gifts

I’ve been stressing a lot about money lately.  I know what you’re thinking: “who hasn’t?”  Still, it’s more than I’m comfortable with. 

I’ve never been one to save.  I’ve become quite adept at living paycheck to paycheck.  However, debt, of any kind, kind of freaks me out.  It just doesn’t seem fair that I now live in San Antonio and still have to pay for a house in Spartanburg.  Or that we have to pay student loans for a diploma already received.  Yes, I know, that’s just the way it is…but I don’t have to like it. 

Last Friday, I spent the day helping my new friend Kate.  She owns her own cleaning business.  She’s also just had surgury on her right hand, making cleaning a little difficult, to say the least.  So, Friday morning, I met Kate at her apartment and we drove to the house she’d been hired by a realtor to clean since the house is newly for sale. 

We entered the gated community, followed our directions to park in front of the 3,000 square foot, 4 bedroom, 3 bath, 3 car garage brick house, and sat there with our mouths hanging open like Augustus Gloop in Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory.  It was beautiful.  It was magnificent.  It was selling for $410, 000.00.  There’s nothing like a big. fancy house like that to make all your future house hunting expeditions seem disappointing by comparison.

Kate and I cleaned that house from top to bottom, and it took about 6 hours.  Since I met Kate in a women’s bible study, the faith conversation was already out there.  We talked a lot about our faith.  About the bible.  About our struggles and triumphs.  And about all those little signs God gives us every day that tell us we’re on the right (or wrong) path.  Getting to know Kate better that day really opened my eyes to the fact that I’m holding on to all this money stress, when I really need to just let go and let God.  But that’s always been difficult for me.  I mean, if I’m stressed about money, but decide to give all that stress and worry to God, am I taking it back by looking for a job?  Or balancing my checkbook?  Or wondering what random belongings I have might fetch a good price on eBay? 

Today, I was reading my friend Dorothy’s blog, specifically her most recent entry, woe is me, and I thought: “wow, that’s it, that’s it exactly.”  No matter how tight money is, or how many bills are piling up, I have been so blessed.  We have food on our table every night.  Our livingroom furniture was given to us as a gift.  Most of our home furnishings were wedding presents.  My parents bought me my first car and paid for my college education.  And, since Trey is employed by a church, even our monthly income is the result of gifts from others. 

God gives us thousands of gifts every day, some more obvious than others.  I just need to remember to thank Him for each gift, instead of greedily looking to unwrap the next one.

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