My husband came home yesterday clearly discouraged. I could tell earlier in the day by the tone of his voice that he was discouraged about something, but I couldn't tell what and the day didn't lend itself for having that conversation right then. We talked when he returned home from work last night and I quickly realized why he felt so down. It was difficult not to go right down with him, but I also felt the Lord's peace somehow about the whole thing.
I'm sure many of you, like us, are facing changes in your financial status once January 2011 arrives. The new health care is hitting people hard, especially families. Last night, my husband shared with me that our family insurance plan is going up by $100 per month. Yes, that's a lot in our household. The news hit him (and me) like a ton of bricks. Adding to our frustration, and admittedly, a bit of anger at first, he found out from his co-workers who have the single person plan that their increase is a mere $5.00 per month. Now, don't get me wrong, he doesn't wish for them to have a bigger increase or anything, but it's clear that the new health plan is targeting families. It's one more indicator that the family unit is under attack in our world and our country.
See, the hardest thing about it is that we had finally reached a point where we were going to be able to put $100 into savings toward a new-to-us vehicle which we know is going to be needed in the next few years most likely. Now, with a bit of juggling and some changes (no details needed), we will be able to make the extra payment toward health care, but we won't have anything left over to put into savings. **sigh**
It seems like every time we just begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel, that light gets extinguished again. It's not like we are asking for a lot - we don't mean to take vacations that cost thousands of dollars or buy a larger house or spend lots of money on clothing, games, or other material things (not that those things are bad, just stick with me). All we wanted was to put aside some money each month toward an expense we know we are going to incur sometime soon. We have cut every expense we know how, but now are trying to find yet another way to do so. Seems simple enough, doesn't it?
My husband is an excellent provider! I don't want any misunderstandings here...I respect and love my husband and appreciate all that he does for us and how hard he works for us!
It's just amazing to me that with this economy, he is working full time and I am working two part-time jobs from home and we feel as though we struggle sometimes financially. I can't imagine those families who are without income at all...so I need to get the right perspective and realize how blessed we are, even when we feel discouraged.
We shop thrift stores for our clothes, we use coupons and plan menus around the weekly sales, we don't go on big vacations, we make 95% of our meals at home, and we are frugal in so many ways. Not sure where else to cut expenses, but I am sure the Lord will show us how we can do that as we go along.
The conclusion is this: while we aren't ahead financially, we aren't behind either. It's kind of a "wash". We still have jobs. We have a cozy home and a roof over our heads. There is plenty of food in our refrigerator and our pantry. We have clothes in our closets and dressers. We are not wanting for anything we actually need. We are blessed!
We know that the Lord will provide. We know He is caring for us during this difficult time of change and upheaval in our country. He is still in control! I thank the Lord for that!
I don't believe it is any coincidence that today is my first day of Bible reading - reading through the Bible chronologically I mean. I will try to keep you updated of the Scripture references so if you're interested in reading through with me, you'll have them. However, I know I am a flawed individual and will likely miss a few days here and there, so if you're interested in the schedule to read your Bible in one year, go to BibleYear.com and you can print out the schedule there.
Scriptures for today: Genesis 1-3.
All my best to you today!