Getting What You Pay For

This is my sweet mom and my son (18).
Her eyes are not closed because she blinked,
they are closed because she treasures the closeness.
Take time today to treasure the closeness.

(Note: I wrote this to a friend 8 years ago, when my kids were 10 and 12.  I now want to SCREAM it to those with kids still at home:  Treasure. The. Time.)

I am one frugal mama!  (Can I get an amen?)

I used to call myself “cheap,” but my Man didn’t like that very much.  Suffice it to say that I see bargain shopping as a competitive sport, worthy of Olympic status.  Seriously.

What I want to talk about has nothing to do with where to find the cheapest price on cheese this week (Grocery Outlet, by the way), rather it has to do with how you invest your time.  Specifically, how you invest your time with your children. Time is money.  Time is not cheap.  Time is fleeting.

We have 18 years, give or take a few here and there, depending on the circumstances, to invest in our children’s lives.  It seems so long at the beginning! Now that we are more than halfway through this bumping, winding, ever-exciting path of parenting, 18 years ain’t nothing!  No time at all.  I remember the hospital, lots of sleeping, nursing, and BOOM! here we are staring down the teen years like a double barrel shotgun aimed straight for our eyes. YIKES!  It makes me want to shore up how I spend my time.

There are things that rob time and kill relationship.  These are a huge waste.

Things that waste my time:  the internet, facebook, netflix, arguing with people in my brain, bad memories, being mad, gossiping, carrying a grudge

Things that redeem my time:  Teaching my kids, actively ministering together, snuggling, reading, cooking, learning, being a team, building a fire, setting up the camper, taking the more scenic route, cleaning my house, writing.

As you are looking for ways to save money, I encourage you to spend equal time looking for ways to wisely spend your time. Invest that time in those things that last forever.

Worry is just a waste of time!

In this season we are seeing the absolute sovereignty of God, and are joyfully resting in it.

IMG_20170814_173901606For years we have discussed and re-discussed
“what in the world are we going to do with Bill
(My mentally ill Bro-In-Law) when Mom
(my Mom-in-Law) dies?” Then out of nowhere
he was killed two weeks ago today in the freakiest
of vehicle accidents.

All those years of, “What in the world…” worries and fretting and time and energy, just washed away in a matter of seconds. God had opened no doors. He had tried to draw me into peace about the situation, and I refused to follow him. I kept at it.  I made phone call after phone call. As a family, we talked through a wide variety of scenarios.   I have a stack of paper work at my elbow of completed applications and pleas for appeal and waiver to the County and State Housing Authorities (to whom he owed money), that I am about to throw away. All wasted time. Wasted Energy. Wasted Worry.

Oh, How I hate to call it worry! Worry is sinful. It is direct disobedience to Jesus. (Luke 12)  Jesus says it is a complete waste of time. He goes on to say that those who worry, have little faith. YIKES!  “O You of Little Faith.” Luke 12:28b (ESV)
 Jesus does give us a fantastic alternative to worrying in Luke 12:31:
Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you. (ESV)
Seek His Kingdom?  Here’s what that looks like:

  • Praying for the Church, fellow Believers, and Elders
  • Studying Scripture
  • Praying for the lost
  • Sharing the gospel
  • Feeding the hungry
  • Visiting the sick and those in prison
  • Meeting the needs of orphans and widows
    (Matthew 25 and James 1)

Instead of wasting my time worrying,
I am actually supposed to be ministering. 

What a contrast! 

I’m supposed to be actively serving other people, not fretting over the future –
over which I HAVE NO CONTROL.
To quote my teenage self, “DUH!”

Both of our kids started college this semester after a lifetime of homeschooling, one as a Freshman and the other through dual-enrollment while finishing high school at home.  Talk about a prime opportunity to worry.  Man!  I could join the Olympic Worry Team over this one if left to me own >Vice<.  However, that isn’t where I am left.  I am left humbly sitting at the dining room table knowing that to spend a minute fretting over cruel people, harsh words, conflicting world views, etc. is a total waste of time.

What I can do In Obedience is:

  • pray for my adult children
  • continue to study God’s word with them deeply and faithfully
  • continue to teach them how to share the gospel and challenge them to do so

Thank you all for praying with us and for us over the past months. Mom (my MIL) is under hospice care, and we are enjoying this peaceful time with her, and trying to meet her needs.  Her mind is still pretty sharp and we are thankful for meaningful conversations.  We are also very thankful for family who works together so well. It is a joy.
Finally, I encourage you to…
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
    and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will make straight your paths.  Proverbs 3:5-6 (ESV)