Sunday, November 16, 2008

On trusting God, and His faithfulness

I received an email from my father that I would like to share with you. Here's what my father had to say: (he gave me permission to share! ; ) )

Susan - I've been thinking about the economy and it's impact on the lives of people in the near to mid term future. I thought I'd share some of my contemplations with you in the hope that as you interact with others you might be able to give them some guidance. Everything I say is with the caveat that no one knows what the future holds and the surprising events in the recent economy prove beyond a doubt that God is the only one who knows the future. All of the disclaimers are out of the way so here goes.

I'm increasingly convinced that this downturn isn't a short term deal. It appears to me that there is a strong likely hood that we could see several (maybe 2-3?) years of major retraction in the economy. What that means in a practical sense is that we Believers should prepare for a lengthy term of difficult economic times. That means such things as:
- avoiding debt at all cost. Pay off all old debts and don't take on new debt for anything (except maybe a house)
- keeping your job as secure as possible. I don't think now is the time to take on risky new ventures.
- downsizing our vision of keeping up with others. Other people are broke; don't try to keep up with their image
- it's no shame to simply hold a plain old job (or maybe two or three part time jobs).
- people need to be on a budget. I really think every church should teach budgeting to it's members.
- If you were advising friends as to a career path right now I think the best field is health care. By that I mean direct health care, nursing etc., and indirect health care such as hospital administration.
For the next few years health care looks like the most secure field in which one can be employed.

Unfortunately people in America have been living beyond their means for too long. The good thing about what is going on now is that it will force some people to more realistically deal with their personal finances. We have had our image of success defined by advertising. Folks think they need a new car (with the debt that goes with it) rather than an older (or even a simply old) car that was paid for with cash. Advertisers try to convince us that if we are really successful we will have a BMW and a $600/mo payment rather than 7 year old clunker without any debt. Advertising has defined far too much what success should look like.

I believe that people are going to be under a lot of financial pressure for a long time and they really need to get control of their income and expenses so they aren't overwhelmed by the events that are unfolding.

These are probably not new thoughts in any meaningful sense but they have been on my mind so I thought I'd share them with you. You have influence with lots of people. Maybe you can share them with others in your circle of friends and church members. You have demonstrated most of these things already.


My father has been a christian for many years. He has both an engineering and a seminary degree. When I was young he was a pastor and then owned and ran a business making large wooden spools for wire rope. He recently sold his business in order to retire. He and my mother now spend their time investing our family's lives (with an occasional trip to Arizona or other beautiful destination thrown in). I count it a great privilege to have grown up in such a godly home with such wise and God-fearing parents.

I do believe that there is a great deal of wisdom in my father's email, so I wanted to share it along with some additional thoughts that I have had.


One of my favorite old hymns is "His Eye is on the Sparrow." Click here if you are not familiar with this dear hymn and would like to hear it. I have been thinking of my precious Savior's love and care for us and how it related to our use of finances. I believe that we get into trouble when we forget His compassion for us. When we want something and must have it now, even when finances clearly aren't there, not only do we challenge God's plan and timing for our lives, but we also miss out on seeing Him provide for us.

Tom has been a policeman for the last 18 years and while we make a nice salary and have good benefits (I am grateful!), it has been a challenge to raise a dozen children on a single income. We have been able to stay out of debt (except for our home~ which we are now working to pay off early). But there have been many times that I have gone months in a row with no money for "extras" in our budget. I can remember quite a few times that I did not have the finances to buy fruit for the children or new shoes, etc.

But oh the stories I could share with you of the Lord's provision in our lives! Truly He has been so, so good to us to provide much much more than we ask or even dream of! Just recently we were given huge quantities of almost new clothing for the boys...

(Here's Timmy showing off one of his new outfits.)


a truck load of pumpkins~ for our goats, chickens and us too!


A tree full of apples was given to us also. We dehydrated, canned and otherwise preserved them. Here are some of my helpers with the fruit of our labor!


We heat with wood and Tom and the boys went last Saturday to a yard waste recycling center nearby to look for wood that had been dropped off. Before they left home, they prayed that the Lord would provide them with wood. When they arrived, the prospects were disappointing... only brush and leaves had been deposited that day. Sadly, they began to pull out of the recycling center. As they started the truck not one but two pickup trucks pulled in with not only cut, but split wood! They arrived home with wood for the stove and boys who had seen God answer prayer.


More recently, as I mentioned in an earlier post this week, we were blessed with many, many pears! We put those to good use too.


My conclusion? Wait on the Lord. As some good friends like to tell me "They who wait on the Lord will receive it free or at a greatly reduced price!" (Thanks Dickersons!) Just because you have the funds doesn't necessarily mean you should spend it, but I know that if you don't have the money the Lord has other (and often better) things in store for you! Rejoice in what He has given you and in His timing and be content in all circumstances. Phil.4:11b,12 "I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity."

I am still in the school of learning contentment, but hoping that I can encourage you as I document His faithfulness in our life.


  1. I stummbled across your blog looking for some encouragement for a homesteading, homeschooling mother of many (half as many as you have). I am really enjoying your older posts and I truly am encouraged. The past two years of my life have been turbulent: lost my dad, moved, remodelled, job insecurity, adoption, birth, etc. And I find that the once joyful woman that I was is nowhere to be found most of the time. I am in God's Word daily and in prayer and I have a great body of Christ around me but I cant seem to find my joy again. Thanks for your encouraging blog.

  2. I hopped through to this post from your archives Susan. Thank you for sharing your insights (and your Dad's) and for proclaiming God's goodness and HIS provisions for you! How encouraging it is to hear the stories of others who give praise to our Great God. Truly, all things come from HIS hand.

    Many Blessings,


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