When you’re on a fixed income, (I’m on disability income, and it’s not very much), sometimes in order to get necessities, you have to let a bill or two go, then play catch up later. It’s not because you’ve mismanaged your money or that you’ve been careless or foolish, it’s just because there isn’t enough –and that’s that.
This month I am dealing with the usual shut-off notices. I usually slide in by the skin of my teeth and get the bills paid before the shut off comes. (Or get help from a community resource). I get WIC and some food assistance for our household, as I’m raising two of my grandchildren and sharing the care of another. That assistance was cut by $40 last month, and we were barely making it as it is.
I am a frugal shopper. (and Thank God for ALDI!) Sometimes I do buy things that people would consider “luxuries.” But let me tell you this: these kids have one childhood and I have ONE life. If I wait to be able to afford chocolate or potato chips, we’ll never have them. So, yeah, I do get things like that. A sandwich and chips for lunch is oh, so yummy. Cheap ALDI brand chips. And that’s fine by me.
But this month has been super duper hard for me and my daughter, who recently lost her job. We were talking back and forth today (via text) about how she’s feeling so depressed and scared about everything going on in her life. I wanted so much to help, but am struggling myself. So I did the best thing any of us can do: I prayed. AND I went to a group of people who are my “prayer partners” and asked them to pray for our finances.
All of this struggling just makes you feel so tired sometimes. It gets to the point where you don’t even want to burden anyone with the information that, once again, you are in need.
WELL, not only did they pray for me, one of them met me at the gas station and filled up my tank. She brought me a trunk FULL of groceries, too!
Then I took the money I had for the baby’s juice and went to Walmart to buy it. While I was there I thought about the beans I had at home to make chili, and how I could make chili stretch for days. A few days ago I decided that, since I make vegetarian chili, I’d like to put more veggies in it than I do traditionally. I already put corn and beans, and thought that some diced tomatoes and green peppers would be delicious. Why hadn’t I thought of that before, in fact? But with no funds to add the “extra” ingredients, I would be satisfied with what I could conjure up without them.
So there I was, walking through Walmart, and saw a box of Saltines. Oh, man! Wouldn’t those be good with our chili?! But they were out of my price range. It just was not to be.
Got home with my loot and began to unload it all and put it in the cupboards. It was delightful discovering the things my friend had chosen to give us. Not just the staples, but FUN things as well. And what do you suppose I found among the goodies she’d given me? A bag of frozen, cut up green peppers, a can of diced tomatoes, and a box of Saltines! My 8 year old was also thrilled to find a bag of Pistachios. He asks me to buy some for him EVERY TIME we go shopping, and I always have to tell him we can’t afford them. “Maybe next time,” I say.
The best thing I got out of all this was the knowledge that God was smiling on me, caring about my desires, and using one of His children to provide for another.
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!” –Ephesian 3:20-21
See? It wasn’t just a trunk full of groceries and a tank of gas. It was faith refreshed and a heart lifted up. So thankful.
Praying you all get your God moment just when you need it the most. Don’t be too full of pride to accept help when you need it. You’ll rob someone of their blessing if you refuse help. And don’t be too blind or stingy to help others when you can. 🙂 It all matters! More than you think.
Oh, p.s., I was not only able to feed the little ones and myself, I was able to share with my daughter as well, thus giving her some much needed relief.