Not too long ago, I mentioned some of our turbulent times as of late. Among dealing with my mom’s sickness, a new job, and a move, my husband and I had to go a month without pay in August. In mid-July my husband and I learned that his first paycheck at his new job would be in September. His last paycheck at his old job would come in July (The reasons for this are weird and take too long to explain.) So, we needed to make one paycheck last for two months.
Normally, this would be doable. We would take a month or two to build up our savings. We would use our emergency fund we already have in place. But we had just spent almost all of our savings on car repairs. And house deposits. And pet deposits. And moving expenses. And we had two weeks to find extra money, not a month.
So what did we do?
We received our full security deposit back from our old house. We sold our appliances (our new house came furnished). We sold some other things on eBay. Our family members gave Tyler an especially nice birthday present and helped in other ways, too. Still, my heart stayed anxious. I even felt frustrated and angry at times. In the midst of this frustration, I finally stopped and thought:
You know what? During our month of “famine”:
1. We slept in an air conditioned house every night during the hottest part of the summer.
2. We drank clean water straight from the faucet and took warm baths and showers as often as we liked.
3. We stayed connected to our friends and family through iPhones and wireless internet.
3. We had plenty to eat every single day.
4. We drove to see my mom and attend a dear friend’s funeral.
5. We even ate a fancy dinner for two at one of our favorite Houston restaurants for our anniversary (a sweet present from my aunt and uncle).
We were never impoverished.
God provided for us. Abundantly. More than we could ask or imagine. You know what else?
We are wealthy. Period.
What have I learned through this time of “famine”? I know that I have too much. I have spent so long learning to live frugally that I sometimes forget how to live generously. How can I be generous? How can I use the blessings we have been provided and bless others?
We are taking steps to do just that. My husband and I have always given money to our church, but we are moving beyond that. We are no longer spending our time wishing for bigger storage barns for all of our stuff. Instead, we are learning to open our eyes to the world around us, and in return, we are opening our pockets and sharing what God gives us.
I wish you all the best of Thanksgivings. May God bless us all throughout this holiday season.