Sunday, December 5, 2010

Hooray, God provides!

I've been a bit low this holiday season. It's hard for me to not be able to focus entirely on Advent, but it's for legitimate reasons. My husband had a miscommunication with his employer resulting in our not getting reimbursed $500 he paid for a conference put on by his publisher. This $500 was the bulk of our Christmas fund. We also have important birthdays and travel that will cost money. It's just discouraging. However, we have a gift for the boys that we know they will love and that we can add to later. (Shh! It's a Wii that we're getting second-hand from my brother). My 1000-cookie-bacchanal won't be that expensive, and it provides a source of gifts for friends and family. Any money that we get from our parents for Christmas will pay for us to get home (maybe that's why they give us cash! ;).

I get upset from time to time when I think about this lack of funds, but I have to realize that we put out $800 for this conference over 3 months. After grad school poverty, I marvel that we paid all our bills and still managed to sock away enough to pay for Dr. O' to go to Atlanta.

I took IM today to JCPenney's because we had a 20% off coupon from a church friend. The coats were at least 50% off to begin with, and we got to use the coupon, so I bought him larger snowpants and some nice Thinsulate gloves. The original price for all was $135, and I got all for $45 with tax. Thankfully, his boots still fit, at least until they go on clearance in a month or two! The best part of today was some one-on-one time with the son who is growing up so fast. He turns 7 in 2 weeks! We had a late lunch at Panera and did some quick grocery shopping. What a huge blessing to get affordable and durable outerwear and get some time with my not-so-little guy!

When I get a little annoyed, thinking that my kids deserve I deserve to see a HUGE pile of presents under my tree, thinking that our present unwrapping should take even a scant hour, I remember that I've been given far more than I could ever hope to be worthy of. I want my kids to be so immersed in Advent joy that the Christmas Day materialism becomes part of Christmas but not the sum total of Christmas.

I thought about getting a credit card to make it through Christmas, but I'm not going to. I just can't put my faith in a piece of plastic with the expectation that "it'll all work out". If it'll work out when I pay off the debt, why not trust that things will work out now? God provides. Not all at once or always in the ways I think He should, but He has blessed us abundantly. Philippians 4:19

UPDATE: As usual, everything has worked out fine. We have been abundantly blessed with new clothes and new shoes and thoughtful gifts of all kinds by our family. We have had enough money to be able to travel to Indiana and Pennsylvania. My brother charged us $25 for the Wii, which came with 2 games and 4 controllers. We bought the Jedis a Star Wars LEGO game for the Wii and a table and chair set for M. Dr. O' got a great deal on an iPod dock for me, and I've been enjoying it throughout the Christmas season. Dr. O' bought all of his own gifts at his conference in Atlanta, where he can find the best deals on books each year. We have what we need, and then some! Thank you, Lord!


  1. We are in a similar budget crunch. Rather than spend the extra income the Hubs has earned over the past and next few months on gifts, we are spending it on the transmission that enables him to get to work. We are making a big deal over Advent and have just a couple special gifts for Christmas morning. You are so right in saying God provides! (and you have inspired a blog post on the subject.....)

  2. It's a little disconcerting to have this happen AFTER grad school and getting a job, but it means that our fabfrugality has made it possible for us to continue to do great things with the resources He gives us!

  3. That was beautiful, J! My best Christmas memories as a kid are the ones where Mom and Dad had us do service for others. My mom was always finding a family that needed help, and we would do the 12 days of Christmas to them. I always had to do the drop, knock and BOLT. I loved it, and I don't remember any of the presents I got, but I remember the service we did. We are having a similar Christmas that year, and I feel at peace with that. I look forward to this being the most memorable Christmas yet!