Monday, October 8, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

A few weeks ago, our blinds in our living room broke. I was saddened, but not surprised - they were old when we moved in here 4 years ago and our boys were never exactly gentle with them. Matt reminded me that we need new ones anyway - in every single room.
About a week or two after that, Matt pointed out to me that our nice high-thread count sheets that we had bought with wedding money were ripped - not near a seam either. I looked into fixing them but they are well beyong repair.
Our van currently has winter tires on it, which is convenient as the snow starts to fly, but less convenient when you think about the fact that they've been on since we got our van a few years ago, and we've driven them year-round. We need new tires.
Our cordless phones stopped recharging, too. Now, out of the 4 handsets, we only have two that work, and one is on its way out.
My kitchen canister lids are separating and falling apart to the point where they are no longer air tight (I haven't been able to keep brown sugar in them for some time). About a third of our plates are chipped, in no small part because of the fact that when I get overtired my hands stop working and I can't hold onto things.
We've been meaning to change the carpet in our upstairs since we moved in; it's original 1980's light blue, stained with 30 years of living.
Oh, and Matt's work van just rolled 400,000 km this summer.

Why does it seem like everything happens at once?

And why does everything have to cost money?

And where on earth are we supposed to get said money?

Funny thing is, it seems like every fall Matt and I are faced with a load of claims on our money: repairs, Christmas purchases, insurance payments, tax payments... And then once January rolls around and work slows down again, it seems like the money just disappears completely.
But the really funny thing is, every year, we make it through.

Now granted, some years things get pretty sketchy for a while. I still remember 'fondly' the year that we got a paycheque just large enough to cover our mortgage payment, and that was it. So bills got juggled, some automatic payments went onto a line of credit and we had a $50 gift card to Safeway that needed to last us all month. But you know what? It did last. And the reason the line of credit was available was because we had just paid it off with a generous gift from a family member at Christmas. And two paycheques later, we were again making normal amounts of money.

We always make it through.

Some of that can be attributed to smart money management. We don't take two weeks vacation every year; Matt doesn't get paid leave from work, so it costs us twice as much to go on one week's vacation as it costs most people, so instead of going into debt, we bust our butts every year and save enough money to go one the one week we can afford.
Some of it was planning. I regularly keep my cupboards and freezer stocked full. This is mostly because I shop warehouse sales and when things go on sale I scoop them up. Right now I've got pounds of ground meat, a frozen salmon, a few racks of ribs and some chicken breasts that I know I spent probably a third on from what regular price is. And because my freezer and pantry was stocked, we were able to live off of $50 of groceries for a month (and we didn't even get scurvy!)
Most of it, well, truly all of it, is because God takes care of us. And that's sadly something I haven't always trusted. It can be hard when you open a paycheque for a few hundred dollars and realize that it has to keep you afloat for two weeks; it can be hard to remember that if His eye is on the sparrow that He surely is watching over us. And when things get uncomfortable, it can be hard to remember just how much we have. Which is A LOT.

Truly, most people in the world don't have a car for their tires to wear out on, let alone the money to afford to travel to the mountains and neighbouring cities for the quick trips we've taken that have contributed to the wearing. Most people don't have phones, or nice retractable blinds, or a whole set of dishes or even sheets for their beds. Many people can't say for sure where their supper will come from the next night, let alone have the comfort of a month's worth of food sitting frozen in their basement. And that paycheque that we get every two weeks? It fluctuates, but Matt still has a job that allows me to stay at home with our boys.

The reality is, in the past year we've made some fun purchases. We've done a labour trade for a tent trailer. We've been gifted a piano. Our boys have received so many toys as gifts from friends and family, that we've had to donate garbage bags full of toys to ensure we don't drown in stuffed animals. We've been given so much that we can keep giving to our friends in need, and strangers in greater need.

His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Mrs. VanderLeek ;)

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