Categories
Emotions

The Amazing News I’m Really Excited to Share – Part 4

Guys, this one is BIG! Like, I sat stunned and unable to move as the reality of it set in, big! And if you read about the stress I expressed in Part 3, and have joined me in prayer about it, I feel I owe you something lighter and happier. So here it is! Ah – I’m so excited!

Part 4 of the amazing news I’m really excited to share involves finances!

My family had talked about moving for over a year. We’d been budgeting with moving in mind. Let me provide some context.

Employment

My husband does IT work. He has worked remotely, from home for almost 20 years. Thankfully, he can live anywhere and stay employed.

My job is different. I do hands-on work in a lab. The company I work for has other sectors which offer remote opportunities, but when I looked, I quickly realized I wasn’t qualified for any of them. I understood I would have to quit my job when we moved.

Budgeting tool and computer
Photo by Kindel Media on Pexels.com
We thought we were adequately prepared.

We made a budget to live within my husband’s paycheck until I found employment in our new town. If we were careful, we expected to be able to live on his income, for a while.

Moving expenses

Last fall (2021), we priced things out to be sure we were saving enough for moving expenses. The demand, from so many people leaving California, had driven costs up, so we were thankful we’d estimated high. We felt comfortable with the way we had budgeted.

But oh, my goodness! As you know, prices have drastically risen in the past 4 months. When we went to schedule the services for which we’d budgeted, we were shocked! Here is an idea of what we found:

  • Rent: the average rent in our new town, for the small homes we were looking at, is now $500 per month more than it was last fall.
  • Cleaning: move-out house and carpet cleaning prices are 40% above what we were expecting.
  • Gas: gasoline is up $1-$2 per gallon. Higher gas prices mean the cost of driving ourselves to our new home will be significantly more.
  • Movers: the prices charged by movers are astronomical – due, at least in part, to the ginormous gas guzzle of their trucks. Most moving company estimates we received were more than double what we were quoted last fall.
  • Groceries and goods: the movers will not take pantry items. And we have decided to allow the kids to ‘pillage’ for what they need amongst our goods. The truth is, we can afford to replace small appliances and such more easily than they can. But if you’ve been to the store lately, you know that the prices for all of these things have risen, and are rising, significantly!
  • Utilities: we are all dealing with rising energy prices, but in California, it is unreal. The price of natural gas in our region has increased 90%! Settling our winter utility bills will hurt more than expected and we will likely find increased energy costs in our new place of residence too.

Accepting new realities

All of this affects my kids as well. It is hard on anyone living on a tight or fixed income. Suddenly, asking my son, who lives in Southern California, to come home and help us move, is way beyond the scope of his monthly gasoline budget. And higher rent has been a definite factor for my girls struggling to find affordable apartments.

We wished we were in a place to help our children more. But we didn’t even know if our funds would be sufficient for our own costs, when all was said and done.

I’d been hoping our savings would exceed our estimates. I wanted money leftover for visiting the kids and helping them come visit us. Not only were our funds depleting quickly, but planes, trains, and automobiles, were going to be affected by high gas prices. It was hard to imagine moving and not having the means to see our family.

An unexpected miracle

A couple weeks ago, I received an email from my boss’ boss’ boss. He (somewhat casually) asked if I would consider continuing my employment from Arizona! I still feel my eyes widen in amazement when I type that! I asked a few clarifying questions and learned that he was forming a new team and was extending an invitation for me to join it. In this role, all my work could be done remotely.

He asked if I would consider continuing my employment from Arizona!

A woman staring at her computer in amazement
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com
Why does amazing news makes our eyes and mouth open so wide?

I received permission to think about it for a few days, over which time my husband and I prayed. We compiled a list of questions, mostly regarding scope and logistics. The answers to those questions were even better than the best-case scenarios we’d considered.

The amazing news I’m really excited to share is that I am staying employed!

I had a phone call with upper management and accepted the position. By the time I hung up, I was just incredulous. I sat stunned and unable to move as the reality of it set in.

