This post is one of those that I am really excited to share.
Although I must admit that I was at a loss for words when these unexpected yet marvelous surprises happened.
Now, I have to find my words because God’s faithfulness and awesomeness in these stories are too good NOT to be proclaimed to the world.
(Yes, you read that right. This post is a compilation of different stories that happened on separate occasions on different days.)
The connection among these stories are not intended (by me) but definitely orchestrated by my amazing God who knows that I always love a good surprise!
So, without further ado, here’s the first ‘bite’ to this three-part post.
Day 156: The Fight
May 20, 2019
At the beginning of my previous post Day 84: My Pocket Empty, My Tummy Full, I shared that I have written and edited that post a gazillion times, but I couldn’t seem to get the final touches it needed before it went live.
As I was asking God about what He wanted me to write about last week, the draft of the post I mentioned above popped up and I tried to give it another shot.
While I was going through my unpublished writing, I realized that it was a very timely topic especially that I had a recent argument with someone.
Do you want to guess who it is?
Yup… It was my husband.
My husband and I seldom have these not-so-nice conversations between couples.
We rarely have arguments that look like this:
- asking unending questions,
- putting blame on everything else except for ourselves, and
- raising our voices at each other that the not-so-nice tone drowns the message before it gets across as non-offensive.
Guess what we argued about…
You’re right — finances.
Normally, we don’t fight about money.
We both believe that money is something couples shouldn’t fight over.
(You may beg to disagree, but this is what we think.)
Today (see date above), my husband approached me and told me that we only have less than ₱300 ($6) for the rest of the month.
(Based on the date above, it means that there are — more or less — ten more days before we get the next pay.)
I don’t exactly remember what I said word per word, but I remember saying something like this:
“We need to budget our money.”
Hold your horses before you jump and go judging.
My husband and I make it a point to talk about the “fixed” payables. What are examples of these? Apartment rental, utilities, therapy fees.
One of our struggles is setting apart a specific budget for food.
Why is that?
First, here are our options:
We can either prepare a simple meal or buy from our favorite vendor who sells clean and affordable home-cooked food.
Even simple meals take time for preparation and cooking.
Since my husband and I both work from home not to mention having small children to attend to, buying our food allows us to recharge our minds by having a change in environment. It also buys us more time to spend with our family.
This is how our normal work week looks like at home.
But since our son started his bi-weekly therapy sessions as mentioned here, together with the necessary changes in our family dynamics this month, there was a drastic increase in our monthly overhead.
Also, the paycheck I received this month is much lower than I usually get (less than half of my usual pay).
These are some of the primary factors that contributed to why we had an extra difficult time budgeting our finances this month.
Going back to our disagreement…
My husband misinterpreted what I said and started to get defensive.
He blamed me for not handing the ‘budget envelopes’ over to him. (Yup, he’s blaming me.)
So, I reacted by comparing him to one of our daughters who used newsprint to come up with an improvised money pouch. (And this is me blaming him.)
Evidently, I didn’t like his unloving tone.
Knowing my husband, it seemed like I came across as disrespectful based on the way he was reacting.
I reacted by asking more questions. He reacted by being unloving (not abusive) with his words and tone.
And the Crazy Cycle began. (Sigh!)
Here’s what this Crazy Cycle looks like:
*Without LOVE, SHE reacts WITHOUT RESPECT.
Without RESPECT, HE reacts WITHOUT LOVE.
(*Source: The Crazy Cycle: Why We Negatively React)
If he didn’t go up to our room as he went back to work (or more like ‘cool down,’ I guess), I know that we wouldn’t stop bickering at each other.
So, what happened next?
We didn’t talk…
The whole day.
I was waiting for him to apologize that night.
I thought to myself, “God said not to let the sun go down while you’re still angry. (Ephesians 4:26)”
At that time, I was thinking that the questions I was throwing at my husband were simply ‘questions’ and not intended to attack him. (That’s me justifying how I reacted because I was hurt.)
While checking on the kids if they’re still awake as we watched a movie that night, I discreetly took a peek at my husband who was lying on the floor.
Lo and behold, there he was…
Sleeping under the blanket.
I sighed and let the night pass.
