We played by all the rules. If it meant cutting back on inessentials, like fresh fruits and vegetables, then we made the cut. If it meant staying home from the events, then we stayed home.
There were times when cutting would not cut it. Those were the months that we found something around the house to sell or else took on a second job or a freelance job to bring the income close to the outflow.
The holidays were not about the size of the gifts or the number under the tree, they were about family and traditions. Birthdays were not elaborate parties with big budgets and specialty planners. They were about the interest of the child and making a theme that would match – and then letting the boys go out and play or build a fire because no matter what the theme, that seemed to be the favorite activities.
And then the government stepped in to help – to help those that had not played by the rules and had not done whatever it took. As for us, we were still left trying to figure out ways to make the cuts happen.
We were not alone. I watched as others around me gave up or gave in because the rules were becoming increasing stacked against them. We talked about giving up as well. I just think I’m too stubborn to walk away.
And so we continue to do what we have to do. We still play by the rules – at least the intention of the rules – as we seek out the answer to the struggles. It is hard not to be annoyed and frustrated because the rules are stacked against us. It is hard not to give in and give up because that seems to be what they want.
“Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.” Psalm 37:7
It may not seem right – and it may not be right – but that is not my concern. Somehow, each day, I have to find my way to rest in the Lord. There is the only answer that I will ever need.
Finding My Way to Rest in the Lord
– I quit reading the articles about all the great benefits the government was creating to help me. Because I am following the rules, my situation does not qualify for help. If I wanted to break the rules, then I might be in a position to have their help.
– I quit whining about my situation. I almost posted something the other day about our struggles, until I read a post from a friend about a worse situation. He would not be able to help me, and I recognize that few of the people that would read the post would be willing (or able) to help anyway. Whining just makes me tired.
– I continued to seek out solutions. I do follow up on any idea that is given. I contact those in charge to see if the solution would work. I balance the budget, and then rebalance the budget to see if I can make a difference. I plan and then I replan until I can find breathing space – sometimes it is a crack and sometimes it is an open pathway. I just keep on searching out the possibilities.
– I accept that I can only do what I can do – and I let go of the rest. Ten years ago, in this same situation, I would have cried myself to sleep every night. Today, I am content in the knowledge that we are doing all that we can do and so despite the storms around me I still settle peacefully into my sleep.
It still frustrates me when I see the post declaring how much the government wants to help me. It still aggravates me when I hear about others breaking the rules and getting a reprieve because of their rule breaking. It still angers me when I watch others take advantage of me – and by me I mean the system that I support.
Despite my momentary lapse, I come back around to the only Truth that matters. My rest is not in them, or the government, or any plan that man can create. My rest is in the Lord.