What kind of a receipt do I want?

The depression fog seems to slowly be lifting as I have been talking more and more with my guy about the things that are bothering me. Most of them things that are well out of my control and that I just have to walk through and decide if I want to do it with faith and grace or throw a fit like a two year old. There are certainly moments when acting a fuss seems way more appealing than being grown up and having the faith and grace that I sometimes lack. But my mantra for grad school certainly can apply here…if you fake it till you make it eventually you make it.

But now my attention is needed elsewhere and that is the holiday season. I am in a weird place with Christmas this year. I get in a weird place with it every year it seems. Choosing to have me stay home with my children on a meager teacher’s salary always works quite nicely. My guy and I have learned how to be resourceful and make it work. But Christmas is a big hit to the wallet. It certainly has improved since I have picked up teaching. But it is still a whole lot more money flying out of that wallet than I care to let go of with my guys job possibly in jeopardy and me cutting down on the time I teach to be home more.

So I purposefully have not bought any gifts because I really want to have a plan of attack in mind. And I don’t mean the sit down plan your route with ads kind of attack. I mean I want to go in being aware. In conversations you hear people say, “Oh it was only 20..40..60 dollars.” And I think the same (Or I should say I act the same), but I know in my heart 20, 40 or 60 dollars is a huge deal for us. It is food in a fridge or a new winter coat for # 2 who will need it very soon. I get sad because it can bring about a real case of keeping up with the Joneses and a severe feeling of inadequacy as a parent.

Every other time of the year I know and am confident in my decision to be home with my girls on our minimal income. I am comfortable knowing that we made the right decisions and sacrifices. I said that much here. For birthdays when there is not such a large hit we always make sure to spoil our girls a little extra. But when Christmas comes I feel like less of a mother because we cannot afford to spoil our kids stinking rotten with large expensive gifts. I know I am not in my heart, but as I said above it is so easy to get caught up in all. And some years I have gotten caught up in it all. I have gone out and spent that feeling away only to pay for those bills for months and that yucky feeling exists in a much different way.

This year I am trying to ward of that feeling and the consequences of it.  My guy and I have worked really hard playing a defensive type game with our finances lately partially because we felt called to do it and partially because we wanted to plan for the worst. Therefore, it will require thought and dealing with my own insecurities as a parent and trying to not get caught up in the dollars but the feelings:

And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”  Luke 12:15

And while I am not one to quote bible verse publicly I am today because to be honest in my most insecure self moments they get me through. I know I am where I am meant to be and I need to stay focused on the bigger picture. It isn’t the receipt at the end of this holiday. It is how that receipt makes me feel when I go to bed at night.


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