Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Money and Mercy
So! On Monday Tom texted back and forth with his best buddy from his former job and oh my... Since they laid-off Tom and three other men, they've been working the few remaining (young, strong, verile) guys into the dirt.
There's no way Tom (he with post-polio and shoulder and back problems) could have kept-up all these 16 months later. He would have had to quit, and hey, that would have meant no monthly unemployment checks(!) which would have meant disaster, barring a financial miracle from God--and hey! That could have happened, too. God, after all, is Master of Creative Problem Solving. I certainly believe that.
But whatever, I'm so thankful that not once did I get all accusatory toward God when Tom was fired. Instead, I(truthfully) became upset with Tom and myself because we'd missed the signs that the lay-off was coming and we only had two months' worth of expenses in savings. My own presumption that God would take care of us by always keeping Tom employed--that's what bugged me the most.
So anyway, Monday's texting conversation made things even clearer than they'd already become. Over and over, God shows Tom and myself truths by peeling back one thin layer at a time--never all in one big, "Kaboom! Here's the whole picture!" Uh, no.
I know someone whose husband was almost laid-off this year and they both utterly panicked because they've bought tons of toys on tons of credit, even though he makes a very good living. Since she's a friend (and since she's not asking my opinion--oy!), I can't say anything to her, but if I could? I'd say something like this:
Given Today's economy, please stop buying toys. At least for now.
Pay-off your credit cards.
Start saving money in an account you can access without early withdrawal fees.
Learn all you can about saving money on food, gas, utilities, housing, etc.
Get your house in order. Sell what you don't need and put that money into savings.
Improve upon your strengths. Get to know yourself. Get to know the job market for people with your qualifications.
Discover a couple extra ways you could supplement your income--just in case.
I have few regrets in this life, but I do regret that Tom and I hadn't put more money aside in savings. Now, God has taken amazing care of us nonetheless and all our needs are met, but I still feel bad that we've had to make God work harder than He should have had to. And yes! Nothing is too hard for Him, of course. But always, God has His part and we have ours and I just wish we would've taken ours more seriously and not been so darn presumptuous.
Thankfully, we didn't have any credit card debt (except for what we'd charged for the train vacation we were set to take four days later) so at least there we did follow our convictions.
But hey! God is way more merciful than any of us deserves (waaaaay more) and He expects us to accept that mercy and the forgiveness which comes attached to it. So I'm not sitting here all head-bent-over in guilt. I refuse to live that way.
Instead, I'll just allow my past mistakes to positively affect my future. I'll learn from my errors, make the necessary changes and then move forward. And I think that is as God would have it.
The photo? Some of my Christmas gifts. Aren't they pretty?
Preparing For a Possible Lay-Off
Don't Panic! 10 Things to Do If You Get Laid-Off
How to Find a Job In a Slow Economy
Creative Ways to Earn Money From Home
"Never assume anything!"