Monday, October 19, 2009

the squeeze

So like many of you, we here on the greater San Francisco peninsula,
have been affected by the economic crunch.
Our next door neighbors are selling their house and moving which is not
cool with me since I really like them a whole lot.
And lots of friends are looking for jobs where there do not seem to be any jobs.
When anyone gets a job we celebrate together.
I have started subbing at Addie's school and Scott is working after school hours.
We are all tightening our belts, so to speak, and yet the squeeze continues.
Have you ever noticed that when you squeeze something real tight that it eventually pops and whatever is inside comes gushing right out?
Well that has happened, lo, even here in my house.
And I have found out that when I am squeezed by financial issues or time issues or ministry issues or family issues that I am full of a whole lot of complaints.
Yep, I am. It seems I am a never ending fount of grumbling and un-thankfulness.
I can wax eloquent about our lack of funds, the good old days, my shattered expectations, that whatever is squeezing me is not what I signed up for and I have been known fill a day or 23 with my over-the-top complaining.
The Israelites have nothing on me.
A while ago as I was going over the bills with some wails and gnashing of teeth and how there is never ever enough money, Scott had the gall to say to me,
"Sue, you used to complain when we had all the money we needed."
Now, people, let me tell you something.
When I am doing bills it is not the greatest time to point out my personal shortcomings.
I am already on edge and usually have a pointy pen and computer handy
and will chuck them at you at the slightest provocation.
But that observation stopped me mid-sob (I like to cry as I write out the checks).
And I realized (darn him) that Scott was right.
Complaining is just as natural to me as breathing.
The funny thing is I can hardly stand to be around people who complain all the time.
When my children complain I feel the urge to make them write sentences like
"I will be grateful" and "Some cheese is better than no cheese at all" and
"I appreciate my mother and the fact that she birthed me and I promise never to complain in her presence again" and things of that nature.
So I have been taking note of my own words lately.
And I am growing weary of the sound of my own complaining.
(Scott is now crying with joy.)
Maybe I need to write some sentences like
"I am glad I have two legs" and "Some cash is better than no cash at all" and
"I appreciate God and the fact that he saved me from my sins and I promise never to complain in his presence again" and things of that nature.
Reinforcing this is the fact that I have started reading this book:
Behind the Soiled Curtain: Project Rescue's Fight for the Victims of the Sex-Slave Industry by David and Beth Grant.
It is the story of how Project Rescue is working to save children and women, girls who have often been sold into the industry as young as 7 and 8 years old,and give them a home and new life in Jesus.
I can only read 2 chapters at a time because my mind simply can not wrap itself around the thought of children the age of my boys, living their lives in tiny rooms subjected to the daily hell that they are.
(oh, I will be holding some church bake sales to send Project Rescue some money and will be praying heavy on behalf of these babies, tsgs, and also praying that certain people who enslave children come down with the boils...they do not promote this type of prayer on the Project Rescue website but you should know that they are way more holy than I am.)
And on a non-related odd note, I am realizing that no matter what type of squeezing is going down here on the peninsula, that I am incredibly blessed.
It's safe to say that if Jesus has his way with my grumbling and discontentedness, that Scott may not know what has hit him.
Maybe someday soon when I feel squeezed by the economy or feel some road rage coming on, instead of letting fly with my usual "woe is me" diatribe,
I will burst into song and perform a praise and worship dance
complete with some pirouettes and a complimentary grapevine.
I'm sure the children would enjoy that.
I know Jesus will.

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Carrie said...

Loved this post - thanks for the perspective. I especially loved the sentences that your kids, and then you were going to write. :)

Kelly @ Love Well said...


Oh, this spoke directly to my soul.

I'm not discouraged by money issues at the moment. (Although our former home is STILL on the market, going one four years. Sigh. Maybe I should be discouraged by money issues.)

Rather, what's staring at me right now is the day-in, day-out misery of feeling sick because of this pregnancy. This is the most difficult time for me to PRAISE, because I just can't get out of myself. But it's still necessary.

Thank you for pointing me back to Him.

Pamela said...

HI Sue,
I had to comment today...been grumbling and complaining myself. We are in mid-audit, and all the extra money Trent made to make ends meet just got taken in taxes. I am a minute happy to be alive and have healthy kids, the next sad that finances are so tight and I didn't know it would be like this at my age...

I did have this really crazy thought this morning...I actually thought it was kind of "fun", yes fun, to be creative with our meals and find food hiding in the back of the cupboards and make some creation that the kids would appreciate, and delay gratification. I think it is an opportunity for God to reign down His blessings in a way that I cannot imagine. (I say that now...just wait, the pendulum will swing...)

Thank you for saying things that many of us think...your vulnerability reminds us we are "normal" are you. :)

So here's to creative budgeting! Tears (of joy) during bill paying! And to grateful hearts!

Blessings to you and Scott and your cherubs!

Leslie said...

True, Sue. Very, very true. Love you.