Provision through panic
On occasion, we’re thrilled to host guest bloggers who can offer insight into issues so many of us face each day, whether it’s family or finances, school or stress, heartache or happiness. Today we check in with Becky Gillis as she and her husband, Matt, take on a challenging new financial situation.
It’s a new year. We survived. God provided.
I love everything about September…back-to-school sales, crisp air, the kaleidoscope of colors on the trees and, most of all, school. I have loved the first day of school for 35 years, first as a student and now as a teacher. This year, however, I was filled with unspeakable panic as school approached.
My husband, Matt, was quitting his full time job to become a full time nursing student. The reality of going from two incomes down to one meant no back-to-school shopping (one of my all-time favorite things!), saying no to football games because we didn’t have the entrance fee (much to the dismay of my 8th grade daughter’s highly anticipated social life), and anxiety about our three girls’ fall birthdays. I can smile now as I look back and realize how God had all of our needs already taken care of—and a few wants too. Here, from the pages of our family journal, is a glimpse back at God’s provision through my panic:
- August 6, 2012 – Great stuff at Goodwill. Girls are SET for school. I also asked for rugs and other things for my reading area at school on Facebook and got two beanbags (blue & gold – our school colors!) and an area rug given to me.
- August 16, 2012 – Matt’s last day at work. Free front door and French doors for our bedroom that were going to be taken to the junkyard from a nearby job site. Did I mention that when Matt built our house he framed in a spot for French doors for the future?
- August 27, 2012 – Today at work we had to open a sealed envelope and each get a quote from inside. This is the one I grabbed: “Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. It means to be in the middle of those things and still BE CALM IN YOUR HEART.” Pretty fitting for Matt’s first day of nursing school 🙂
- September 3, 2012 – Notice of reduced lunch for the girls. Instead of $1.50 each/day for all three of them it will only be $.40 each/day.
- September 17, 2012 – My flat tire experience on the way home from Halee’s game Thursday ended up blessing someone else today. Matt was on his way home from his brother’s house and stopped to help someone with a flat. Their four-way wrench was stripped so he gave them ours that was still in his truck from when he rescued me. We still have two at home. Feels good to help others 🙂
- September 17, 2012 – We’ve paid tithe consistently since Matt started school. Things are very tight! Praying we are wise and that Matt’s student loan money comes soon. Please give us both good gas mileage this week!
- September 22, 2012 – A Facebook friend who used to be in youth group with us messaged me and said God spoke to her about sending us gas money and some extra to help with our travels and expenses to Halee’s away volleyball games.
- September 27, 2012 – Received two checks in the mail today from friends who wanted to bless our family!
- September 28, 2012 – Came home to canned goods sitting on our counter. My dad found a good sale and stocked up for us.
- September 28, 2012 – Got a bunch of fresh tomatoes from Matt’s parents.
- October 9, 2012 – $150 in gift cards from a friend who just wanted to bless us.
- October 10, 2012 – An anonymous person from church paid for Halee to go to youth convention.
- October 13, 2012 – 14 pairs of jeans for our girls that some “Extreme Couponers” from our church got for free.
- October 13, 2012 – Our water quit. We prayed. It started again with no repair fees or parts bought.
- October 23, 2012 – Random act of kindness—my girls were trying to figure out if they had enough birthday money to buy some ice cream to share in the gas station, and a random stranger handed them money so they could each have their own 🙂 This is the same gas station where a worker paid for Halee’s Gatorade after a volleyball game last week.
- October 26, 2012 – While we were in Detroit running in the Detroit Marathon to raise money for a local teen injured in a car accident the people-mover payment center “broke” so we all got to ride back to the hotel for free.
- October 26, 2012 – Cute, borrowed costumes for the girls from a co-worker so we don’t have to buy any.
- November 1, 2012 – A gently used pair of Nike basketball shoes were given to Jordyn by a co-worker whose daughter just happened to outgrow them just when Jordyn needed a pair.
- December 18, 2012 – Last Friday, we literally had $0 in our accounts. I told the girls to pray. The cool thing about having nothing is getting to see how God provides in big ways. That morning at school, a co-worker offered to let us borrow $500 until we get our taxes back so we could pay bills, get gas, and finish getting Christmas gifts 🙂 (Side note – I had been standing in the office with a knot in my stomach wondering how I was going to get to work the following week with $0 and no gas in my tank.)
- December 19, 2012 – $100 gift for baking supplies, finishing Christmas shopping and groceries.
- December 20, 2012 – $100 gas card from a parent whose child I drive to school daily.
I leave you with a note from one of my devotions from the week of Christmas: When we have a larger perspective, we realize that most of our problems are really not significant in the long run—for example, we’ll never remember ten years from now how much it cost to pay the late fee on this month’s mortgage payment. If our problems are more life-consuming and painful (those things like divorce, sick children, cancer), we have all the more reason to recognize that God and his purposes are bigger. (Pastor Chris Hodges’ new book, Fresh Air)
Looking forward to God’s provision in 2013!
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