My mind has been on finances a lot. We are lining things up for me to come home full time in the next 6 - 9 months which is so so exciting but I'm scared. If we're barely getting by now is it possible we can do it with me coming home? How will Brandon figure this out? I guess so much of my fear is because we haven't sat down and looked at our goals since his promotion....but I just have to admit, I have fear.... I really doubt it will ever happen that I will be a full time mom. God, will I ever be able to plan to have more kids!? I have fear that we will never get out of being slaves to money - but God doesn't give me that Spirit does He!? Jesus has overcome all our struggles - so why do we struggle so much? Are we doing something wrong?!
I think about money a lot, which stinks... Isn't there so many other wonderful things that should fill our mind? I absolutely can't stand having to think about money so much. The only people who think about money all the time are people who don't have any, including me (or people who have it and are in love with it and obsessed with it -- which isn't me)......it's not like we don't have ANY money - it's just that we don't really have any "extra". and quite frankly I am so so so sick of this struggle. and I'm just confused. I don't know what God wants me to do.
I appreciate so much all I have right now - being able to stay home with Raymond the majority of the day is AWESOME especially since I know how blessed I am compared to all of my friends, who don't stay homes. But so many of my friends just have different standards than me, I can't even compare our situations. Our home really is so beautiful, though small, and so so much better than our previous house by a long shot so life is good. and I do whatever I can to just focus on what I have...but sometimes I just burst for wanting more. Isn't it okay to want more!? I want to live on an even bigger scale - I just don't want to have to think about money. I want to be home full time. I want to have money to give, I want nice things, not Walmart quality junk. I can literally say I have a strong love/hate relationship with Walmart.
The American, enterpreneur in me, the person who wants MORE out of life...hates Walmart. I hate what their business concept promotes, I hate the Walmart quantity not quality concept. I HATE that I have to shop there - but....seeing we are on such a tight budget, I love that it really does help me save. It helps me stretch that money and get more food than I could at the regular grocery store. Brandon is so so awesome at budgeting. He is just a great leader for our house - he is such a long term thinker, and I usually am to - but sometimes I just can't see the light at the end of the tunnel. We delay delay delay - don't use credit cards, don't do the typical walmart thing where you go in for 5 things and get 25. Do you know how hard this is for my personality? I am NOT good at delaying. I feel that right now we are so good with our money....but I want change! I don't want to HAVE to shop at Walmart and I *hate* that businesses and products like that are taking over. I want fine things, I want quality things. I do not want a LOT of junk...I would be happy with a FEW just nice quality items once in a while.
I want to support stay at home businesses. I want to support small businesses. I want to support and spend my money at places that are unique and not the same ol 'junk' as everywhere else. I have so many friends that do direct selling or own their own businesses that I want to support --- but we literally just can't yet -- so my money goes to stupid ole Walmart and other cheapo places. I know the reason our country has thrived is because of our entrepreneurial spirit! The free enterprise system that promotes competition... not promoting who can make the MOST stuff - but who can make the best. The free enterprise system that gives anybody the freedom to make something of ourselves. The freedom to take responsibility for our actions and use our God-given talents to be financially successful, not depending on the government to take care of us. But I am frustrated that I haven't been able to partake in this wonderful system yet - I feel like the freedom our country is founded on is slipping away with the globalization and walmartization of society. I feel like the system (government) is out to steal away the ability for us to have freedom to create wealth. I feel like the government WANTS more people to rely on it... and big businesses are taking over and controlling everything. and even worse, credit card companies targeting everybody and feminists who changed the course for moms/women everywhere....and don't even get me started on education and what the public school systems teach. so can you tell I'm just cynical right now!?
and at the same time of all these shifts happening in our society......as the government gets bigger and our freedoms get less, I STILL haven't found a niche I can benefit from in this wonderful free enterprise system even if somehow it IS kept alive! I am just trading my hours for dollars like any other rat in the corporate world right now.... and I am so sick of it!!! I feel like we're so much better than how we're living. Every one of our pennies has a place it is assigned to - whether it be emergency savings, insurance, bills, then somebody needs dental work etc. etc. there is no extra and I'm sick of it.
