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Surviving and Thriving When We Shouldn’t Be Breaking Even

A testimony from Beverly who blogs at Grace For Seven

From the beginning of our marriage, my husband wanted us to solely rely on his income. It was fine with me: I wanted to stay home with my babies.

We were living paycheck to paycheck. We had one credit card and a home equity line, but we found out quickly we weren’t a credit kind of family.

We were a little irresponsible. Credit companies kept upping our limit because we were such good customers. Year after year was the same: we always had enough to make ends meet and to have a little fun. We were able to live within our means.

Cutting Everything We Could to Pay Off Our Debt

A couple of years ago, I heard about Dave Ramsey from MoneySavingMom.com. We read his book. We were so excited to make a difference in our finances, we had Gazelle Intensity.

We only had $10,000 in debt and our mortgage. We looked for services we could give up to payoff the debt quickly. We turned off cable and paid off our smallest bill. The Christmas bonus and tax refund paid off the rest.

We were able to save our $1000 emergency fund and a little extra. Our eyes were on the prize of funding a 3-month emergency fund, but we were still living paycheck to paycheck.

I went over our statements and financial reports and there was nothing else to cut. I looked for things to sell in a yard sale or on eBay and make a couple hundred dollars, but I couldn’t find anything.

Our Budget Doesn’t Make Sense on Paper

We made a few decisions after reading Dave’s book. We decided that “Cash is King” and we were going to live like no one else.

Then, some dental work was needed, the van needed work to pass inspection and I just sat back and watched our savings dwindle. I didn’t see how we were going build it back up.

I looked over the The Total Money Makeover again, thinking I missed something. We spent time budgeting everything. We were cutting coupons and using the cash system and I was just not seeing the Gazelle Intensity gain I should have been seeing. Our budget was not making sense on paper.

Thriving When We Shouldn’t Even Be Breaking Even

What we did notice is over the years we have continually tithed 10% and God has faithfully met all our needs. No budget can explain the fact that we were able to break even.

On paper, if I start with my husband’s salary, subtract all bills and necessities, we would have nothing left for saving or fun. However, at the end of the pay period we were able to pay our bills, put a little in savings, and go on a date.

We want to be good stewards of what God puts in our care. We are still working on completely funding our emergency savings. I know that whatever amount we are able to save for retirement or our children’s education, that God will help us and always supplies our needs.

Beverly is a homeschooling mom of 5. She has just recently taken the plunge into blogging and shares her struggles and victories of a life filled with grace at Grace For Seven.

photo source

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55 Comments

  • Diana says:

    I’m sorry to seem negative, but I don’t see the point in this post. Your budget doesn’t make sense on paper? Maybe you missed something because regardless of your faith, God can’t change how mathematics works. If you are bringing home $4,000 a month, there is literally no way for you to have spent $5,000 unless you had money coming from somewhere else.

    I’m unsure as to what I, as a reader, am supposed to take away from this post. If I tithe 10% of my salary, I will magically be able to afford things that I don’t have the money for? God may be providing for you in many ways, but he can’t pay for you and your husband to go out on a date… you have to have had the money somewhere.

    • Kelly says:

      That’s what I was thinking too! I am a person of faith, but at the end of the day, those numbers on the spreadsheet are either red or black. You either have another source of revenue/gifts coming in or you over-budgeted and didn’t spend at much as you were anticipating. That’s the only way this works!

    • Christie says:

      The point is that God is faithful , espescially when it comes to finances when we tithe as He asks. I can’t explain how He always makes things work out, but He does it in my life as well. He is not a magic genie that gives me everything I want, and I need to do my part in being a good steward of what He’s given me, but He always blesses. Basically if I trust Him with my finances, including giving Him back the portion He’s asked for, He has promised to take care of us. (see Malachi 3:10)
      This post is about a heart issue, of faith and trust in God, not about funny math.

    • lyss says:

      I can say I know what Beverly is talking about, because I see the same thing happen in our lives. God meets our needs, even though it doesn’t always make sense on paper…..but, you are right, that the money is coming from somewhere. Money doesn’t grow on trees just because you tithe. Perhaps Beverly could clarify? Maybe hubby got some side work? Someone gave them food, clothes, gifts? But even if none of those things happened, I do believe in a God who still works miracles. : )

      • stacy says:

        Remember, this is the God who daily replenished the widow’s oil and flour and miraculously fed the 5,000. We have often lived with those feisty numbers falling short of what we needed, only to have that tank of gas go further than it should or that bag of rice last longer. Yes, we could have been off in our figuring, but when you know what you use down to the last bean, sometimes there is no other explanation:)

        • Ginger says:

          Stacy,

          I love the reminder. He is God. Who are we to limit His power? The account of the widow’s oil and flour is one of my favorite in all the Scriptures. He didn’t provide an excess for her but just what was needed for that day.

    • Ashley says:

      I have seen this happen in my life, too! An unexpected check will show up in the mail, or things just fall into place. If we are faithful, our lives are so much better!

