So last week during church I felt inspired. Well, maybe inspired and a little bit convicted. I was singing along with the worship songs and reflecting on how much God has blessed me, despite the difficulties that we have faced when suddenly Matthew 6:25 popped into my head. “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?” (NIV translation, courtesy of Bible Gateway.com) (Granted, I didn’t actually remember that the scripture I recalled was Matthew 6:25, but I am admittedly terrible at scripture references, but I looked it up on Bible Gateway later in the day.) I ended up reading the larger section of scripture surrounding it, Matthew 6:25-34.
As a mom I spend a lot of time planning and taking care of my family. We have a limited food budget so meals must be carefully planned. I have a child with food allergies, so that adds a unique twist to family culinary endeavors. I’m also constantly mentally tacking what big clothing purchases need to be made in the future. Lately I’ve been concerned about the fact that our clothing budget for the remainder of the year is minuscule. I know that my son has a hand-me down winter coat sitting in his closet that will work, but I worry that my daughter will out grown last year’s coat before winter. (You know, the one I bought big last year so that she’d get at least two seasons out of it). She has outpaced the older children of most of my faithful hand-me-down sources. I find myself worrying that she won’t have a winter coast and boots this year.
Yet, we have never been without in the past even for things that seemed unnecessary. I remember when she was 18 months old, Christmas was coming up and she didn’t have any dress shoes. The only shoes she had were sneakers and in my silly, vain, mommy mind I just didn’t want her to go to Christmas Eve service in a cute little dress (which I found at a consignment sale for $4) in her sneakers. A friend with two older daughters gave me a bag of hand me down clothes and as I opened the bag, on top was a pair of black patent leather little girls dress shoes in just the right size.
I find myself looking at our ever rising grocery budget and lamenting the things I can’t buy. We’re approaching one of my favorite times of year when it comes to fresh produce. I could easily spend most of my budget every month on squash, corn, berries, cherries and peaches. I hate having to say no. I worry that we won’t be able to afford to sustain a healthy diet for my son because of his limitations. But yet again, I know that God has always provided.
I always add to this scripture mentally, don’t worry about where you will live because I think a lot about that too. We would like to expand our family in the future, but based on our current financial situation we are unlikely to move in the near future. We have three bedrooms, one is really tiny. So we are faced with relocation or renovation neither of which we have the money for at present. I think a lot about how long we will be living in this house and whether or not we will ever be able to leave. I worry that we won’t be able to house our children properly or be unable to have the family size we desire because of the limitations of our house.
As I sat in the Sunday morning worship service I felt inspired to let go; to stop obsessing as much as I do. Yes, I need to feed my kids. Yes, I need to get them dressed each day. Yes, we need to pay our mortgage and plan for future children. But I don’t need to worry about how we will be able to keep buying groceries as our children’s appetites grow but our income doesn’t. I don’t need worry about if my daughter will outgrow her coat before winter. I don’t need to figure out this week the exact size of our family and how we will house them for the next 18 years. My Father will take care of those things. Each day has enough of its own trouble. So I am renewing my commitment to spend less time thinking/worrying about these kind of things, and when those thoughts do cross my mind to pray, thanking God for fulfilling our needs of the past and expressing my hope and confidence that he will meet those needs in the future.