Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Wrong Financial Focus

The past few days I have been extremely focused and distracted by finances.  I am continually discouraged looking at how much further we need to go.  The amount of debt we still have and the unavoidable expense increase that comes with expanding our family is wearing on me.  I am a graduate of Financial Peace University and it just drives me crazy when I don't feel like I have things under financial control. Admittedly, when I stress about money, it causes a ripple effect in our marriage and then Jake also stresses about money.  It isn't a good thing.

God keeps challenging me and simply saying, "I will provide."

So in an effort to release these burdens to the Lord, I am going to write them out here.

We usually heat our old farm house with two wood burning stoves.  We have no wood and it is mid-October.  We will likely need to use propane all winter, which gets expensive.
God will provide.

We have $3,700 remaining in students loans for Jake that I would like to pay off before the end of the year or at least by the time baby arrives.
God will provide.

We have medical bills from Camden's ear surgery and my emergency room visit that exceed our savings at the moment.  
God will provide.

My emergency fund is depleted. 
God will provide.

The holidays are coming up and our discretionary funds are tight. 
God will provide.

Finally, we will need money to hit our deductible and out-of-pocket expenses next year due to having a baby in the spring. 
God will provide. 

In simply stating that He will provide, God has moved in my heart to look at how far we have come and the blessings He has bestowed on us this year.  For example, even if we had wanted to go to our specialist to get a frozen transfer this year, we would not have been able to for the simple fact that we do not have the money.  God provided for us in so many different ways, one being financially, with this natural pregnancy.

I was able to finish paying off my student loans in full this year as a result of a mid-year bonus I received and now we only have Jake's to pay off.  God provided.

We want to sell Jake's truck, we may have a buyer.  God is working on it.

While we have medical bills, the hospitals are willing to work with me on payment plans so I can pay them off in a reasonable and responsible amount of time.  God is providing each month to pay those bills. 

While funds seem tight now, we have been able to celebrate and enjoy witnessing the marriages of many good friends and family members.  God has provided for those moments that we would have hated to miss out on.  God has also kept Jake healthy and physically able to continue to do his job all throughout this construction season.  He is providing jobs and continued work for Jake and our business.

I challenged myself to do this exercise because these things have been swirling around in my head and causing a heavy weight on my shoulders.  They have also negatively been affecting my attitude and my marriage and today I'm choosing to say no more.  I trust you, Lord, for your provision, strength and peace.  Thank you that my "struggles" are far less than what some other people are called to walk through.  I am grateful for your presence and your care.  I entrust my family, my home, and my finances into your name.  

Proverbs 13:11
Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow.  

Hebrews 13:5
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."

Matthew 6:24
No one can serve two masters.  Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.  You cannot serve both God and money.  

Thursday, October 1, 2015

God Remains

First I would like to say thank you to everyone who expressed excitement and extended congratulations upon hearing our pregnancy news.  We appreciate those that are sharing in our joy.

I'd like to take a few moments to be very honest and work through what this pregnancy has done to my heart so far and dig a bit deeper into showing you my true emotions on this.

I wrote this early on in our pregnancy to just get my thoughts out on paper.

Let me say, I know a lot of people who have struggled with and continue to struggle with infertility.  Have I questioned why God has decided to bring this baby into our lives and not theirs? Absolutely.  Do I wonder why God had us go on our first walk through ivf with Camden only to find out He would bring us a baby this way? Absolutely not.

Here is what I have to say, God is good.  He is good all the time.  He was good and faithful during our difficulty and struggles to become pregnant the first time and He is still just as good and faithful during this pregnancy.  Let me make something clear here, this pregnancy doesn't make me think God is more generous and gracious and miraculous than the last one.  What it does is it puts me in awe of God's plan for our lives and how He weaves and creates our testimony one day at a time.  My God, Jesus Christ, is as capable today as He was thousands of years ago and into eternity.

Through our walk, we have met, ministered to, interacted with, encouraged, cried with, and bonded with a number of people we would never have known so deeply.  In that walk, God called me to bare my soul, my deepest hurts, heart aches, defeats, victories and joys.  Through that walk, people have seen and can witness the power that God has during some of the most difficult and vulnerable times of our lives.

You all know that my cross to carry has been infertility but more than being a cross to carry, it was a heart mission to reach and honor God through His unexpected plans.

As I have said before, the Lord gives me a word or inclination about the difficult things I will encounter in my life.  He gave me a "feeling" that this unexpected miracle pregnancy would be a part of our lives and quite frankly, for a while, I asked Him not to.  I did not want Him to dig this deeply in my heart with regards to our embryos nor did I want to think even more heavily about the future donation process when our family is complete.  I didn't want to be reminded that children are not ours for the keeping but rather they are a privilege and temporary gift that God trusts us with here on this earth.  I have made claim to the life we have created and the Lord continues to challenge me and work on me to remind me, "Dana, these are my children first and foremost and I trust you with them but FIRST you need to trust ME with them. You need to trust in the plans that I have for them for they are far greater than anything you can dream of or imagine."

While I initially struggled with this gift, I am choosing, just like I did during the first trimester with Camden, to be healed.  To trust in the miraculous power of my God and to honor Him above all else with this child's journey and story.