    • katie says:

      I will say this.. I have seen Gods faithfulness in my finances as well. Three years ago my husband came to me and told me he had a substance abuse problem that he had been hiding from me since before the birth of our then 2 year old. Because he works as a nurse, this also affected his ability to work. He left for inpatient rehab for 3 months and I was left at home, shell shocked and essentially a single mother working part time. Our income was cut by 2/3. I was not able to work full time because we were already having to take furlough time at my job due to budgetary problems. Substance abuse treatment is not fully covered by our insurance so in addition to our drastic cut in income, we now had almost $30,000 in medical bills that had to be paid before my husband could be discharged. In the midst of all this my son and I traveled to 5-6 hrs one way every weekend to spend 1-2 hrs with my husband (who, as you can imagine, I really didnt even want to see!). On the way home from one of these trips, the engine blew up in my car! That was a $6000 bill, and I didnt have to money to pay it! Through all this the Lord provided EVERYTHING WE NEEDED! I never missed a payment on anything. And yes I am telling you that money appeared in my bank account. I dont know where it came from, but it was there. Now $30,000 did not appear, we were provided for in many ways, but the point is the LORD provided For example, the previous year a random woman in the walmart line gave me 2 bags of clothes for my son that were the size that my son was wearing the summer that this crisis happened. I literally would not have been able to clothe my child with out this blessing! The Lord knew what was coming and was providing for me before I even knew I had a need! Another thing was that my MIL had an inheritance come to her at that exact time that enabled her to help us when she would never have been able to at any other time. I also happened upon couponing around this same time, which enabled me to buy groceries despite our massive income decrease. My husband was out of work for 6 months total and it was a difficult time, but looking back it was such a valuable time in my life because it was when I TRULY SAW for myself that God loves me and He is true to His word. And he continues to bless us to this day! If anyone had told me then that 3 years later I would live in a large beautiful house, with 2 awesome kids, no debt (except the house), and best of all a HAPPY marriage with a wonderful and sober husband I would have thought they were crazy, but it has happened. My life is proof of the greatness of our God! Nothing is impossible with HIM!

      • Andrea says:

        If money appeared in your bank account, it is possible that it was not yours to spend.

        • katie says:

          I am clear on the fact that the Lord walked with me and provided everything my family needed during the absolute worst time of my life. I am so sorry that you cant see that.

          • Andrea says:

            The only times money has ever appeared in my account were due to bank errors that were corrected in a day or two. I, personally, could not have spent that money in good conscience. If I had used the money, I would have ended up with bigger problem to solve when the bank fixed its mistake. This has happened to other people I know and every time, it has been a bank error. I’m glad that wasn’t the case in your situation.

      • Jen says:

        Thanks for sharing your story. You give God the glory and boost others faith.

      • Ginger says:

        Amen!

    • WilliamB says:

      I’m a little mystified also; this post reads like the conclusion is missing.

      I imagine it’s something along the lines of : God provided in [way one], [way two], [way three]. Which is perfectly possible – but I’m interested to know what those ways were. Maybe it’s as simple as the electric bill being lower, getting a gift card to movies, and kids who eat less than average.

      • Ash says:

        I absolutely agree and I’m disappointed in MSM for keeping a post with the message to give up a budget in the hopes the bills will be paid anyway.

        • Liz says:

          Where does this post say to “give up a budget”? That is not what this post is saying. What it is saying is even though their budget was really tight and shouldn’t have worked even though they were sticking to it, they were provided with all of their needs. She is not saying they blew their budget because they knew God would provide. She is saying, God provided for them in other ways that was NOT in their budget. That could be help from a family member, extra unexpected income, or anything else really. I don’t know why people have to analyze every little detail instead of just seeing the message in this post.

  • kathy says:

    Thanks for the timely words of wisdom. We are a family of 6 and our youngest daughter was born with a birth defect. We have taken Dave Ramsey FPU program and it seems like most of the testimonials say we paid off some crazy amount of debt in “just 3 months”… Which has not been the case for us. We are still on the first step in FPU, but things are better than last summer, thanks to the couponing/stock pile.We are living pay check to paycheck and cutting coupons …. and every purchase is such a struggle. We don’t have a pending problem, more like an income problem compounded with some major medical bills. I like your site, you keep things real! Thanks for helping us on our journey to Christ centered balanced life.

  • Stefanie says:

    Wow, this sounds just like our story 🙂 We had over 50,000 in debt due to credit cards and my husbands schooling and we read Dave Ramsey’s book and really sought God’s wisdom and strength in getting serious about our debt. I am thrilled to say we are debt free as of Dec. 16th 2010 and we have our 1,000 emergency fund saved. We are still struggling to make a 3 month ER fund as well but we see God’s faithfulness time and time again, when you lay out everything and add it up….there is no way we could have in our own strength paid off that amount of debt in 6 years…..no way….it is completely God and we give Him all the glory. Thanks for sharing this post! I will check out Beverly’s blog!

