06 Apr Grace
“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
Hebrews 4:16 NIV
If you read my God Said ‘NO’ post, you will remember that I allowed myself to really feel and be honest with myself and God regarding His answer to a decision the hubby and I were making. Well, this post is about the NEXT day. What I did not share in the above-mentioned post was that we were struggling financially. Being a SAHM and relying on one income with 2 big mouths (yes, these kids can eat us out of a home) to feed, and the necessary bills and expenses is a challenge. If it were up to me and my control issues, I would have been working full-time and making sure there was enough for all the expenses. But, that’s another story for another day as to why I became a SAHM. Anyhow, we were behind a few bills from the month before and barely making ends meet. Except for the occasional Cold Stone Creamery ice cream (SO SO GOOD!), we were very careful with spending and doing our best to be good stewards of our money.
There were a number of things I would do to cut on expenses. Here are some ways we lowered our costs:
- Shopping for groceries on a weekly basis so as to use everything up and not waste food
- Making meal plans for the week, so that I knew exactly what I needed and wouldn’t spend on any unnecessary purchase
- Incorporating more vegetarian dishes (also to encourage healthier eating)
- Cutting any expenses that were not considered a “need” (cable, gym membership, etc)
- Finding coupons and promotional codes to save money on expenses
So yes, we tried stretching the pennies. There were times when I’d be so darn proud of myself for certain savings I’d find. During this time, however, it was just plain rough. I was able to extend our meals out to almost two weeks from one week’s worth of groceries. Being grateful doesn’t even begin to describe how I would feel when I was able to stretch out to meet our needs. The pantry was reaching “empty” at this point, though. And my husband was trying his hardest to get some work in from his side business to keep us afloat. The day before, I had been honest with God and His “NO”. Obedience to God is EVERYTHING to me. While it was hard to swallow His answer, I knew that He was in control of our home and knew our needs.
To get back to the reason for this post, my acceptance to God’s answer during this time made the difference in the timing of His blessings for our lives. If I had not accepted His answer, we would’ve been in disobedience. God would not have banished us, but out of our own free will, our choice would have taken us through longer routes to get to where we needed to be. Remember the Israelites having to wander in the desert for 40 years? They weren’t supposed to take that long to get to the Promised Land. And I would rather learn from history and others’ mistakes than have to repeat that same pattern. The day after I accepted His answer, we received God’s provision to pay off the bills from the month before and for the current month. I was also able to fill the food pantry with groceries.
I’m not saying that if we are obedient, there will be no struggles or lack. That is not true. Many of us are struggling financially or in other areas. Perhaps, this is why there is a Deuteronomy 15:11. What I am saying is that with our obedience, we did not extend our journey. If we had rejected His answer, there may have been a different scenario for us. All I know is that I accepted God’s answer, even in my ugliness, and He showed me His true colors, once again.
Grace…no one deserves this. Yet, He continues to extend His grace on all. Once again, His grace found me in a time of need. Once again, I’m in awe of His goodness and His perfect character.