The bible says that “the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophesy.” (Rev 19:10) I heard a pastor say once, in reference to this verse, that giving, hearing, and sharing testimony builds our faith and draws us closer to God. Since then, I’ve discovered that whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed by fiances or circumstances or just life in general, if I’ll go back and consider consider the things that God has done for us in the past it gives me a sense of peace and helps me to rely more fully on His promises. Not long ago, in reference to the subject of God’s miraculous provision, I told a friend: “I have a story to tell you!” He answered, “you always have a story to tell me!” And I guess I do. God has done SO MANY incredible things for us and with us and to us. This is another story….
A couple of months ago, things were looking pretty bleak around here, financially speaking. We were about to have a baby (and had paid almost nothing toward our midwife bill,) our car was totaled during an accident on the ONLY snow day we’d had all winter and our basement had finally been fixed but cost us over $1,000 more than we thought it was going to cost us. Music tuition was due, we needed new homeschool curriculum and, more importantly, a new car, our clothes dryer was broken (which was fine – even preferable – during the warm months but was not going to work during the winter), our cow had to be butchered ($100 to transport her and an additional $250 for processing), we needed clothes for the baby (we’d lost all our old clothes in the basement flood,) the broken window in our living room still needed to be fixed and we needed to start buying hay for the animals, now that the growing season was over.
We had approximately $0.00 to spend toward any of it.
Sitting down together to figure out what on earth we were going to do, we realized that we were going to have to make some sacrifices. Big ones. First of all, we were going to have to drop music lessons for a semester. Not only could we not afford the lessons themselves, we couldn’t afford to pay the gas to get the kids there every week and we didn’t have a vehicle to get them there, even if we could. We also decided to stop renting the land next door. This meant keeping six milk goats, two bucks, three sheep and a very large calf on our one acre of property. But considering that rent on the land next door was an additional $125 per month and we were going to have to spend an additional $200 each month on hay, we didn’t see that we had any other choice. Jon would also pick up as much extra work as possible. Other than that, our plan included “just hang on” until we got our tax return and pray that we’d have the additional who-knows-how-much we’d need to cover everything else.
When they found out we were not going to be able to give the kids music lessons, some amazing people stepped forward to make it possible for us.
When we spoke to our neighbor about no longer leasing his land, (without explaining why or letting him know that we couldn’t afford it) he actually offered to lease it during the winter for FREE, if we could pick it back up during the Spring (which we can, since we won’t be feeding the animals hay by then.)
Our midwife asked if I’d be interested in paying off our bill by making cloth pads for her (check out her site at joyfullivingnaturals.com, she also sells cloth diapers, clothing and salves made with natural ingredients.) In another few weeks, our bill will be completely paid off.
My mother-in-law sent us money we were able to use toward baby clothes
My dad sent money to help us with our window and “whatever else we needed.
My sister-in-law, who had a baby just a few weeks before we did, gave us her old dryer when her dad bought her a new washer and dryer as a baby gift.
Our friend’s Patrick and Manuela paid our cow’s hauling and butchering fee in exchange for beef.
My aunt sent the kids a gift certificate to Barnes and Noble which we were able to use to purchase ALL of our homeschool books for this year, as well as some other things, and she also sent money for the baby, which I was able to put toward material for making more cloth diapers (just in time, as she’s almost outgrown all her newborn diapers, and we’ll have TWO in the same size diaper.)
Manuela and I had a very large photo shoot resulting in quite a few orders, which will enable us to buy a plethora of little things we need.
Jon was able to pick up an extra day of work every week. Where he works, this is not always (or even usually) possible … he’s had more work in the last two months than he’s EVER had before, which enabled us to save money toward buying a car.
We are going to purchase a really nice car from a friend very inexpensively and my brother has offered to pay for the repairs it needs!!!
So there we were, just a few short months ago, with no idea how we’d ever take care of all our needs…