Tuesday, June 3, 2014

I Want to be Thankful

I'm just going to be honest...this has been a stressful time for our family.  We are going through a rough patch financially.  As some of you might know Joe and I are on staff full time with Campus Crusade for Christ.  As full time missionaries/campus ministers we raise our own financial support to pay our salary and all ministry expenses.  It's a scary, beautiful way to live.  It is both humbling and hard to depend upon donations of others (many, many others) to support our ministry and our family.  It's a blessing too of course (our supporters are amazing) but I would be lying if I said that it's easy to be so dependent upon others.  If the money is in our ministry account we get paid and if it isn't we don't.  For the first time in 11 years of ministry we weren't sure we were going to get full paychecks last month.  We did get paid and we are incredibly thankful for that, but it was close.Our ministry account is at its lowest in 11 years.  So our assignment for the summer is fundraising.  To be honest it's a hard place to be.  
Beyond that it's just been one of those years with one unexpected expense after another...thousands of dollars in unexpected truck repairs, van repairs, our fridge broke and had to be replaced (taking everything in it as well), our lawnmower just broke, etc... and yesterday was the topper (I hope).  We got a letter in the mail from our mortgage company letting us know that there had been an oversight when we refinanced last summer and our escrow account is $750 short.  Because it was an issue with our refinancing it's not something that will happen again next year, but in the meantime we had to write out a check yesterday for $750.  Not what we needed.  Especially after a weekend photographing our local mother/son dance where I made half as much as normal because there were fewer people attending (beyond my control).  Yesterday I just wanted to cry.  I don't understand what God is doing.  Recently we have been trying to be extra responsible with our finances and even moved to an all cash budget.  It is overwhelming. I am so thankful that it is summer though and that we don't have to pay for heat (because that budget has just about run dry and I'm not totally sure how we are going to fill it), and that we should also save some money on gas not driving Lily to school everyday!
 The last two days have been stressful.  But there are some things I know to be true...I KNOW that God is faithful.  In our 11 years of full time ministry we have never had a short paycheck.  He has always provided for us.  So instead of doubting his provision simply because things are really tight right now I'm going to fight to trust.  He has been faithful before and I know that He will be faithful again.  Of course that doesn't mean that things will be easy or simple or go the way I want it to.  But I TRUST the Lord more than I trust the things of this world.  
Would you pray with us that the Lord would provide for the needs of our ministry and our family?  And would you pray that we would be faithful as well...in our finances and in our hearts and that we would be open to what God wants to teach us during this challenging time?
I've had every reason to feel stressed and worried and fearful today.  But tonight as I got out of the warm shower God reminded my heart that I have much to be thankful for...because there are people all over the world who might never step out of their warm shower into a lovely, safe home.  And that reminder was just what my heart needed.  So, I've decided that during this time I want to take the time to specifically thank the Lord for the many blessings in my life.  My thankful journal.  So in those moments when I want to cry I will let myself cry (because I've never been very good at being fake with others or with the Lord) and then I will ask the Lord to remind my heart of all the things I have to be thankful for.  
So here it goes....
I am thankful...
1.  That God is always faithful.
2.  For the many who support our ministry and our family both financially and prayerfully.
3.  For warm showers.
4.  For legs that can run (although not as far or as fast as I might like)!:)
5.  For my 3 amazing children.
6.  For a husband that trusts the Lord.
7.  For playing baseball in the yard with Eli.

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