Back in those Baptist days of my youth, I remember we all took this Myers-Briggs-esque test to see what our spiritual gifts were. Mine were giving and faith. Makes sense, as I could have told you that my introverted self was not going to score high on evangelism or hospitality or any of those areas where you had to actually talk to people. Stay in the background, give support and pray? Yup, that's me.
Lately my faith has been tested a lot. Faith that I made the right choice in marrying Jim, faith that we are making right decisions as a couple, as parents, etc. The biggest hurdle is finances. I married a man with no financial sense whatsoever, but I have more than enough for both of us (something I'm really thankful to my dad for now that I'm a grown up - he used to make me log in my babysitting money starting in jr. high: +$10 for 2 hours babysitting, -$2 for new nailpolish, and so on). This means I'm the person who pays the bills, the mortgage is in my name because my credit was off the charts high and we got a much better rate than if both our names were on it, that sort of thing. It also means I'm the person responsible for tithing, and I'm the one who worries about the checkbook when I have to scramble at the end of the month to pay everything off (thanks again, Dad, for instilling the fear of God in me for ever carrying a balance on a credit card). Things have been tight here. Seems like we have one month where a whole bunch of stuff hits at the same time and it takes us a few months to recover and BAM! we have a plumbing disaster and the care breaks down and we need to come up with a spare $1200 or something. Let me just pull some extra cash OUT OF MY ASS.
The latest drama was our tennant announcing that he's moving to Florida at the end of the month. He's an awesome guy, lived here since I was pregnant, and is seriously part of the family. Besides the fact that I don't know how we're going to explain to Natalie that Uncle Chris had to go away (he's her second favorite boy next to daddy), I'm stressing out about finding a new tennant that will work as well as Chris has. There will be money to spend to do a few quick upgrades down there between Chris moving out and a new person moving in, not to mention the stress of knowing we cannot afford to not have a tennant down there. I don't think we could tighten our budget (not to mention Jim is completely incapable of living within a budget) enough to manage without that rent money.
So back to faith: We barely have any money, but I am still owed a lot from last years freelance job (check was supposed to be cut yesterday...lets see if it comes), God popped another, easier, freelance job in my lap recently, yet payment for that one won't be for a while. That gov rebate check will be showing up in the summer. But we had hoped to redo our kitchen this summer (which sounds extravagent but it's not if you saw our nasty-ass falling apart kitchen). Now we have this tennant drama unfolding, and I wrote a big check last week for our tithe. I have faith God will provide for us, somehow. We never quite tithe a proper 10%, but let me tell you, what we give is usually given with sacrifice. I wouldn't have had to pay myself out of the savings account to cover bills this month if I hadn't tithed. That's hard.
God has given us so much it's easy to lose sight of the good and focus on the troubling current situation. He will provide. I keep repeating that to myself. But somehow, I feel like there should be more I could do. Is believing and trusting enough? It's not like I'm sitting on my ass waiting for an unknown relative to die and leave us everything. I work, Jim works, I'm sewing up a storm in hopes of setting up an etsy shop ASAP. Should I take on babysitting? Should Jim get a 2nd job in the evenings? Are we doing enough for God to warrent our efforts by relieving our finances a little? I struggle with this. In the meantime, it's leftovers for dinner tonight, working up an ad for craigslist soon, and praying that it all comes together soon.