If you missed any of the other entries in this story, here are the links to them:
So it looks like it is time to end this little tale. Michelle and I have been trying to gather our thoughts on what we learned and figuring out the point of going through the last month. And I don’t think we’re going to be able to come to a full conclusion for a bit. We are thinking that the impact of this September will be felt into October and possibly beyond. Kind of like how we have groceries stuffed into our cupboards and piled on top of them; so much that we won’t need to buy more for a while in October.
There is also a feeling that the story isn’t done yet. Do you remember when we had that feeling after I had quit my job a year and a half ago? That is the only way I can describe what I am experiencing now. There is still more to come!
I was talking with a friend and mentor yesterday about what we did see this month. I (stupidly) lamented how I thought the blessings and provisions of God were going to be so much bigger than what we saw. He apparently took that a little personal, and rightfully so. He got up and went to the nearby white board and asked me the following questions:
“How much money did you have to start the month?”
“$1700” I answered.
“And how much in bills did you have to pay with that money?”
“Um, $1400 for rent. $230 for health insurance, $200 for electricity…” I tailed off as he wrote those numbers on the board. I could see what was so obvious but yet I was ignoring it.
“And how much was the gift of hockey for Jared worth? $1500 or so? And all those groceries in your kitchen? And the ones that you bought through out the month? And the gas?”
As I was slumping down in my chair out of shame, I had to give God a lot of credit. A LOT. Even though we didn’t see anything that we would consider massive, the sheer fact that we survived this month without running up the credit card or angering utility companies, etc was a miracle.
So no, we didn’t have a “blow your mind and make you say ‘Did that just happen?'” experience (yet). But wow, my God showed up and kept his promise to provide my needs.
Entering into October, our finances appear to be back to “normal”. Normal being about 70% of our budget which means we are somewhere between $500 and $1000 short. So we can’t buy tires for the van, yet. Or a second car, yet. Are we going to put money in a savings account? Nope. Will we survive?
Update: I wrote the above about a week and a half ago. But I read it over and wanted to add more. So here’s more!
I am loving the irony that I am releasing the conclusion of this story on (Canadian) Thanksgiving day. Michelle and I are SO incredibly thankful for what we experienced last month and what we are seeing now. There is absolutely no doubt in our minds that God is real; He challenged us to give what we gave and He is not a liar. He provided. Just like He promised in Matthew 6. We had everything we needed and we even received a little extra!
Michelle and I also had the opportunity to sit down this morning and record a few of the things that have happened in the last week. Here is a quick snap shot:
- We received news of a couple fairly generous gifts
- Michelle drove a few of her choir members to the prison (for a concert) and they gave her gas money. It was about nine times more than what was used.
- I was leading a tour around Houston and the owner of where we were eating handed me $20 because as he said, “I love what you do”. I had just met him 2 minutes earlier.
- We brought the donuts to our bible study class on Sunday. There were quite a few left over and as Michelle was coming down the stairs (and I was getting excited about how many of them I was going to eat that afternoon) a man commented on the box in her hands. “Did you want one?” Michelle asked. He replied, “Actually, I need to get some for my class. Can I buy those?” And then he handed Michelle $5 and took the donuts. I wish I could’ve seen my face as I watched my donuts walk away with someone who was not me. (I didn’t know what had just happened.)
That sums it up, doesn’t it?
I also want to add how much peace Michelle and I have now. We started the month with about $150 to use for expenses, but were not the least bit concerned. $150? Piece of cake! My God promised He will provide all my needs and He has proven it.
That’s my God. He is not a liar. We encourage you to dig into the Bible and see what He has said. It is all true.