I don't believe it's wrong to want more. I don't believe that I am materialistic at all - in fact anybody who sees how I want to spend my money knows I'm not. Anybody who comes to my home or sees the same clothes I wear all the time or sees how cheap we live so that I can stay home knows we're not materialistic --- but I have to admit I want more. Isn't it okay to have dreams? Why do my dreams feel like a burden sometimes? Doesn't God give us dreams on purpose? These "dreams" are not my defining purpose by any means - God and my inner growth are the most important - but I want to be successful in all areas of my life. Isn't it honoring to God when you are successful in all areas? I know that I can be honoring to God right where I am always because of my attitude, right....I know that in my heart --- but sometimes my attitude is just AWFUL like today!! I want to move forward!
It's just hard right now...it's hard to delay delay delay. but I can honestly say I love how simple our life is right now in many ways. I hate clutter and I love that I don't have to worry about that haha....but what about even things like treating people to dinner, giving gifts to others, donating money....I want to do these things! I know that delaying is great... I really do love delayed gratification , because I know that when I DO get the blessings, I will appreciate them so so much and I will feel like I "deserve" it..you know? I'll feel like I worked for it by delaying.....
BUT sometimes I just feel like I am designed to lose and that I will never win and then I get mad that I let those thoughts in and feel guilty for not trusting God! It has to be the devil. But sometimes I literally feel like I'm just failing in all areas....as a mother, as a wife, homemaker, in my outside the home job.....
I have to admit... the finance struggle I feel like I have been constantly under since moving out of my parent's nest and into my hubby's...makes me look forward to heaven so much. I can't wait to just NOT have to deal with money at ALL. That alone makes me want to jump to heaven right now. To just be able to focus on God and my true ultimate and defining purpose to love Him and be with Him --- and not have my mind full of really mundane details like money, up keep of house/car/body, etc. etc. will just be AWESOME!!!!!! But I know God wants me to face my problems. I know somehow He will use these struggles for good, right!? I know that this too shall pass right!? Someday I will get to have some earthly dreams filled, right God!?
Doesn't God bless His children who are good stewards with their money? anybody!??! Anybody have a testimony!? Will He bless us someday just because we aren't going into debt, for working hard, for not depending on the government and instead leaving welfare for His children who REALLY need it!? I mean we're doing everything right. We really are. We listen to proverbs when it says not to be lazy (work hard, don't depend on others), not to go into debt with others (using credit cards, etc.).... but will God bless us just for doing things right?
But then I think....how can He bless us without action though? To bless us financially we have to do something different than what we're currently doing right? You can't expect to do the same things and get different results - so does that mean I have to work even MORE hours God!!? or look for a new position? or just depend on Brandon? I dont' know!! He ca
n't really bless me for just NOT spending money right? or can He!??!! He can only bless me when I DO something that will reap a reward. Or maybe He will somehow bless us for being good stewards!? I just don't know!
But what talents do I have God that I can DO so that I can bless others and therefore bless you and therefore be blessed myself!? God, sometimes I get in this trap of looking at others and seeing the financial blessings they have...and it makes me feel like somehow they are doing something more "right" than me. Am I just not following a success principle I should. Am I doing something wrong? Looking at other people being so blessed, makes me feel inferior -- but that is what my mind says. My HEART says that YOU are at work God and that I can't compare myself to others. I KNOW that comparison is the root of all inferiority - but when I have my peers ask me all the time when we'll get a house, why Raymond doesn't have tons of things that others do, why we don't really go anywhere or go to "playdates", why we won't have more kids anytime soon, why why why why why.... it ends up beating me down without them even meaning to. But I don't want it to get to me. I don't want money so I can get the same things as everybody else -- it's not about comparison in that way --- but just to not have to feel pain when bringing up the issue of dreams/finances. I just want to feel some relief God and that I am delaying for a reason.....
