money depression really hits me every once in awhile. i want to stay in bed and wallow and cry. much of life financially isn't turning out the way i just always assumed it would, and i didn't even realize i had these assumptions til they started rearing their ugly heads in the face of the reality of how life is winding up. i remember once saying as a child, disgusted with the attitudes of the rich, "i want to be poor when i grow up!" what was i thinking. right here and now i'd like to revoke that statement. a biblical view is, after all, "give me neither poverty nor riches." the beauty, and the hardest part of it, is that i am inextricably tied to my husband on our financial fate. on the one hand, there is nothing i can do, and i should rest in the Lord and be cheerful, doing my part well. on the other hand, i writhe in the age-old eve complex of wishing that i could do it myself; i would get my masters, i would start a business, i would teach at a university, i would move someplace cheap... i think to myself that one of the main lessons i will teach my kids is that having money is not about things. it is about having options. when you are scraping to survive, scraping to sell things just so you can pay the next bill, you are not in a place to be free. you are limited in what you can give to others, your energies spent on worrying about how to pay for your cavity. you can't stay in shape as well, being unable to afford gym or childcare. you can't take classes to expand your skills and views, you can't travel and see the other perspectives of God's creation. you are too weary from the everyday to create art or write or research or listen to music to stir the soul... in these musings of course i become profoundly unhappy. i am meant to learn to trust that God is telling and teaching my husband exactly what to do for us; do i not see that they spend a lot of time together, that he wrestles with these issues every day? good thing i don't have too much extra time to wallow, there is a little girl jumping on me with boogers in her nose, a matted nest of fine hair, and a great big smile saying "i woke up!" luxury of feeling sorry for myself temporarily on hold.
the ocean is my therapy. God meant it to be better than man's wisdom. he meant it to be a warm day today so i could take my toddler imp of a daughter out into the sun to stare at the sand and the big blue for an hour. i always feel that if we are GOING to pay (our lifeblood) to live in this ridiculous place, i have to take advantage of the ocean, at least! i go there every chance i get. my outlook on life sure is a lot better when i am looking at all that beauty with an iced coffee in my hand. there it is--the mighty footprint of God himself. a constantly moving canvas, which he stretches here and there in never twice-same patterns day after day, month after month. smell the salt, feel the sand, hear the voice of those continuous washings and breakings, and feel yourself small in the vastness of his presence. like little Job when he realized God's sole purpose was not to make him comfortable in this life. "where were you when i created this?" breathe. you will soon be away from this inkblot life and your whining won't matter to you or to anyone else then.
i am also reminded of what i read today, that the Lord promised the israelites to increase the produce of each sixth year (before jubilee) to last 2 years until the harvest of the 9th year. the Lord calls the seventh year JUBILEE, where they are not to harvest, not to sow... and he tells them He will provide. but had i been there, i would have seen it as a stagnant year, unproductive, i would have wanted to harvest at least the aftergrowth, and to make sure we had enough for our family the following season. i would have gone crazy with worry and inability to rest... note that the Bible even says of jubilee, "you can eat old food..." until the following harvest! the Lord has always been the same. he tells them to sit back for awhile and enjoy ea. other and enjoy his presence, and let new things develop while the land lies fallow. he tells them they can eat old food, it will be good enough, as his purposes are much greater than food. here they are, eating old food and told to wait, not to work their fields for a whole year, and God gives the whole shaky deal this amazing, exuberant name: jubilee. rejoice! party! celebrate me! focus on deeper things! be good to one another! wait on the Lord and see what He will do! hmmm, yes, he's always been the same.
so i breathe in the ocean warmth and sun and feel myself simple and small in the face of the supernatural things i am being told. and i realize another thing: yeah, i could have had money. i could be in colorado right now with a masters, a mortgage, and a great job. or anywhere. i could have chosen anywhere. and i would be alone. even if i had someone, i would, i KNOW i would always be wondering what could have happened between me and that guy... the one i fell head over heels in love with when i wasn't supposed to, but i did the right thing and walked away... i would be longing for him even now. but no! God lets the best dreams come true sometimes. i married him! i found the good thing and i got to keep it! i get to carry his children and kiss him every day. i promise, i promise, Lord, i will not let satan lie to me and steal my joy in what you have done for me. i will eat my old food in faith and look to you with jubilee in my heart.
"The Lord sustains all who fall
and raises up all who are bowed down.
The eyes if all look to you,
and you give them their food in due time.
You open your hand
and satisfy the desire of every living thing.
The Lord is righteous in all His ways
and kind in all his deeds.
The Lord is near to all who call upon him,
to all who call upon him in truth.
He will fulfill the desire of those who fear him;
He will also hear their cry and will save them.
The Lord keeps all who love him,
but all the wicked he will destroy (be gone, Satan!)
My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord,
and all flesh will bless his holy name forever and ever."