Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Day by Day

People always say raising a family is expensive and I believe them. I can not believe the massive amounts of food, clothing, diapers, toilet paper and shoes (ok I'll admit it, most of the shoes are mine) we consume in our house! Our kids are literally ALWAYS hungry. We go through an entire loaf of bread at lunchtime every day. It's unbelievable.

As they eat, they grow and need new clothes and shoes. They need school stuff and want to be involved in sports and clubs that cost money. It costs thousands of dollars just to deliver a baby. They get ear infections and need surgery. They need to go to the dentist, they need retainers and possibly braces. Is it getting hot in here? Thinking about it all makes me feel breathless at times. How are we possibly going to be able to afford this? They are only going to eat more and need more, and have more expensive needs as they get older. I have visions of prom dresses, drivers licenses, graduations, college tuition and wedding dresses (4 GIRLS!) All good times and happy occasions to be sure but it won't be easy to foot the bill! The world must think we are insane. We don't make nearly enough money to support a big family. We only have one income. Sometimes I think we are insane too!

The old song "one day at a time, sweet Jesus" rings true to me on this one. God has always faithfully provided for us. I don't know how he will provide 6 months from now, but he'll provide what we need for each day. I think I keep getting too far ahead of things and it causes a mild panic attack. But God tells us over and over again to trust Him for what we need. He'll meet our needs as they come and it's always amazing to me how He does it. Now of course, He's given me a brain and I have to be responsible. I can't just go buy a Hummer and think He'll provide. I just need to look to Him each day and serve Him and trust Him for what I need. That's so refreshing to me!

Matthew 6:25-34
"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like on of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father know that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

A Dream Come True

This winter one of Mike's lifelong dreams came true: he got to buy a full size Ford van. We used to have a really nice looking metallic minivan that I liked to drive. I wasn't very excited about supersizing my vehicle, however I tried to stay out of the decision making process (except for demanding a DVD player - which actually turned out to be a VCR so my demands again went unmet!). The van actually isn't as bad to drive as I thought it would be and thankfully they have semi parking available at Wal-Mart, the only place I shop.

However, this winter when I was going to my ob doctor often, I didn't want to drive the van because it felt so big to drive downtown and park in a ramp. So, trying to beat the problem I chose to drive our Saturn. There are some nice saturns out there no doubt, but ours does not qualify. It has power NOTHING - honestly, not even power steering. But I hopped in there, which was no easy task pregnant as I was, and set off for the doctors. While I was driving I noticed the steering wheel shaking a bit. Once I got on the freeway it got dramatically worse. I could only drive about 50 miles a hour and my hands were numb. On the way home it got even worse and I was putsing along at about 40 miles per hour.

I was so mad! Isn't this just typical? Can't drive one car because it is too big and the little car is a piece of junk that shakes violently when you drive. Well, it turns out it was only snow stuck up in the wheel and when it melted it was fine. But it got me thinking very angrily about how nothing in my life is right. The cars, my couches that are ripped, my dishes that are chipped and many are missing since they have been broken, my towels that are ripping and stringy and smell kind of mucky, my stained carpet, and the list goes on and on. I was having a pretty good pity party shaking along down the road.

More recently it has been my closet and lack of wardrobe that fits that is a problem. We met my family for my Dad's birthday last week and my swimsuit had some problems. The little skirt had totally stretched out and would puff up in the hot tub - great enterntainment for the kids though! Then my Mom said I think it is a little thin and see through on the top too. So I threw it away to reduce the risk of a wardrobe malfunction! Now I have no swimsuit and need one for family swim day at swimming lessons this week.

I can't figure out how I let myself get so focused on material things. I know I should be thankful that we have cars and couches and dishes and towels. Why is it so hard to not focus on the negative? We all know that, but it doesn't always seem to satisfy those nagging feelings of wanting more, needing more and needing the best. I know I have far more in Christ than this world can offer. I know my family is more valuable than all the new things I could ever desire.

I've also realized that the good news is I don't freak out when a dish gets handled by a 2 year old or when the couch gets spit up on or jumped on. I don't care when the bath towels are used in a science experiment or as a batman cape. I guess if everything was new and exactly as I wanted it there would be no room for living - especially with kids in the house!

I'm trying to learn to worry less about "stuff" which helps me enjoy life more. And I can laugh when I'm cruising down the road in my huge van or little Saturn that's jerking everywhere because it's not the end of the world, there are more important things in life- and it will make a good blog!

1 Thessalonions 1:8-10
The Lord's message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia - your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it, for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead - Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.