Wednesday, December 1, 2010


One of the hard things about having a husband who works in the trades, is that there isn't necessarily a predictable paycheck every month--he isn't on salary, where we know that he will ALWAYS bring home X amount each month. Instead, his paycheck varies for a number of different reasons, including the fact that the drain-cleaning portion of his work is commission based.

Needless to say, when Justin got paid yesterday, it was a much smaller check than I think either of us were anticipating, for a variety of reasons. On my part, I had also completely forgotten that Justin had taken a draw last month to put a down-payment on a truck that he bought from a friend {which is another story and situation entirely}. Now, when I say it was a smaller check, I don't mean that it was a smaller check of the "oh, we'll have to scale down Christmas" variety. It was a smaller check of the "crap, this doesn't really cover our basic bills, let alone gas" variety.

{side note: sometimes I struggle with how much of the reality of our money situation to post on our blog. I don't want it to come across as though I'm complaining because we did choose this life. Also, I know my momma reads this blog and I don't want her to worry! Still, this worry about provision is sometimes a reality for me, and I feel like I also have to be honest about that.}

Months like this, I find myself questioning our decision for me to stay at home, even though I know we reached that decision after loads and loads of prayer, and that it was exactly what God wanted for us at this time. We've had tight months before {though not quite this tight}, and it has always worked out in the end. God has faithfully provided for our needs, always. Whether that meant a few extra photo shoots for me, or the appearance of some side work for Justin, it was always just enough. And it has been amazing to watch God provide that way in our lives. Doing so hasn't just been a blessing for Lizzy and I, it's made my faith in God's ability to provide stronger, even when things don't necessarily work on paper. It has really shaped the way I define "needs" and "wants".

That said, it is STILL hard for me to trust that we will be provided for, and that's definitely something that I'm struggling with today. It's definitely something that causes me to be scouring Craigslist for part-time jobs, even though I don't honestly feel in my heart that's what God wants.

Let me be clear--I'm not saying that we can just sit around, do nothing, and God will drop dollar bills in our lap. I do believe that God opens up opportunities in our lives that will allow us to be provided for, and also serve Him, like with the photography that has opened up for me this fall. And yes, I could {try to} pick up a seasonal part-time job, but I KNOW that isn't the path that God wants me to take right now, and would be serving myself rather than him. There may be a time in which I am called to work again, but that time just isn't right now. This isn't about stay-at-home moms being 'more Christian' or 'more faithful'--it's about prayerfully asking God what he wants us to do with our lives, and having faith that if we are following the path that God wants for us, our needs will be provided for.

And that's hard for me, because in my head, getting a job is the "easy" solution. I have to keep reminding myself that there are other potential solutions. I have the Christmas Bazaar this weekend, which will hopefully go well and bring in a little extra income. I have a photo shoot on Sunday if the weather stays clear. Justin is putting out feelers for some additional side work as well. If he receives a bonus this year, it will probably be in the next few weeks. We have an old clunker car that we've been meaning to list on Craigslist for parts. We have options. Last night, I still had moments of freak outs and anxiety, but sweet Justin just gave me hugs, and paraphrased Matthew 6:25-35. I fell asleep praying, and slept better than I have in months.

I'm still a little bit bummed that we won't be able to do up Lizzy's first Christmas like I would have liked. I just keep repeating a line from How The Grinch Stole Christmas that adorns our Christmas cards this year (our cards, which interestingly I had ordered before any of this had transpired...but how timely the message is now):

"Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!" -Dr. Seuss


  1. Meredith, I am always impressed by your amazing attitude toward virtually everything. You are always reflective, faithful but still realistic and I really appreciate that. Just keep your head up and your heart open - this will definitely be your best Christmas season yet!

  2. When ever we have a money catastrophe... I always jump to the conclusion right way "I need to get a job." It is not what is right for our family... but your head always goes there.

    Your post is what I needed to hear a few weeks back... I figured it out myself after a night of jobs searching, prayer and tears.

    Thanks for being so open, and I am vowing to be more open in my blog too.

    CHristmas will be great... just remember the best parts of things are the moments... baking cookies, seeing lights, snowmen... free and priceless.

  3. I really like this post. Or, should I say your outlook and view on the financial "crunch" that a lot of sahm's do have to adore. I'm with you. I get it. I do thank God for the side little opportunities that really do go a long way (my etsy shop for example, extra graphic design work for D...etc)---

    and I'll be praying for a special blessing to come your way again to just boost your faith even more!

  4. Even though we're a two-income family, we still feel the "crunch," too. I hope it makes you feel just a little bit better that other people feel your pain. AND that just because you have two incomes doesn't mean that you don't experience the crunch. So, even if you DID go back to work, there are no guarantees. :) I'm sure you're right where you need to be! I'll be praying for you all.

  5. You have such an amazing attitude and I'll be praying for you. I'm also a sahm and understand the wants vs. needs. If I went back to work now it would pay for daycare for two kids. Not worth it. So I stay home because I know that is where I am supposed to be right now in my life. It is a blessing b/c my mom has health issues and really needs me. It is funny how God always has a path for us but it takes US a little longer to figure it out sometimes.

  6. Great post, Meredith. I can totally relate to what you guys are going through - especially when we were still in STL, money was pretty tight and some months were MUCH tighter than others. And yet somehow, it always worked out.

    And I agree with Nessa - the stuff I enjoy at Christmas is the free stuff. Parades, baking cookies, watching Christmas movies, driving around looking at lights. It'll be a great Christmas for you guys!

  7. I could have seriously written this post myself... money struggles, thoughts that go through your head, wishing Christmas gifts could be more, etc. Praying for provision and peace in your heart.

  8. I am seriously amazed by your openness and your attitude to any situation. Praying for you all.

  9. You have such a positive outlook even during tough times, and I really appreciate your honesty. You and Justin and Lizzy are in my prayers - you'll figure out what's right for you guys!

  10. You have an amazing attitude. I hope everything works out for you.

  11. We, too, have been struggling with this. Our decision to have me work part-time, since we're starting our family, has left me freaking out some months.

    And, still, God has always given us just enough. Even when I wasn't sure how.

    But He has.

    And, still, I worry. I fret. And I hate that I worry and fret. I wish it was easier to trust in His provision too.

    Just letting you know, you're not alone in this. I'm praying for comfort for you.


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