Just to not have to think about money at all will be AWESOME! I just am so sick of being a slave to it God. What if there was a way to just get it totally out of my mind not just momentarily!? Just to have my mind totally consumed by Him will be so awesome.. I don't mean to make it sound like money takes up ALL of my mine the whole day.... it's not that extreme; because He does give me lots of moments of rest.
He makes me rest (Psalm 23?)--- because when I'm with Him and resting in Him - I get glimpses of heaven and my perspective changes. Literally when I am with the Spirit, I am not in this world for those moments. He just brings me such peace and joy because it's like nothing else matters but God in those moments. But then I'm back to my reality --- yes fully rejuvenated and full of joy and hope because of my quiet time - but nonetheless back to the details I wish I didn't have to deal with. I KNOW this life is but a blink of an eye --- but I absolutely believe that God doesn't want me to have to focus on money so much. I absolutely believe He is doing something and is at work even when it doesn't appear so. I believe He is leading me to huge blessings. I just need to keep doing what I'm doing and focusing on Him and just go with Him and I know He will lead me to where I'm supposed to be.
But sometimes I'm just like AHH am I doing all I'm supposed to God? I know these "things" are not my purpose - I know YOU are my purpose - but how can I help bring others to Christ if I have nothing to give God. If I have no money and no room in my mind because it's consumed with my own needs, then how can I be serving and giving to others!?
What talents am I not being a good steward of God? I am not crafty, I can't "make" anything to sell --- what I'm good at is marketing, customer service, helping companies troubleshoot DUMB policies and procedures, helping with website flow, organizational flow... just being a business consultant - but it takes money to make money. I'd have to invest hundreds if not thousands to start my own business if I was going to do something like that. Am I supposed to be sharpening one of these skills God? If so...which one, how?
Or maybe I have it all wrong and I'm just supposed to be mommy and a part time worker and that's it.... Should I just be happy to be dependent on Brandon's success and just be "content" to stay at home with Raymond. But God we're not abundantly living in the financial area of our lives. You know I have a hard time with that word "content" God. "Content" makes me feel like I'm not striving to be better. I KNOW that being a mom is "enough" but it's not really enough when we're struggling and doing all we can just to stay afloat right? I feel like I can't even do that great of a job as mom, when we're stressed about finances. This struggle can sometimes be all consuming God - so I need you to either change me so that SOMEHOW I can get my mind off where we're AT now and instead focus on the long term. OR change our situation God.
Money affects every decision we make. Where we go, what ministries we will support, what we'll eat, how many children we'll have and when, what friends Raymond has, where Raymond will go to school some day, how safe our car is, how safe our home is, what we'll wear, what sort of hobbies we'll do.... YES these are just "things" and come after God and family - but they are things that are important to me. What about just having TIME!? It's like you can either have time or money but you can't have both with typical jobs and I can't stand that.
I am not one of those types that think money is bad. I believe money is just money. and that it takes on the characteristic of whoever has it. It has extreme power to do a lot of good...or a lot of bad depending on who has it. and I believe that God would want money to be in the hands of good people!! So I want to be a good steward of what He has -- I don't want to be a kink in the water hose -- I want the money to flow through me and I want God to trust me with it. I want to bless others with all He gives me and I know because of that He will give us more. I don't think that wanting things or wanting money makes me unappreciative of what I have at all!!! Can't I be appreciate for all I have, but have dreams for more!? I believe it is possible to be joyful and thankful for what we have -- but at the same time to have desires and dreams and goals.