I thought to myself, “Tomorrow is another day.”
Day 157: The Comfort
May 21, 2019
Tomorrow came. (Yes, that’s today.)
It’s the second day of the children’s McDonald’s Kiddie Crew program (which I shall write about soon).
I usually wait for the kids — my tween daughter and my son — at McDonald’s since I had to stick around. It was one of the pre-requisites McDonald’s have for kiddie crew members aged 4 and 5, not to mention that my son has Global Developmental Delay or GDD.
I brought the materials we were going to discuss at Dgroup for that Saturday since I was alone and have at least an hour ALL to myself.
As I reviewed the previous lesson so I can get ready for that week’s assignment, I came across this part of the material that left me speechless and in awe of my God.
(The quote below is an excerpt from Precept Upon Precept:)
God is a God of action. Surely that is clear from the first words of the Bible. He is not a God who is far off, rather One who is near, involved, and caring about the ones He made in His image.
Because of His love and concern for His creation, He never sleeps nor slumbers. He is always there, omnipresent, omnipotent, our Sustainer as well as our Creator. Our very present help in the time of trouble, the One whose ear is open to all who cry to Him.
If by His Word He created the heavens and the earth, then is anything too difficult or impossible for HIm? No! He is God, Abba Father to all who come to Him through His Son.
Reading that first sentence is like “having me at ‘Hello!‘” (If you don’t know this famous statement, it’s from the popular 90s film Jerry Maguire.)
God is a God of action.
This is a very comforting fact for me.
There were times when I used to imagine God sitting in the heavens, listening as I talk, nodding His head, and then saying ‘Sorry, Sel, not today.”
The scenario I painted just now is a passive god — that is NOT the God of the Bible.
As I get to know God in the Book of Genesis, I have proven that the second statement in the quote above is indeed true — that I have an action-oriented God as seen in the first words of the Bible:
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. – Genesis 1:1
So, what’s my point?
My point is that if God is a God of action who loves and cares for His creation — the ones He created in His own image — as the Bible claims to be, then I don’t need to worry about anything.
Because God knows our needs even before we ask Him (Matthew 6:8).
I don’t know how God will provide for food on our table.
That doesn’t mean I should doubt His ability to provide for us. I shouldn’t put God in a box because, oh my, are His ways awesome.
My part is to be a faithful steward at work and with the financial blessing He provides us with. My part is to believe without a doubt that God will provide for my needs.
So that’s what I did.
I didn’t know how but I know God will come through.
(If you’re curious, the level of my dependence on the Lord today didn’t come to me abruptly and naturally.
The Lord was patient in dealing with me as He provided me with situations where I got to decide whether to depend on my own strength and ways or to depend solely on Him.)
When the kids and I got home and I started working on my tasks, my husband suddenly hugged me and said sorry.
I asked him if he wanted to talk about our disagreement. He said no.
So, I respected his decision and we both decided to discuss what happened some other time.
Day 161: In Awe (Part 1)
May 25, 2019
My husband and I are volunteers at Glorious Hope (GH), a ministry that helped us understand ourselves and our responses especially during trying times in our life.
Because of the comfort my husband and I received from the Lord through the non-judgmental workers of this program, we decided to share the same comfort we received (and hope the Lord would use us to express His love and comfort to those who need it).
You may be thinking:
How did we get here if we barely have enough money for feeding our family?
After my husband and I had our fight, I reached out to my mom and explained our situation. By God’s grace, The Lord provided through my mom.
Because of that, we were able to follow through with our commitment to serving the Lord through GH.
But even if we budgeted the money lent to us, it was still not enough to last us until the next payday.
As I prepared for another busy day at GH, one of the godmothers at our wedding, who is the head of the Accounting and Finance Team of GH, approached me.
She reached out her hand to hold mine and handed me some cash.
Since I am part of the ministry team that oversees workbook sales, I thought the money was ministry related.
So, I asked her what it was for.
She shared with me that earlier in the week, the Lord impressed in her heart to give a particular amount of money.
When she asked the Lord, “To whom?”
The Lord said to me — Mama Sel me.
This godmother of ours doesn’t know our current financial needs.
