The back to school necessities have taken a toll on my budget. Like so many people, I live frugally and on a very tight budget. Yesterday, I told the older kids that we would run and get the few remaining school supplies they needed. After looking at what we had already spent and thinking ahead about the rent, electric bill, grocery bill, and phone bill that are all due next week, I was keeping my fingers crossed it wouldn’t cost too much. We got to check out and I noticed that the 6 folders my daughter needed were $8.00 a piece. There was no way that I could afford $50 for folders. I told her she would need to put them back and I would run to another store where I thought they would be cheaper on my way to teach that night. She was a great sport and put them back without saying a word. On the way to teach there was a heaviness in my heart. I do not have a problem telling my children “no” and they are amazingly aware of the value of money and how we don’t have extra money right now. But when I can’t give them the basic things they need, like folders for school, it breaks my heart. I tried not to show my sadness before I left for work, but once I got in the car I let the sadness take over. I just want to get my sweet girl her folders for school. I am working so hard to take care of them, sometimes it doesn’t seem like it will ever be enough. I ran by another store, where they had some smaller, cheaper binders, so I grabbed those and went headed to work. When I got home I gave them to Aidan. She got very quiet and said, “Mom, the papers I have to put in it won’t fit”. She was right, they didn’t fit. I told her I would return them and instead of six, I would get her three big ones and then next week when I get paid I would get three more. I could tell she was disappointed, but she didn’t say anything and climbed in her bed. I went downstairs and my heart ached. I stood in the kitchen, all the kids were asleep, and I cried. I just want to be able to take care of my children.
There was nothing else I could do. So there in my kitchen, with the light from the harvest moon coming in through the window, I reached out to God and I prayed. My faith is a huge part of my life. When so much was going on in my life it was my faith I found, where I got my strength, and something that grows stronger everyday. I confess there are times when I am worried or scared and I just want to talk to God but I don’t want people to think I am crazy and talking to myself in my car, so I open my cell phone and pretend like I am talking to someone. Good thing my phone company doesn’t charge me every time I open my phone or I would owe a fortune…there would be a lot of talks to God listed on that bill.
I went upstairs, got ready for bed and sat down to do some work. I got on facebook and saw that my daughter had posted “sometime life is so unfair”. The tears began falling again. I wonder if she will ever know how much I want to protect her from the unfairnesses in life. I want to make things better and am doing everything I can to make them better. Will she ever know how much I worry what if I can’t.
This morning before my feet touched the floor I spent some time praying. I remembered something Moira had asked me the day before. In Sunday school they were reading Isaiah and she asked me if I knew that Jesus said he would make a way in the desert and water so people could drink. Her words came back to me as I was lying there. How true they were and in my heart I knew it. I just needed a sweet nine year old to remind me to have faith that we would be okay.
I got the kids ready for school and thought I should check my account to see how close to $0 I was hovering. When I pulled up my account, there was a deposit from a company for something I had written. I had waited a long time for it and certainly wasn’t expecting it to show up in my account today. Not only was the deposit there, but it was four times what I thought I was getting paid. I had been shown my way in the desert. Once again the tears flowed. I told the younger children who were still with me and wondering what was wrong that these were happy tears because I remembered how God is always here for us. On the way to work I got Aidan her notebooks. I can’t wait to share pick her up from school and tell her the story of how I was able to get them. I realize what I want for my children is for them to know, not all that I did for them, but all that God has done for them…and the little ways that He makes a way for us when we don’t know how we are going to make it. Faith…it is an amazing thing.