Yes, I'm a pastor's wife, but I suspect not all of my readers are Christian. I won't hold back on my beliefs, but I also won't shove religion at you. I try not to accept things just because they're told to me but read and research in order to make up my own mind. You'll find a random mix of stuff here, depending on what interests me at the moment. I like to read others' opinions, whether they agree with me or not, which means I love comments on my posts!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Forgive Me God for My Selfishness & Doubts

My husband and I are looking into buying a new home so we've looked at our budget to see what we can afford. DH made some stupid crazy choices in his younger days by buying a brand new truck and motorcycle. Many months of living paycheck-to-paycheck made him vow never to spend so far above his means ever again. A loan seems unavoidable, but we will need rather small monthly payments. The conclusion: a small home is best.

We still have to cut some things out of our budget and save as much as we can. One area we spend A LOT on is gas. At over $3.30 a gallon, I imagine most of you can relate. When we first bought our vehicles, gas mileage was not top on the list of "reasons to buy this one." Top reasons were more like "I love the look of it" or "that'll be fun to drive." We both ended up with trucks. Nope, not the best choice for gas mileage. But in my defense, safety was on my list as well, and we bought them before we met each other.

To cut back on gas, we have 2 obvious options:
1) Trade-in for a vehicle with better gas mileage
2) Drive less

I get nauseous rather easily in cars ever since mold reared it's ugly fuzzy head around me. I've recovered quite a bit from the effects of it but am not completely back to "normal." I don't get sick with my truck. DH's truck is also rather messed up and would not get enough of a trade-in value. He'll just have to drive it until it it falls apart, has to duck tape it, and then the tape rots off.

We're down to 1 choice. DRIVE LESS. I've already tried cutting down on this by consolidating trips. There's no point driving 30 minutes into "town" unless I have multiple errands to complete. Some days I won't go anywhere at all. (ok...rarely. But I'm working on this!)

Quite a bit of our mileage and gas are used to pick teenagers up for church and take them home afterwards. DH drives the church bus when there are many people to pick up. If there's only 2 or 3 though, we do it ourselves. The reasoning is that the bus guzzles a whole lot more gas than our trucks do, and the bus may be on its last leg as well since it's quite a few years old. If DH takes the bus when taking kids home, that means he also has to come all the way back to the church to drop it off rather than head straight home.

But the numbers in our budget scared me. The amounts coming in and going out were too close together for us to spend much of anything on monthly home payments. I broached the driving subject to DH...what if he did use the church bus more often? Or what if the church helped pay for our gas since he is the youth pastor and is picking up the youth?

Immediately after asking, I felt guilty. Where was my faith? DH quoted back to me Matthew 6:20-21: Store your treasures in heaven, where moth and rust cannot destroy, and theives do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

For a little while before this conversation, I had a hard heart about driving the teens. I did it grudgingly to help my husband, but I resented it. It was not a task I WANTED to do, particularly because of the amount of gas.

That conversation made a world of difference for me. For every trip we make, we're storing up treasures in heaven. We're also helping these youth grow closer to God because they wouldn't be able to come to church if we depended on their parents to bring them. I prayed that night for God to forgive me for my selfishness. If we're doing His work, I know He'll continue to provide for it. The trips with the teens also give me a chance to talk to 1 or 2 at a time, to really talk about whatever they're going through. I've approached it differently lately...joyfully and willingly. We'll have to cut back on some of our spending for the sake of our budget, but the amount of gas spent will remain.

It's amazing what God does after we give something over to Him. The week after I was smacked over the head with the gas situation and willingly decided to spend the money for God, $100 was handed to DH with the instructions to "take your wife out to dinner." Aww, thanks!

That's my gas-loving truck 3.5 years ago when we got married.

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