06 November 2008


I was running some numbers today and they brought me to some pretty intense realizations.

$2700.00 Monthly Income

$700.00 Mortgage
$210.00 School Consolidation Loan
$250.00 School Loan
$137.00 Car Payment
$270.00 Tithe
$61.00 Phone/Internet
$60.00 Cell Phone
$81.00 Savings
$35.00 Water Bill
$32.00 Compassion
$20.00 Gas Bill
$30.00 Power Bill
$40.00 Shiloh's Food
$30.00 Medications
$12.00 Netflix
$68.00 Yoga Class (a definite necessity)
$75.00 Job Coach (also a necessity)
$2111.00 Total Expenses

That leaves $589.00 per month.
And it sounds like a lot.
But you'll notice that I haven't included food, toiletries, or gas in my car. It also leaves out any other necessities that may come up in any given month.
Every three months, my car insurance is $288.00.
Gas for the car (for which I'm HUGELY grateful for the continuing price drop) ~ $75.00/month
Food from the grocery typically runs me between $75.00 and $125.00, depending on what I make and how often I eat at home.

In a month where these are all at their highest, that leaves $101.00 per month.

That doesn't include cleaning supplies, donations to other places, birthdays or other incidental expenses (like Hallowe'en), or any of those things that "just come up."
It doesn't include eating out.
Or the occasional trip to St. Louis.
Or my trip to Guatemala.
Or books.
Or my class at BTSR.
Or the tires I need to put on my car.

Translation: the numbers aren't good.

But I am one person.
I don't buy diapers.
I don't have kids that need to eat.
I don't have laundry for 5 to wash.

Yesterday, I was feeling very defeated about this. I was looking at my checkbook, wondering how it's the 5th of the month and my resources are nearly half gone.

And then it hit me.
It hit me.

"My God shall supply all my needs."
Not all my needs plus $500.00.
Not living in luxury.
"All my needs."

I've never been at a point where I couldn't afford food.
I've never defaulted on my mortgage.
I've never had to ask for assistance from a church or other organization.

I am doing everything I can to make the numbers line up in a way that makes me "comfortable."

But that isn't where God calls me.
The money is always there.

God always provides.

It was a powerful lesson yesterday. I trust in my debit card, not in my God. I trust in fuel prices and planning, in clearance racks and discount items.

I must learn to trust in my God.

On days when I'm embarrassed by my shoes that are 5 years old, or my haircut that needs to be tidied up, or my yard that never seems to be without need, or my kitchen that needs a new paint job, I will see it with new eyes.

"according to his riches"
... not my own.

God has called me to this place.
God has provided for me since then.
Never have I wanted for anything necessary.
Rarely do I want for anything "extra."

Yes, the money is tight.
Yes, the numbers are raw.
But my God is not a God of numbers.


Pete said...

And you STILL don't go for the sugar daddy!LOL

Greta Jo said...

Oh Erin, Just what I needed to read. Thank you! God always provides, all we need to do is open our eyes.
Miss you!

Jodie Allen said...

I've been so so so bad about taking time to read my favorite blogs lately (I keep telling myself I'll catch up soon) so thank you for linking this post! It's scary when you break it down isn't it? We make just about $300 more than you a month and we are a family of 5... which can make you see what I worry and crave for my business to do better! But what you said is so right on... God always provides! For us it usually is in the form of Mom and Dad (when we get really desperate) or a random note in the mail with a gift card to Target or something. Little things always happen that help us get through and I know it's all His doing.

Thanks for sharing your details...it really helps.

Joan Davis said...

Erin, you speak of a burden I have been feeling for months. I walk around scared to death that I can't meet my bills. I carry around a list of scripture telling me that God will bless me and supply my every need, but I can't let go of the gnawing worry. I'm sure it is because I HAVE lost a home, my car, my everything. I keep reminding myself that it wasn't my fault, and it wasn't God's fault. But the evil one keeps me living in fear. Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one living like this, but then God reminds me that I make my mortgage every month, I've been able to meet those unexpected costs. And then sometimes, He gives me a direct word from Him. Today that word just happens to come via you. So thanks for sharing and the encouragement.