She’s not aware that I have a blog.
She hasn’t read any of my posts — not even the one I published earlier today, which was about how the Lord came through in our financial struggle.
I couldn’t understand how it happened, but my heart was bursting with joy!
I stood in awe of the Lord at how He supernaturally moved and used our godmother to provide for us financially.
Amazing is the Lord!!!
Day 165: In Awe (Part 2)
May 29, 2019
Today, my son went to speech therapy in the morning.
I thank God that the owner of the therapy center trusts us enough to believe that we will settle our payables when our pay arrives.
The summer playgroup my son attended for six weeks also concluded this afternoon. My daughters participated in the said playgroup as assistants so they have something to do this summer.
After fetching the kids from the therapy center, my husband decided to take the kids to my in-laws’ house so I can finish my writing task at home. I gladly obliged since I have difficulty focusing on my writing with a noisy surrounding.
After finalizing what we’d have for dinner (corned beef), we parted ways and I walked my way home.
To get home, I’d have to pass by our favorite home-cooked-meal vendor, the one I was talking about earlier in this post.
Since we are regulars, the owner and her daughter-in-law, who happens to be the owner’s helper at the store, know us — the whole family. Maybe not by name, but definitely by face.
I greeted them as I passed by.
The owner Nanay Glo (or “Mommy Glo” as we fondly call her), told me that my favorite snack is available: Ginatanng Bilo-Bilo (sticky rice balls in coco milk).
I told her I didn’t have the money to pay for the food since payday is several days away.
Even after stating this fact, Nany Glo instructed her daughter-in-law (named “Lai”) to pack some Bilo-Bilo for me and my family.
Nanay Glo remarked that we don’t come as often as we used to. I gave her the same answer when she offered the Bilo-Bilo.
Do you know what she said next?
She told me to get dinner for our family.
I couldn’t believe my ears!
Was it really happening!?
My heart was pounding fast and I couldn’t get the smile out of my face!
It’s my first time to experience the Lord this way — blessing us through unexpected people.
I thanked Lai and Nanay Glo as they handed me our food.
Wow, Lord! You are amazing!
I was tearing up on my way home as I praise the Lord for His faithfulness and thank Him for His timely provisions.
Did we enough that night?
We had a feast! And it’s all because of the Lord. ☝
Thank You, My Jesus!
Was it a coincidence that the Lord’s provision came right after I shared the good news to my son’s teachers at playgroup?
Never! There is NEVER a coincidence in the Lord.
I feel sooo special to my God, to my Jesus who never gets tired of pursuing me and loving me.
I praise and thank God for the opportunities He provided for me to grow my faith in Him.
I never realized how dependent I was on my mom until I started a new life as a wife.
With the financial challenges that come with ‘leaving’ our parents so my husband and I can become ‘one,’ I realized that I have relied on my mom to come through for me ALL my life.
Since seeking my mom’s help has been my default response when financial challenges come up, running to God first instead of running to my mom did not come easily nor naturally for me.
I thank the Lord that because of my new status, which is a wife to a wonderful man of God, the Lord has provided the avenue for Him to show His faithfulness in our lives.
While I know that my mom would still provide the help and support that she can, living independently from her has become a key factor for me to learn to depend on my God.
If my husband and I didn’t know the Leave, Cleave, Weave Concept inspired by the Bible, we would miss on the many awesome ways that the Lord would bless us and provide for us.
And that’s what God is doing — showing us what He can and wants to do.
I thank God that He is making me experience the things that I am learning about Him.
That He is a God of Action and that He is my Sustainer — a very present help in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1).
I super love it when my Jesus gives me good surprises!
Our family would have missed how God is the God who takes care of His own, how He is a Father who provides for the needs of His children if we continued to depend on our parents.
Truly, there is nothing too difficult or impossible to God!
God may not be early to give us a heads-up that He would provide for us and how.
But He is NEVER LATE in answering His children’s prayers.
To God be ALL the glory and praise for His awesome and wonderful deeds!!!
How about you?
Share with us your story on how God has come through for you in times of financial difficulty. It would be a blessing to read your story in the comment section below.
2 thoughts on “Day 165: Never Late”