Apparently, he heard me tell him that he had "enough" of something, and he wanted some clarification as to what that meant. As I tried my best to tell him, it made me wonder if God was listening to my explanation and watching my own words hit home for me.
What is enough?
It's been 3 months since Buddy lost his job, and I've learned quite a bit since the last time I saw money deposited into our account.
In that first month, we ran out of bandaids, batteries, and one of the hair products that I use to control the mop of curls on my head. We also had to buy paper, envelopes, and ink to help get Buddy's business going. Since he's been traveling around to sell advertising, we spent a little over $300 in gas. I had to renew my driver's license. Buddy's brake tag expired, and we also had to replace his windshield because it had a huge crack and we knew they were going to require us to take care of that before approving his new tag.
Lots of normal life "stuff" happened in that first month, and it's made me even more aware of all of my blessings. I don't think I've ever worried about adding bandaids to my grocery list before, but when we ran out, it was just one more thing that God used to help me recognize how good we've had it all of these years. (I realize that bandaids are only a few dollars, but when you start running out of 10 different things that are "only a few dollars" it can really add up!)
And then there's gas. Filling up the tank and watching those numbers climb has always made me cringe, but now I reach a whole new level of anxiety when I see our gas light come on. Now it's just one more thing that reminds me of how much money is flowing out of our account instead of in.
Since we have lived a *mostly* frugal life up until this point, there was a tiny part of me that hoped it wouldn't be too bad. Maybe I'd get through this rough patch without fretting too much, since I was already used to pinching pennies and avoiding unnecessary expenses.
God must have heard that thought pass through my mind and politely concealed His laugh at my expense.
No. I'm kidding. I know that He would never laugh at me, especially when He knew the journey I was about to endure. He probably felt more like a father watching his daughter attempt to swim for the first time on her own. He knew I was going to go underwater and swallow some water as I gasped for air on my way up, but He also knew that it was a lesson I needed to experience so I could figure out what He needed me to learn.
Sometimes life on this earth will be rough, but God will always provide.
Unfortunately, every time I think I have that truth rooted deep in my heart, I find myself tearing up at the hundreds of "what ifs" that my brain is constantly trying to scare me with. But despite my moments of despair, I know that He will always make sure that we have enough. I know this because I have witnessed it over and over again.
We have been using our savings to help us get through this rough patch, but we've also had many other people help us out as well. When we realized we still had to buy a new car seat for the baby, we had family step in and provide us with the money so we could go buy what we needed. When we started to worry about how bad the grocery bill was going to set us back, we had some friends surprise us with two Wal-Mart gift cards. We've had everything from people cooking dinners for us to someone donating diapers for the baby. When our dog got sick, we had a friend give us the money to bring him to the vet. When we got him to the appointment, the vet gave us a discount on his check up because she knew we have been struggling financially. The other day, someone bought my daughter shoes for her PE class. This woman found out that we had a need, and she just went out and bought them for her. (Crazy, right?!) Then the other day, we got an anonymous card in the mail that had a sweet note inside, along with $40 worth of Chuck-E-Cheese gift cards. I'm not even joking. (And such perfect timing too, because my son is turning two on Sunday, so now we can go there one day soon to celebrate!) These are just a few of the ways we have been blessed by others in the last few months. I didn't even name them all!
So, despite having no income, our family of six has had enough. We have actually had more than enough. We have not only had food on our table, but we've also been treated to Popeye's chicken, Papa John's pizza, Baskin Robin's ice cream, and my personal favorite, Jerk's Island Grill. Buddy and I have even been able to have a few date nights, thanks to the various restaurant gift cards that we had been given by family and friends on holidays and birthdays. (I've definitely been thanking God big time for those, because I have really needed that time with my hubby! Between the stress of the new job, the last few weeks of pregnancy, and now these past few weeks of adjusting to life with a newborn, those date nights have really been a major blessing!)
These last few months haven't been easy, but God has taken every one of our needs and provided for us in ways that we never would have thought possible. We have been humbled over and over again, and I have cried many tears of joy.
It's been very humbling to let so many other people take care of me and my family, but each time it happens, it brings me closer and closer to God. Each time I am blessed, it reminds me that God is in control and that He is going to provide.
So next time someone asks you if you have had "enough", pause for a minute before you answer. Take that moment and say a prayer of thanksgiving to your heavenly Father. Because as long as you are following Him and trusting in Him, your answer will always be, "Yes, I have enough."