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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

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.


Dominic and Kimberly said...

I appreciate your honesty. I have begun to pray before we go to "weakness" places for us, like Costco, asking that we will only want and buy what we need. It is hard to recondition our brains and hearts but God can do it.

Brandy said...

Jen, I will have to put that book on my wishlist. I need a new homemaking-type book, and that one sounds like just the ticket. Thank you for the link, by the way. That was kind of you.

By the way, (in other news) did you hear there was a stay put on the new legislation? One year before the testing requirements go into effect! It sounds like all the fits we threw made a bit of a difference. But, of course, we need the legislators to revisit the issue or we'll be facing the same problem again this time next year...


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