I hesitate to blog about financial matters. It is my husband's domain, one in which he is extremely proficient. Money is a source of confusion and ill-contentment for me. I love to shop. It doesn't matter if it is groceries or jeans. The thrill of procuring something new and shiny is a area of weakness and sin in my life. I allow myself to believe the lie that being a stay-at-home mom means I need to get out of the house every day for our collective sanity, and that usually ends up with our little threesome roaming the aisles of Target with a cart half-full of shiny, unnecessary items.
"Always easier to ask forgiveness than permission", squeaks the sin inside my head as I guiltily pass each superfluous item to the checker. She quietly sighs as I pay with cash, then a gift card, and finally a check in a wan attempt to deceive my husband about how much I actually spend at the store. Sometimes, other mommies catch me doing this and we exchange knowing and conscience-smitten looks. Me, too.
Having a husband with an aptitude for obscure and convoluted money matters means that my deception is an area of contention within our marriage. I'll stop, I think. I will not spend at all. My all-or-nothing compulsiveness just adds to the frustration. As a homemaker, I am given the responsibility of purchasing food and supplies for our household. I can't just not spend.
It is about this time that I remember that I am trying to change sinful habits on my own. It simply does not work. I cannot completely change on my own. As I am learning this year, by setting rigid and unattainable laws for myself, I ensure failure. However, by asking the Holy Spirit to work through me, All Things Are Possible.
So I am working through a short study on finances, part of a course workbook on Homemaking from the Master's College. The book is called Becoming a Woman Who Pleases God, by Pat Ennis and Lisa Tatlock. (If you want to buy it, please buy it through Brandy's Amazon Store if you can!).
I forget what a huge and important job it is to run a home. I get lost in the crazy monotony of daily life with toddlers. I work so much with them on simple manners and obedience and motor skills and speech that I forget the larger work that I am doing- raising up souls for the Kingdom of God.
..."The home is her primary responsibility and focus...True motherhood is for a woman to work sacrificially at the God-given command to love her children" (p 191).
To sacrificially love my children means to pray for discipline and heart change in issue that I struggle with. If they see me working on sin issues for the glory of God, then they see little glimpses of what Christianity looks like. Then I am better able to reach their hearts. If I work on myself, then they hopefully will be less resistant when I work on them! I fell similarly when I am being guided by my husband- I feel less prideful about my own shortcomings when I see him working on his.
Anyway, the economy and God's sovereign hand is forcing me to deal with this particular sin issue. By staying away from places where I frivolously spend even an extra five dollars, I can better care for my family with the finances we do have. I feel a littler freer not having to deal with guilt after a morning at the neighborhood mega-retailer. I feel more in line with God' will for myself as a homemaker. It is an issue that is slowly fading from discussions that Beau and I have. Maybe a failing economy is actually good for our souls, if not our IRAs.