I haven't been writing much at all on the blog lately. Not because I don't want to, just busy. But today I felt like I needed to take time to write about this.
I get asked these questions a lot:
You mean you don't work? Your husband is a graduate student, you have 3 kids and you don't work? How do you live?
There's a lot to that question, much of it is a personal decision, but part of it is continually giving back. Sometimes financial blessings come to us at different times and different ways but we as a family have come to recognize the Lord's hand in our financial life. It's not something to brag or boast about, we don't even have two cars or money to go see movies in the theater, but the Lord always provides somehow.
The Lord and the church don't need our money. Our personal Franklin Family Contribution is not figured into our congregation's budget, and the Lord already has access to all the resources he needs. But He knows that we need to give, that something fundamentally changes inside us when we willingly and faithfully give. I paid tithes (more about that here) my whole life, it was a good experience as a child and a teenager but it didn't really mean anything until I had a husband and we had hungry mouths to feed and little bodies to keep warm and healthy.
Twice in our life we desperately needed money. Avoiding loans as much as possible and trying to be creative with our money and time we were coming up short. That's not the only two times we needed money, but both times prayers were answered in the same way.
A car accident.
Anyone could probably argue that's not a blessing. But when both times it meant a hit on the rear quarter panel on an older paid-for car and an insurance payout that still left it safely drivable without being fixed, I call it a blessing. It took some perspective of course, but I'm thankful anyway.
Many, many, many times in our nearly 8 years of marriage we've been surprised by the way just the right amount of money shows up in our life at just the right time. It doesn't mean we never have financial issues. When we do though, I'm never scared.
Tomorrow will bring new carpet into our house. If you knew our yearly 'salary' you would know replacing the older carpet throughout the house would not be in the budget. I am so so grateful. The Student often remarks that we cannot afford to not pay tithing. The blessings are just too great.
"Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it" (Malachi 3:10).