March 11, 2015

Money Wise.

When I took this photo yesterday, it was honestly the most perfect morning.
The sun finally came out of hiding and completely enveloped our apartment in light and warmth.
Jarryd and I heated up our homemade cinnamon rolls for breakfast and drizzled them with the oh-so-sinful cream cheese frosting.
We turned on the Keurig and let it do its thing: fill our mugs with delicious coffee (OK, it's not THAT delicious, since we buy the cheap-o brands, but it gets the job done).
We brought our breakfast with us into the living room, made ourselves comfortable on the couch, and opened up our devotional book.

We are not so disciplined with doing devotions. Something always comes up...[insert lame excuses here]...blah blah blah. So when we actually do get around to doing them, it makes the day feel so much more special.

This book, "You and Me Forever" by Francis Chan and his wife Lisa Chan, is probably one of the best marriage books I've ever read. Granted, we are only about half-way through, but from what I've read, it hits the concept-of-marriage nail right on its big complicated head.

This book is ALL about Jesus. "When two people are right with Him, they will be right with each other". I love it! As it states on the cover of the book, it really shows you marriage in light of eternity. Reading a book that is more focused on Jesus than it is about the do's and don'ts of marriage, is a complete breath of fresh air.

So yeah, as I was saying, basking in the sunshine, drinking coffee, eating cinnamon rolls, and reading this devotion with my hubby was the most wonderful way to start the day! Like, I was on cloud 9. (What is this cloud 9 business anyway? And why am I saying it if I have no idea what it is?) I felt like nothing could burst my balloon of happy spirits. (It's a pink balloon by the way, in case you needed some visual aid).

And then, all of the sudden came the pin. That sharp little pin that is capable of doing a great deal of damage.
"Ohhhhh no..." I exclaim from behind my laptop. "Ohhhhh noooo..."
POP! There goes my shiny pink balloon of rainbows and dreams-come-true...

Our bank account had a little less money than we thought it did. Nah, let me rephrase that, our bank account had a LOT less money than we thought it did.
"This bill was due today?!" (Blasted car insurance, grrr!)
I was so discouraged because a few days prior I was so strategic and smart with my grocery shopping. I planned it so that we'd have a certain amount to last us until glorious pay-day. I had no idea that this car insurance automatic-withdrawal-bill was due the very next day. Shoot. (You can say that again!)

Shoot, shoot, shoot.

Money-wise, things have been tough (tough = total understatement) for Jarryd and I.
About 3/4th's way into our engagement, he lost his job, after we'd already put down deposits on practically EVERYTHING for our wedding. (And here in Maryland there are practically no jobs, which is just mind-boggling to a girl like me who comes from a farming-community just LOADED with jobs). So literally, the first 6 months of our marriage were spent job-hopping, with Jarryd working anywhere that he could possibly get his hands on so that we could pay the rent on time. With me being on a marriage-visa, I wasn't legally allowed to work until I recieved my EAD in the mail (which I did just last week!!).

So...TWO people, surviving on ONE measly-minimum-wage income, with all kinds of bills to pay, expensive visa paperwork to file, car importing, student loans, sponsoring a child, ect., just doesn't happen. It's not plausible, at all.

And it's like this bank account incident was the last straw for me. I just got so sick of our financial situation. All of our friends are buying houses, cars, new clothes, gorgeous home decor, going on trips, while we are just trying to survive here.

"God, I would just like to say that I have persevered through this financial pit long enough, and I think we deserve to get out of this hole of despair now! I have had enough! I am ready for you to give us what we want!!!"

Those were literally my thoughts yesterday, as I moped around all evening. I was having a major pity party, and it was probably the top pity-party of the season!

Looking back and processing what my emotions went through yesterday, just leaves me absolutely mistified. I was having an awesome morning endulging myself in His word...God was so good...and then as soon as I take a peek at our bank account God has suddenly let me down in the worst way and I spend the rest of the day angry at Him? um...WHAT?!



I blame my emotions & feelings. My feelings of fear and worry about our finances totally encompassed my mind, and caused me to forget that we are STILL here!
We are still paying the rent, and all of our other bills--on time, mind you!
We have a roof over our heads, and as of this past weekend, a fridge full of Costco groceries.
I mean, God has provided for us in more ways than we could possibly list.
As I said before, two people on one income in our circumstances, should not be surviving right now...but we ARE! We are OK and alive! And that is all thanks to God. Honestly. I couldn't put it any other way.

As Lisa Chan wrote, "If there is one thing I positively know, it's that feelings cannot be trusted. Not for a second. Too often, feelings are based on perceptions, self-preservation, fear, and emotion."

"God said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong". 2 Corinthians 12:9-10.

What an awesome verse. And to think that I read that passage right before this whole bank-account mess just proves that I have alot to work on! I desperately needs to keep these emotions at bay.

So, on a practical note, today I wrote on a piece of paper WHEN each of our bills are due, WHAT bills are due, and HOW much $$$ these bills require. And I hung this paper right beside our calendar. So no more surprises! (I'd take a photo, but I don't want the whole world seeing our financial-battles haha!). It's a small step, one that I should have done, oh I don't know....FIVE YEARS AGO?! But I think it's a step in the right direction! :)

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