I am a big believer in saving money wherever possible. Frugal, penny pinching, whatever you want to call it, it's part of who I am.
I'm thankful it isn't something I have had to learn or work at. Don't get me wrong, I love shopping as much as the next girl, but there are so many other ways to spend less, or even none at all. These little things almost come naturally to me, and are often done with little or no thought.
Larger decisions, though, for any family, can be difficult.
Because we are careful with our money, and because we are a one-income family, we found ourselves in an interesting situation this summer. What could have been extremely stressful, God patiently walked us through, and taught us some valuable lessons.
In late spring/early summer, Greg accepted a new job in a new school, a fair distance from where we live now. Just beyond a comfortable commuting range.
We optimistically began to search for a place to live in our new community. Time and time again we were, at best, undecided and at worst, very disappointed. (How about a "BIG, recently remodeled 3 bedroom, 2 bath" that turned out to be an isolated 30 year old double-wide with old, dirty, mismatched floors and peeling walls, littered with the scraps of the 'remodeling', and smelling of urine - only accessible by driving several hundred feet through a pasture? Talk about disappointing!)
Even with the most promising places something just wasn't right. And there began Lesson Number 1 - wait.
We've seen it before over the last year or so. Wait. Wait for God's timing. Wait to see what He is going to do. Did you know the Bible mentions waiting over 100 times? The story of Jesus being "late" when Lazarus was sick is one of my favorites. God is never too late!
Even with the mindset of waiting, we still did our leg-work. We stayed busy looking and searching and asking, but without the desperation of "we have to find somewhere NOW!"
Our second lesson was to pray. So, so simple. But so easily overlooked.
It was such a relief to hand over the search, the worry, the struggle to Him. To acknowledge that He was in control, and admit to Him that we were willing to do whatever He thought was best. We gave up some ideals. We looked at options we didn't really like. But we did it with a spirit of obedience, and what a relief that was to our hearts! It didn't matter if it wasn't what we would have picked. If God picked it, then we'd be okay. That was the attitude we encouraged each other to have. It wasn't always easy. It never is easy giving up control. Even if it IS a relief. That just doesn't make sense, does it?
So with praying about it, handing it over to God with a willingness to do whatever He gave us, and simply waiting on God's timing, we began to change what we were looking for.
One day, on a trip back to the area by himself, Greg ended up back in the office of a realtor we had seen the week before.
We were amazed at what God did next. Neither of us had expected a sudden resolution that day, and we couldn't have guessed what He had planned all along...