Thursday, April 7, 2011

On the Cusp

Today I was going to post pictures of the garden and our starter pots and tell you what we've planted so far.  I was going to tell you that soon after Easter we plan on getting a slew of chicks, both for meat and eggs.  I was going to tell you that we've almost decided what we're doing with our lawn but haven't finalized our allowance plan yet (might as well wait until we actually have money to allot, right?).  But, for some reason, I don't feel like talking about any of that right now.

I will tell you that the fact that we'll soon be earning money again (after a four year hiatus) feels pretty weird.  Of course, it's a good thing.  Jamey will have realized his goal of becoming a pharmacist in a little over a few months (there are some tests you have to take after graduation).  Realizing a goal like that can be priceless particularly when it's meant taking your family on a four-year-adventure-without-income and making it.  I am very proud of him.

This may sound weird, but it's not until we went without income for awhile and then all of a sudden have access to it again (we're not there quite yet) that we realize how big a decision deciding how to spend it is.  It's kind of like when you get your first job and you get to decide how to spend your earnings.  Or, after you get married and you have to re-decide, this time together, on how you'll spend your earnings.  Or, when you start having children and you have to re-, re-decide how to spend your earnings.  Change causes a person to reflect and we're heading into some major change.

I feel like (more than at any other time in my life) the heavy responsibility that comes with the gifts we've been granted.  I don't want to fall into the pattern that I've lived before- taking our income for granted.  Sure, I can say that we won't live much differently than when we didn't have a job...and I believe this very well may be the case...but those edges can get fuzzy, lines can be blurred and before long we could start drifting into a very different life.

This scares me to pieces.

More than anything, I want to be a good steward.  I want to be responsible to the debt we owe.  I want to constantly be reminded of all that we have (that we don't need) so I won't be tempted to add stuff just because we can.  I want to share it.  I'm dying to share it.  I don't want to get sucked into the world's (my friends' or even my church's) ideas of what I should have or how I should live.

I want to discern God's heart and follow it.

I'm a planner.  So, it's tempting to me to think that sitting down and writing out a plan will answer all our questions.  Budgets are great.  I am a BIG supporter of budgets.  Call me Queen Budget, if you like.  But, there is one thing that budgets can't tell you- they can't tell you what God might want to see happen with your money.  If we tie our money up into tight little budgets, does the Spirit have room to move?

Let's just say that I feel on the cusp of change- good change and I just want to be thoughtful about it.  And, maybe if there is no big change going on in your life right now, you could pretend there is and take a new look at what you've be given.

Only God knows how the Spirit might move. Pin It


  1. Such a good read this morning. Thank you for sharing. My husband is such a giver with our money and I still sometimes cringe about giving. However I believe we are commanded to give and to help the poor and God blesses us for doing so. Sweet reminder this morning.

  2. Oooh, I got chills reading that one! Thanks for posting!

  3. is a lot to think about. Making it on NO income is such an accomplishment...and it's something others are working toward in an effort to be less decpendent on "the man".

    Congrats to Jamey for realizing his dream...and good on you for supporting him in that. xo

  4. When you wrote, "if we tie up our money into tight little budgets, does the Spirit have room to move?" That really made me think. Having a tight little budget makes me feel responsible and safe. Which is where I like to stay. Sigh. =)

    Thanks for giving me something to ponder.

  5. Hi, I read your blog regularly, but don't comment often. I have a question for you: I read that you like to plan a lot....can you help me learn how to make a timetable for my studies and so how to plan my day in general? Do you think you can write a post on how you plan your kid's studies? Your blog inspires's amazing how much you get done in a day..I'm a lazy teen and I wanna change that. Help please!

    Thanks in Advance! :):)

  6. Anonymous,
    I'd love to help by making some suggestions, but it would be helpful if I had a little bit more information, like what your goals are for the day, if you're homeschooled or if you go to school, etc. If you email me at, it may be an easier way to talk. I think it's great that you are thinking about this! I don't think I recognized my laziness as a teenager:-).

  7. It is the heart felt posts like this one that keep me coming back. Thanks for sharing your struggle.

  8. Wow... just wow... I've been a semi-lurker for a while and just love how things have evolved and grown for you, your family and what you share on this blog as a result.

    "if we tie up our money into tight little budgets, does the Spirit have room to move?"

    That hit me out of left field... and felt a little convicted. Not really about money, but it was more of a fill in the blank moment: "if we tie up our [fill in the blank] into tight little [blanks], does the Spirit have room to move?"

    "And, maybe if there is no big change going on in your life right now, you could pretend there is and take a new look at what you've be given."

    Again... ouch... in a good way. There's been some small and big change going on in my life and only now am I able to see the good of it, the purpose behind it, and the gifts I've been given. Like many people, I spell change "t-r-a-u-m-a" and tend to shy away from it... but I'm learning that it's all to show His work through me.

    Thank you for the reminder.

  9. It's funny how scary responsibility is :) It's so easy for my husband and I to decide where to give our money right now, because we have so little. But I know God loves to grow us beyond what is comfortable. I wonder what it will be like if we ever earn more money!

  10. We've also gone from a small income (in retrospect, a "how on earth did we/God do *that* with so little?") to a more-than-enough income, and the increase is indeed a surprising intellectual/moral jungle gym in a lot of ways. Instead of defaulting to "nope, can't afford it", we're now at the point where it's more "Wait. You mean, we *can* afford more than the basics right now? But... should we?", and those are strange things to detangle.

    We have found that having half-budgets to put a cap on what we spend (having a tight little budget for food, clothing, "leisure", and all the other things that tend to want to increase even if they don't need to) but not on saving/giving/etc. can help us dodge "lifestyle expansion" to a certain degree while still leaving room for inspiration. It can also dodge some of the more circular floundering and flip-flopping (it's good to wrestle; it's not good to spend all your time wrestling. I think?). We're currently in a year off-budget, which is more expensive. :-) But it is hard to decide how to give, and how to save (retirement? house someday?) and what is being wise or responsible vs. what is clinging to money as a safety net where we shouldn't be.

    I would note that I prefer this "problem" to the problem of, for instance, whether we can afford both antibiotics and rent, and someone who is wrestling to find enough money for shoes for their kids or something might be insulted at the idea that having more money than you need could be a problem - but it's still challenging!

  11. I found your blog just recently, and am enjoying it!

    Isn't it fun, FINALLY, when you have some financial wiggle room? I am a few years ahead of you in this game of life, have gone through the husband's PhD, the three childbirths and subsequent raisings, through college (almost through that's a financial toughie for us, but so happily worth it!)

    I like to share this infrequently-read scripture: Matthew 6:3
    (KJV, because that is how I think)

    But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:

    In effect, we can keep our donations and good works a secret - don't let people know your good works! Angels unawares...


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