BUT all that being said ---- I also am battling because my job I have right now outside the home is extremely humbling. This is probably where a lot of my discouragement comes from now that I think about it. I work in a call center in a position that I believe is extremely below me. A lot of the time I am micromanaged like a barely high school educated worker. The pay is great, the benefits are awesome, the opportunity is great (if you're looking for a full time career)....but it's below me. Is that my pride talking? I guess, but it's just totally how I feel. I won't go into my past successes and talents God has blessed me with, that make me really overqualified for this. but sometimes we have to do things we don't want to I guess. We really needed some extra income (which is a whole other story - but summed up, I got pregnant while on the pill and 3 months married, 5 months out of school with barely a penny saved for anything and we absolutely as a household are against credit card use...period...so Randi gets a job when Raymond is 5 months old).
BUT.....about my position. I feel like I should be consulting this department on how to streamline their processes better; training my peers on how to have better customer service; helping organize & design our websites better to make them more user-friendly and efficient.....not being the bottom rung on the ladder, taking robotic calls saying the same thing over and over...and over. I am a driver. I am competitive, I'm a hard worker and I am very goal oriented. If I'm not moving forward - I'm not happy. And this position is frustrating because I intentionally am putting myself in a position that I will be stuck in until we decide to bring me home full time. By not going full time even though they ask me again and again - I am keeping myself locked into this particular job, no other opportunities are available for part time work exept for the job I have. It's so discouraging becuase I have so so many suggestions for the department, but I'm "just" a part time worker and any suggestions I have that I believe could be benefit the company SUBSTANTIALLY are seen as me complaining about policies or making excusing for something.... I know God sees my heart - but won't He use me? and didn't I just have this issue a few months ago? and didn't my cousin Christa remind me that none of this is my purpose? that God is my purpose -- YES I KNOW that --- but I'm HERE right now so shouldn't I care about the here and now too!? Isn't trying our best in ALL areas of our life important?!
This job just takes a lot out of me. Am I happy with this stage in my life!? YES!! yes yes!!! In SO many areas. More days than not I am GIDDY with thankfulness for being home, being a mommy so unexpectedly and just for everything we have..... I am moving forward in my spiritual growth, my physical health, my emotional health, relational health (thank you all who have challenged me on this and helped me mature a lot in this area)...and I just thoroughly enjoy my time with Raymond and being with him the majority of my day.....
but I still feel days of discouragement like today.
and what's crazy is that we have even been financially blessed recently too! but I still feel like we're just paddling as hard as we can just to stay afloat! Brandon got that wonderful promotion --- and it was such a HUGE blessing...but it's like how in the world could the money increase and there are still more bills? Maybe I just haven't given Brandon enough time to work out a new budget maybe?! Yeah maybe that's it! His new paychecks start next week - so maybe we will be able to maneuver around our budget better and I will be able to see our different budget categories increasing and I won't feel so..in a rut! Sometimes I feel like I'm just like a messenger for our paycheck. The money comes in and OUT so quickly it's line "vroom" - where did it go!?
But I bet that is exactly why I'm discouraged! I just need to talk to Brandon. We've been so wrapped up in life, we haven't had time to sit and talk about the budget so that is why I'll do!!!! That will make me feel better! When we sit and talk about the budget, it helps me focus on teh long term! Becuase I am losing focus on the long term and just focusng on the here and now too much!!! I just need to see that I'm leaving my little baby with somebody for a REASON.
and as far as this position/job...I guess my goal right now is just to shut my mouth at work and work on being encouraging to everybody around me. Use it as a humbling experience and a chance to be a blessing to others. I will shut my mouth and be humble when criticized about certain things that I disagree with but still have to comply to because policy says so and nobody wants to listen to my suggestions. and I just have to BELIEVE no matter what my circumstnaces look like, that God is doing SOMETHING! I KNOW that I AM SO SO SO blessed compared to the majority of the world and I am SOO thankful for all I have!!! It's not like I'm trying to play society's game of having quantity things..I just want some quality things! I want to be able to be successful to be able to give glory to God, ya know?! I'm not trying to keep up with the Jones...I don't work to get my hair done, nails done, to have clothes, to party -- I work to pay the bills and I'm proud of all I've had to give up - but I just pray my sacrifices are worth it. I don't want nice things to impress others... I want my life to be successful in ALL areas so I can give credit back to God. It would be nice to just go out on a date sometime and not be watching the clock to see how much we owe the babysitter. To not worry about giving extra at church when I feel nudged to!
