Today is a prayer day for me. I woke up early this morning, fed my boys, and made my coffee. Instead of heading back to the bedroom for more snooze-time, I decided to go out and check email. Nothing new, really no news on that front, so I did my blog, face book, twitter, etc. Then headed off to get dressed. Now, I am back in the office, and thinking about the day, what needs doing, what can be put off for another day, and so on. I am also concerned about my needs right now -- financial needs, that is.
I am totally reliant on the Lord for His provision of my needs. I have gotten myself a JOB -- PTL! (well, you know...He did it for me, but I say "I did it" just because I did go to the interview, etc.) This job is GOOD, and I am so thankful for it. It is not what I was expecting nor what I had hoped for because of the following: it is only PT, the pay is much lower than I was thinking it would be, and it doesn't start for two weeks. Still, it is the first and only job offer I had gotten in over eight months (almost nine). I am so thankful for His Provision, and I am giving Him all the Praise.
The issue is, however, that even with this blessing from God, I will not have enough money to cover my expenses each month. Now mind you, my expenses are really low, really low, when compared to others I know. My mortgage is very reasonable (under $900 per month), and my utilities (except for APS which is always sky high in the summers here in HOT AZ) are fairly low as well (about $400 per month). And, with our small sized family, food is not a major issue (like some families I know that spend over $1k each month in food). Our food allowances is about $200 per month. I try and buy in bulk, and I share with my Mom a lot of Costco double-packs. We save on many things because we make old-fashioned things, and we try and buy generic whenever we can do it. I also buy store brand, which saves and I shop at Fry's Food and Drug, which has the lowest prices around (consistently). Still with all the saving and scrimping and being frugal, it is never enough. I simply do not have the ability to earn enough money right now to cover everything, and that places incredible pressure on me.
Given my current situation, it also makes it dicey. I have been providing food for us for the past nine months. This has been my contribution while I have been seeking full-time work. Just recently, I got a bit ahead, and I started to pay for some of our utility bills. I cannot pay for them all, and several are in the middle hundreds right now (close to $500). This has been due to making less than the monthly amount, and it has accrued over time. Now, I need two-three times the regular amount to keep my accounts current. I simply don't have this money, and my new job, will not provide it for me.
My DH has asked for some money from me to help cover our mortgage. He has consistently paid it, and we have only missed one payment in 11 years (when he was in the hospital with a stroke). We paid it late, but we missed the month nonetheless. Now, I am considering how to pay this payment as well as what I thought I could manage for August. I cannot do it, and I don't see anyway around it.
This past week, I asked the Lord about taking out a loan for schooling. My bank had sent me an offer for a low-cost school loan. This is a private loan so the money could be used to subsidise my needs while I am getting my graduate degree. I have already been approved for financial aid through Stafford, but I was thinking perhaps this would prove a good move. I know that my credit score is too low to even get store credit these days, and even with a new job, I simply cannot qualify for any loan. In fact, the government said I needed a co-signer -- can you believe it? At 47, almost 48 years of age, and as a working woman for at least 30 of those years -- I cannot get a loan on my own. It is pitiful and pathetic, and I am angry to find myself in this situation. I need help, I desparately need help, but I know that my situation is far brighter than the average persons. I have God on my side. I have a good support system, a loving family, and the potential future of good employment. I have everything to be hopeful for, yet right now, my prospect looks so bleak.
I just blogged about needing to make repairs to my home. Every time I walk past my hall bath and hear that running faucet, I cringe. It needs to be repaired, and my father can no longer help me do it (he is not able physically to provide this help). It is up to me, and I cannot buy the tools or the equipment needed to repair it myself. I cannot afford a plumber, so the money just goes down the drain.
This past week, we had storms come up from the south, and I prayed that my window wouldn't explode into my face during the night or that my cats wouldn't fly through it should the storm turn violent. The window has been broken for nearly a year, and it is held together by duct tape and some cardboard. Just one strong gust and out it will go, leaving me with a huge mess, and the potential hazard of serious injury to me or my cats.
Yet, despite it all, I am giving Him praise. I am anxious, yes; just a little bit more today than yesterday. However, I am not frightened nor am I overly concerned about it. I look at it and grimmace; I pray "Oh, Lord, when will it get fixed?" I think these days will never end, and then I say "everything will be alright." It is a God-thing, it is faith-in-action, and it is called TRUST. It is not "Carol, the super Christian" at all; but rather, it is the Lord Jesus Christ living through me and abiding in me. His Spirit is giving me the Grace to see the potential admist all the turmoil. I see HOPE where there is none. I see His Grace working out, day in and day out, and I am able to say to Him:
The Lord be praised today and forever more. He is SO GOOD TO ME.