27 Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Luke 12:27
Last month Nathan and I made a decision. Like most decisions with us, the conversation is brief, but our actions apart and together will suddenly mirror a mutual heart tug, and suddenly we are living into a new calling.
It started with Becca. She and her husband started this beautiful non-profit that I have prayed for and followed for years and now they are building a new community space that will be larger than their already full home. We went to the fundraising event and said, “Yes, we are in.” We committed to monthly support.
Then, before telling Nathan, I lent a friend a lot of money. When I told him, his response was “of course you did…” WITHOUT sarcasm.
A week later, (after telling ANYONE who had asked since July, “We ARE going back to Romania!….someday…”) we found out that the church is indeed going back next year. As if God said, “Are you going to be all talk?….” We knew that a second trip meant we are probably self-funding. And Nathan said yes. I did too, but then I waffled.
Because I always waffle. And then I bought some extravagant gifts to show some people close to me some extravagant love.
Without, a pointed conversation, Nathan and I had to decided to truly live generously; with open hands, because nothing we have is truly ours.
In the midst of these joy moments, we had a medical emergency, and Gabriella had an appendectomy. We were covered and protected and God’s grace shone through every moment.
I was so full of praise until the medical bill came. I planned and budgeted paying it off, and thought I regained composure. Until another unexpected, pricey dental procedure caused me to go into full panic mode.
27 Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Luke 12:28-29
Today, driving myself and BOTH kids to eye appointments I thanked God for insurance and asked forgiveness for my panic. Praying aloud, both kids heard me ask God for more faith over our finances; that he would stretch the dollars and honor our efforts, if we were not frivolous. (I know me telling you what I prayed might seem trite, but stay with me…)
30 For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. Luke 12:30
I was calm, until I found out that one set of glasses, with insurance, was still more than my budget could easily handle. I wore my heart on my sleeve, and thankfully the sales lady stopped the hard sell. I did some mental math and decided what I needed to do (i.e. Zenni for two of the three pairs). I also thought “I will put it on the credit card and figure it out next month…”
The credit card was declined, because I never called to activate the new card. So, I just outright paid for it.
I apologize for the play by play and what probably feels like a too intimate look into what we Americans hold as a sacred privacy over our finances. However, I value transparency, and health and provision are my perpetual triggers. The anxiety that can be managed at a low roar becomes a deafening din if illness or money deficits occur. Our necessities are covered, but I begin worrying about groceries in three weeks, tapping into safely guarded savings, and potentially not meeting obligations of generosity and faith that we committed to.
All of this was swirling in my head as I pulled into RaceTrac. I was trying to answer my gut that said, “Go ahead and reward those kids who were soooo well behaved; even when you freaked out.” My kids live for a RaceTrac Icee. I pumped gas wishing I had my husband’s reward account that would have gotten them for free. It is such a small thing, but I had just prayed….”if we aren’t frivolous,” and in my mind that was exactly what I was doing: wasting money on a frivolous thing. But my money anxiety is not my children’s burden to bear, so we went for it.
For some reason the line took a long time. I wasn’t sure why, but I was so preoccupied that I wasn’t even impatient. As we were waiting another clerk walked to the other register. She motioned us up. I gestured to the kids who already had green and blue mouths, “Three small Icees..”
“Uh huh. You’re good.”
“Yeah, that’s it.”
“Yep. You’re good. Have a great day.”
I truly think she thought I was an idiot because it took me so long to figure out what was happening. I just stared at her. When it registered, I bumbled a thank you and herded the kids out the door.
“Mommy, you didn’t pay! Are we stealing right now?!!!” Gabriella exclaimed as we walked across the parking lot. That is when the tears started.
$3.05. That is what they would have cost. Just that little. But I didn’t have too. And I cannot explain it.
Guys, I’ve been desperate for whispers that bring peace and calm my whole life. And I felt held, known, and loved with that free Coke Icee. It felt as my Savior and GOOD GOD, in moment of humor, said “Can you chill? I’ve got this.”
Gabriella came to me for “snuggles” this evening, and asked about her glasses being expensive. I attempted to navigate with wisdom and truth, telling her that it is not something for her to worry about. While they did cost money we have to look for the grace in the situation: we are blessed to have insurance and that all of our needs are taken care of. We are grateful for what we have been given.
I might not be calm everyday, but I will go to bed tonight with a bit more peace.
But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Luke 12: 31-32
…and a free Icee.