There were days when I freely bought whatever suited my fancy. I was responsible but not concerned. I worked hard and my husband worked hard and our finances were not an issue.
I bought groceries without keeping a running tally in my head. I filled the truck full of fuel whenever I stopped at a gas station. I often picked up little gifts for friends or my nieces and nephews.
But it all changed when my husband and I moved to Haiti. Being self-employed made it possible for us to go but business suffered immensely. And something else suffered– or maybe that is the wrong word.
To put it simply: our view of money changed. Our “American mentality” was forever altered.
My husband was an excellent business man, still is for that matter, but now he approaches business with a different mentality. It is, first and foremost, a means of spreading the love of Christ. The secondary purpose is to provide for our needs. And he works hard to make sure that the secondary purpose never usurps the primary goal.
This is hard on his pride at times. It has also brought a change to our relationship. I can no longer look to my husband to hand me money when I need it. It isn’t his goal or purpose or responsibility.
Like the day he left to collect money from a man who owes us thousands… and ended up counseling and sharing the gospel instead.
It’s poor business. Absolutely. (And at the end of the day I still couldn’t pay the bill I wanted to take care of. )
But today, I’m thankful.
I’m thankful for every time I have to put things back at the grocery store, every time I have to put ten dollars worth of gas in instead of filling the tank, every day that I noticed a cute little gift and am unable to purchase it.
I’m thankful for every single time my husband shares the gospel instead of making money.
Because I know that our limited finances are not because of poor work ethic or irresponsibility but are, instead, proof that we are storing up far greater things.
Don’t get me wrong. I forget. Often.
I can feel grumpy that I have to wait for a payment from an article or for a royalty check from my book to buy the things I need. I can feel frustrated with my husband (you didn’t charge him?!) or even angry at God (can’t you reward us a *little* here on earth?).
But I’m learning.
And this year, at Thanksgiving, when our table is set with pretty platters of food and pleasant joy– when I’m separated from my family because we can’t afford to hire someone to run the farm for the few days that we’d be gone… I will be thankful.
Because this life is just a moment, and Christ, His sacrifice, is worth everything-– even “financial security”.