Matthew 6:31-32
New International Version (NIV)

31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.

Praise God.  I have seen this play out so many time in my life.  I should have the steadfast faith of my angels, but sadly, I fear I let down God and myself every time I fail a test.

Please be patient with me, God is not finished.  Sometimes I need to ramble before getting to the heart of the matter.  I’m going to try and write about my thought process on some feelings I’ve been having lately.  More accurately, just facing up to lately.  I’ve got to praise God right now for his blessings and the incredible friends in our lives.

It’s no secret that we are going through some rough times right now, but it’s been doable, you know?  Not exactly the quality of life that I had envisioned for our family, but we have a roof over our heads and there IS food on the table.

I tried and failed miserably to explain my thoughts and feelings to two of my friends this week; and now I realize that I should probably write about it to hash it out and get it out right.  I think I did manage to do that during another conversation tonight and regret not having my recording within reaching distance because I’ll never get it out again like that, but here goes:

I spoke with my friend, Linda, early in the week and we spoke about a lot of things.  One being a luncheon that was coming up with the ladies of our crochet group and I had said that I was not going to attend because I didn’t think the places being looked into were in my price range.  She had generously offered to pay my way and I declined.  She tried to talk me into it, but I was adamant.  I tried to explain my reasons, but this was something I could not adequately get out.  Later in the week, I spoke with Susan and the same thing came up, she offered to loan me the money for the lunch, and I declined.  I also tried to explain to her my reasons, what I was feeling, and also gave her a different impression than I meant.  Well, tonight I spoke to Linda again and finally managed to satisfy myself.  Now I attempt to write to burn it in my brain, never to get confused again.   What I mean to say is….

Let me give you a little background information.  There was a time, a long time ago, when I could never let anyone know that something was bothering me; or admit that I needed help.  If someone offered, I could never accept.  There was a pervasive undercurrent of the need to be able to do things for myself, to be independent.  On the other hand, I would never hesitate to help anyone, in any way I could– to give someone a lift, lending money (if I had it), sharing food, whatever.  I came to love the joyous feeling one gets from helping someone out, but can you see how this had become a one way street for me?  Then one day, I don’t remember how I got this thought, but it came to me.  I realized that refusing people the same joy I felt was wrong, so I decided accepting.  It was hard at first, but I was determined.  Seems silly, but it was a sort of therapy for me.   It was difficult to even express gratitude and maybe that was because this was the first time I had actually been forced to verbalize it.  I felt horribly awkward, and the words were forced and did not seem sincere.

Up until now, this strangely purposeful give and take routine had been somewhat balanced.  Give and receive.  The difference now is that the scales are WAY off balance.  It seems that since my circumstances have shifted towards wearing a REALLY tight money belt, I’m not able to take the opportunity give as much as I used to.  So what’s been happening is that while my giving has all but stopped, my taking has not and it seems that I’ve been doing a LOT more taking lately and I’M thrown off balance.  I don’t feel right.  Part of this is my own insecurity regarding not being able to find a job… or more accurate secretly, not being able to want to work outside of the home… though, really, I need to, I have to.  I do apply for jobs, but outside of a few, my heart is not into it.  I feel guilty about not helping out our situation financially.  Though nobody but my uncle has ever called me a free-loader (yeah, he made me cry), I feel like one in my own home.  Well, you know something?  My head is screaming back.  My being home and not working, gave me the time to devote to advocating for my son’s education…. SUCCESSFULLY, advocating for it.  If I was working, you could forget about that.  I won’t even bring up cleaning because that priority is well….. not.  On a side note, I did also cancel my attendance at my old friend’s wedding, Paula.  That hurt a lot, but I just can’t afford a proper gift for a New York City wedding.  I grew up there and common decency dictates that you at least pay for your plate and there were three of us scheduled to attend, in addition, I could not properly afford one plate.

I have such incredible friends.  Linda did not tell me anything that I didn’t know already, but let me tell you, she dished out in-your-face- touch love.  Only she can be ignited like that AND give me the validation I needed.  She reminded me that I have worth, my own unique form of worth.  I KNOW, but I don’t know, you know?  Then last night, Susan, piled up more validation on top of that.  But, my feelings are clear.  There comes a time when you need to live out the life you have while walking down the path God has placed you on.  I know I’m on this path for a reason, and that is to learn something I need to learn.  I can’t keep allowing people to make things easier for me.  At some point I need to live and breath and pay my dues just like everyone else.   With that said, you know, a very odd thing has happened.  Almost the exact moment that I resolved to miss this lunch and miss seeing my friends, money just seemed to start falling into place, if even just temporarily.  God really does provide.  It’s totally amazing.