God had been working behind the scenes, unbeknownst to me, for months! All the time the prices were climbing, He was preparing my continued paycheck. He was creating a brand new role for me.

The grateful lump in my throat was so big, I could barely talk to my husband. He choked up too. We hadn’t realized the pressure we were feeling, until it was suddenly lifted.

God had been waiting for us to step out in obedient faith so He could step in and bless our family. We couldn’t have imagined what He had in store. If we had, we never would have waivered or delayed.

Don’t we know this about God? I mean, hasn’t He rewarded obedience in amazing ways down through the ages? Looking back now, I feel so foolish for giving in to the doubts and hesitations of my own heart.

This story is ongoing, so I hope you’ll stick around and continue reading. There is more amazing news I’m really excited to share, and even I don’t know what it is yet!

It means so much to me to have the opportunity to share life with you. Thank you so much for being here!


My friend, what are you relying on God to provide right now? Have you done your part? Have you stepped out (in obedience and faith) so He can step in (with assurance and provisions)? He is always working. Be encouraged and realize that God is moving, even now, on your behalf.

Even when I don’t see it, You’re workin’
Even when I don’t feel it, You’re workin’
You never stop, You never stop workin’
You never stop,
Jesus You are

Way maker, miracle worker
Promise keeper, light in the darkness
My God, that is who You are

excerpted from “Way Maker”, song by Leeland

“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

Philippians 4:19, 20
Categories
Devotions Emotions

Desperate for a Mood Change

Do you think God has moods? I believe I could make a Biblical argument to say that He does, but I would also have to concede that they must be different from mine, because He is unchanging. My moods can change me from hour to hour. And my moods change the way I hear things. When I’m feeling confident, I might hear someone make a negative observation about me and process it as humor or sarcasm. But if I’m in an introspective mood, I am more likely to hear it as criticism and beat myself up over it.

When two people get together to converse, they each bring a mood. It’s no wonder discussions can veer so desperately off track. And when a group of people get together, it is nothing short of a miracle that communication happens at all!

But there is an upside to mood changes. I can read the Bible every day for as long as I live and receive it differently each time. So much of what I understand and take away is based on the mood I bring to the table.

Giraffe and sky: mood change
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Is weariness a mood? What do you call your attitude when you look ahead at your life and can’t quite see a break in the clouds? Unfortunately, but honestly, that is the mood I was in when I took my lunch break today. I was feeling the pressure of an already-tight budget, which has had some new and unexpected columns added to it lately.

I often scroll blogs and social media while I eat, but today, I recognized the desperate need for a mood change and decided to read my Bible instead. I came across this verse, which I’d read many times and never really noticed. Today, it stood out like it was in a pop-up book.

“Whoever pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and honor.”

Proverbs 21:21

The first thing I realized about this verse was what it does not say. It does not say to pursue prosperity. Instead, it says to pursue righteousness and love, and in so doing, I will also come across life and prosperity and honor. I could feel my mood changing already! I know that God’s definition of prosperity does not necessarily mean money. I also know that when God prospers someone, they have everything they need. When God fills a person to the brim with contentment and joy, for example, a tight budget is of no real concern.

Society says to pursue riches and applause and you will have a life you love. God says to pursue righteousness and love and you will find honor and a prosperous life.

I realized I’d inadvertently listened to the philosophy the world offers, and it had affected my mood. The message of society is to pursue riches and positions of honor in order to be loved and have a good life. But God met me in my weariness and encouraged me that the very choice to read my Bible was the best thing I could have done. It may have been inadvertent but, by going to Scripture to soothe my mood, I was pursuing righteousness and God’s love. And that, my friend, turns out to be the very thing that will ultimately lead to fulfillment and joy and prosperity.

Have you noticed that you see, hear, or recognize things differently based on your mood? Have you been desperate for a mood change? Have you unwittingly bought into the world’s backwards prescription for prosperity? Let’s turn ourselves around and pursue that which God promises will be the ultimate mood and game changer!

“Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers, and blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord.”

Proverbs 16:20

“Blessed is the one… whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither – whatever they do prospers.”

Psalm 1a, 2-3