I think I've just seen too much -- I've seen people all around me be able to break away from the chains of money and I want to live like that! I want to overcome this victory! I just want to take money totally out of the equation adn just not worry about it! I want to be financially indepdent and have financial peace so that I wont' have to think about money at all!!
and I know I'm not the only one in this situation... our country has empty playground syndrome. Empty playgrounds have become a regular scene for Raymond and I. Empty playgrounds are the norm! Where is eveyrbody , you ask? Well the babies are in daycare and the mommies are at work I guess!? In fact, when we go to a playground - and there are a ton we go to - not just one specific one --- it's really unusual to have people there with us! Empty playgrounds are so sad to me!! Yes it's wonderful that Raymond can have everything to himself...but not really.
Whatever happened to mommies going to playgrounds and meeting other mommies and getting to be friends. I don't want to have to join a mom's group online or wherever and have to "schedule in" playdates. I want to meet a mom and child that are not SO SO busy with their other 'playgroups' already or not working so much that they don't have time for relationships!? ....can you tell I'm just discouraged?
I know that this is a battle our generation is fighting and I know so many of us don't even want to partake in this battle! We don't trust companies, we don't trust the corporate world or even traditional jobs - because we see how well they have done to our parents. Pensions cut, jobs laid off, benefits cut...
Listening to KLove this morning I had the strongest urge to call in and add to the discussion they were having! They were complaining/discussing as everybody seems to be doing in this country about gas prices --- and I was just thinking to myself --- MAN - there are much deeper issues going on in our society if raising gas $1 to $2 a gallon really totally breaks people's bank. What is that like $100 or $200 a month difference? That totally ruins the majority of people's budgets. I know it has been eating into ours bigtime and thank God my husband's company reimburses us for that....but the system seems totally designed against us families isn't it?! It's like we are not teaching something to our children or not doign something right in our laws if the majority are even having a hard time "succeeding" in the most free, wonderful country in the world. And depending on who we elect for our next leader, it's going to get worse!
Can't we claim victory over this!? I don't believe that we are meant to have to be a slave to anybody or anything - including money and I hate it!!!! I want to win this battle for you God! Can't you use me God to overcome this victory and help others to the same?!?!?!?!
I KNOW I just have to keep believing! God please help me have faith. Help me believe that you are at work and that you will provide and that you will present opportunities and that you are blessing us. Help me not be so affected by my circumstances God. God I don't want to think about money - help me get it off my mind! I am so sick of being a slave to money and I want out of this. I believe Jesus overcame the world so I didn't have to struggle and battle and I believe you will give us this victory and all glory will go to you!
Did anybody read this?! Do you know what I'm talking about?!?!
Is there anbydoy out there who is on the other side and can give me some encouragement?! anybody!? Anybody who has been blessed to not have to worry about money all the time, just for doing things right with their finances!?
Sooo I don't know exactly what lesson I'm going to learn from this yet --- but I know this. I hear God telling me that I need to rest in Him more. If He is what helps my perspective change and helps me focus on the big picture (wisdom) then I need to be with Him more. I need to increase my quiet time and reading, again. and if Brandon is who I run to when I need to see "the dream" - when I need somebody to help me focus on the "vision" then I need to do that. So I will run to him tonight!!!
I hear God telling me that I am going through this struggle to be relatable to others. To be compassionate to others struggles. To be understanding. Because someday I'm not going to be in the rain and when I am out in the sunshine and somebody else is getting rained on --- I will be compassion and empathetic and not judging or imcompassionate (is that a word?)... I really believe that to be true.
Thanks for allowing me to vent my dear blog retreat. Sorry for any spelling or grammar errors. I am not going to go back and re read or spell check. I gotta hop in the shower.