Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Like many of you, I appreciate reading about other’s experiences as they attempt to raise their families in the way they should go. I like to read homeschooling magazines, Christian education articles, joyful homemaking magazines, etc. But I would like to see a book written to encourage those who are attempting to do these things with a SMALL budget.
I want to know how the qualifying-for-state-healthcare income level family does multiple children and one income living with graciousness. Let’s hear about stretching the budget to fewer than $400 per month for groceries and consumables (family of 5). What about home schooling in the pages per day style, while not paying $16 for workbooks? Speak on staying content with the Goodwill (almost too spendy now) or garage sale finds. Please, anyone out there on a SMALL income, tell your story. It is just as important to others as the stories of large blessings.
It seems that part of the problem is our cultural (yes, church people too) definitions of success. If you own your home and 10 acres outright, can afford to buy new clothing, and NEVER shop at the Dollar Store or Walmart, then you are a success. However, if you are a family who loves the Lord, and the husband is providing for the daily needs of the household, you shouldn’t feel ashamed to not have $600 per month for health insurance or to live in an apartment. Being poor is not a sin. Living in an old house with wavy and scratched up wood floors is not wrong. Accepting the Oregon Health plan in order to afford a hospital birth is not wicked. Wearing the same pajamas for 8 years is not evil, just a bit depressing at times.
Don’t get me wrong, all those aforementioned lovely things are AMAZING blessings from God, they are just not my blessings. I’m very glad that some of you out there have 2 washing machines and/or freezers, and can afford to buy new clothes for your oldest/biggest child every fall and spring, but I need encouragement from those who have gone before. Let's hear from the veterans of traversing the way of JOYFUL poverty, wearing the same clothing to church every other week, eating Raman soup for lunch and dancing before the Lord in their second-hand shoes …. :-D