am thankful that they have clean drinking water. I am thankful they have beds to sleep in and blankets on those beds and warm pjs to wear. I am thankful they have snow boots and coats to wear on this sub-zero day. I am thankful for the venison in my freezer. I am thankful for a vehicle that runs and can carry my whole family. I am thankful for a Lord that loves me and cares about my every worry and fear.

And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you
are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows. Luke 12:7 NLT

Lord, help me not to worry, help me to not be afraid, help me to know that I am valuable!


marnmic said...

I sympathize this your struggles. We too have had to tell our kids no about certain things. There are many different layers to the struggle of extra curricular things and eating out. (time, money, energy....stress)
My sister is out several nights a week, and they consider it family time...but really it's just run around time and they are not building relationship with each other in their family unit. Not to mention the expense of the matter. Gas to and from and the cost of the lessons themselves.
So, let your children know that you are concentrating on more important things. Family relationship, teaching them about the tools they will need when they get to adulthood. Show them the value of the frills and let them see how much things costs. Let them add up a night for your family at the Roadhouse and compare it to the electric bill. Let them see that you are about so much more than entertainment. You are about "the long haul"....teaching and training them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
A friend helped me with perspective on this several years ago.
While reflecting over how children were having to miss our church's AWANA program for various sporting activities, she reminded me the sadness in that, when they are 65, they will probably not be able to kick a soccer ball, but they would be able to recite the scriptures they had hidden in their hearts. In the long run...which is more important? It was a GREAT reminder for me in staying the course...and remembering that I'm in it for "the long haul."
PS Music lessons are a nice thing. If they are important to you, start praying today that the Lord would show you how to make them happen. Whether it be bartering you or your child's services, or some other great way...pray about it. Then see what the Lord does. :-)
Blessings to you.

Jenn said...

Oh girl, we are right there with you. I get to the point some days that I just want to cry (and sometimes do) when I say no to something because, we don't have the money. It seems like (I know it's not always) but it seems like they are always asking for something or to go some place we just can't afford. I know we are not in the alone and that many families have the same struggles but it's hard to teach them to be happy with what God has given us when to them, it looks like God has given more to others. I too am so thankful for all God has given us and each child we have been blessed with. I don't have any words of advice, only a very understanding heart for where you are. Can't wait to see you soon!

Mandi said...

The boys ask for a LOT of things all the time. Our "canned" response is that its not in the budget. The oldest will even start his question now with "is it in the budget to...."

I don't ever remember a time as a kid where we had a lot or got to go out to eat a lot either, but we always had what we needed.

In Pursuit of His Call said...

Thanks for sharing this.