  • Amber W. says:

    Beverly,

    Thank you so much for sharing this…we are in almost EXACTLY the same boat…we have $18 left after each paycheck, and nothing else to turn off or get rid of. It seems like EVERY time we are able to get a little ahead, there is car trouble or something that comes up, but God always provides. My husband was able to get a side job doing trim carpentry (and we planned on using the money to fix our rotting kitchen floor), but then our van broke down…but the side job ended up completely covering the cost of the van repair, and our kitchen floor can wait. God always comes through for us, and we are thankful that we don’t have to rely on credit cards or our very tiny emergency fund to make things work. It would be very easy to be mad that we couldn’t fix our kitchen floor, but we’re thankful for God’s provision that the money was there. Thanks for this encouraging post!

  • Kim J. says:

    It’s so amazine what God can do for us. Because of their obedience to God by tithing, He has blessed them with an abundance, rather than living paycheck to paycheck and/or in the red. Thank you so much for sharing this.

  • Delynda says:

    I can relate! God has and is faithful to us! I have cut our budget and continue to stay home with the kids. We have slowly built an emergency fund and have never in 12 yrs of marriage stopped tithing. A healthy fear of God and a trust in Him keeps us tithing no matter how tight things got. We have never been without and never late on a bill because God is good and always provides. Micah 6 says test Him in that!

  • Chanda says:

    Malachi 3:10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.

    We have seen the Lord prove himself over and over again in this area. Giving when we had next to nothing and giving when things are abundant, but always atleast that 10%. I could write story after story of God’s faithfulness in this regard for ourselves and those we know. I would challenge you to return,with a cheerful heart, your first 10% to God’s church and see how God will absolutely provide in shocking and abundant ways!

  • Valerie Henry says:

    I have had exactly the same experience, Beverly. There have been many times when I asked God, “Please, I need either more money or more faith!” And sometimes He gives me the money, and sometimes, the faith. There were times when the math seemed impossible, when I would pay all the bills and still somehow have enough left to pay for an emergency or a tuition payment (I have THREE, yes, three kids in college!). Now, it’s true, the “magic” was not in the math, it was in my perception. If I had added it all up ahead of time I would have seen that the money WAS there, I was just over-reacting to the circumstances. I know I’m not making much sense, but I can see what you’re talking about, and at the same time agree with Diana’s comment. Hang in there, and it will get easier! Thank you for sharing!

  • AMEN! Our budget has NEVER been explainable on paper. We use more than half our take home pay for schooling and medical needs for our kids.

    We totally believe it is BECAUSE we tithe that everything gets met.

    {note we do use credit cards etc, but our debts should be 10x higher than it is!}

  • Jennifer says:

    Thank you for this post! It is so encouraging to hear about other stewards for Christ. He has promised to take care of His children, which He does so faithfully. Several times I have written our tithe check, wondering how we were going to pay the bills. But time and again, the Lord has blessed my husband and myself with the opportunity to earn more money. I currently feel the Lord telling me I need to quit my job and stay at home (well, I work from home but you know what I mean) with our 3 mnth old. It’s a really big struggle because I earn about 3 times what my husband does. Our mortgage alone takes up 2/3rds of his income…plus we have a vehicle loan. We are trying to live as frugally as we can for the next couple of years in an effort to pay off our house and car. Prayers are appreciated as we seek to follow the Lord’s leading and not our own!

    • SMS says:

      Likely God is telling you your gift is to WORK from home. Maybe you can go part time? The stress you would be putting on your husband and child would not be fair. Get rid of the vehicle loan first and reassess the situation. Suggest banking every nickle you make and just living on your husband’s income to see how it feels and whether it is a doable situation or not.

      • Lindsey says:

        I agree that you should save every dime you make for a period of time and live on your husband’s income for a while. Then you could have a nice cushion (or pay off the car?) and not find yourself in a pickle!

  • I have had the same experience too. I am faithful and God has provided for all that we need and most of what we want. As the only provider for my family of 3, I was stressed out when I lost my job in 2010. I trusted and I walked by faith every day. It took me a 14 months to find a new job but do you know that in that time I was faithful to be in the moment, to enjoy the time despite the stress.

    During my hiatus I did a 60-day read through the Bible, finished my MBA, trained for and competed in a 10-K, made memories with my children, and even enjoyed a vacation. God provided through consulting jobs, an insurance claim, and the ingenuity and creativity to learn how to coupon and claim freebies for my family through blogs such as this.

    In a time when we should have been bordering desperation, we were renewed and refreshed. In a time that we should have been dirt poor we were surviving, even thriving some months.

    That 14-month “hiatus” was one of the best times in our lives and it is because of what God provided.

  • Jennifer says:

    I need this reminder today.

    My husband constantly reminds me that we can’t out-give God. If we are faithful with the little bit that is in our hands, he will provide. Sometimes its an unexpected windfall, sometimes its hand-me-downs from someone at church, sometimes it a “free” coupon for just the thing I need, and sometimes I have no idea how it gets done. I just know that, like Beverly said, looking at the budget on paper, it doesn’t make sense, but I guess God just gives my husband a little extra creativity or something while he’s balancing it all, because we always get it paid and move on.

    I’m constantly biting my fingernails and am currently praying that God will give me an idea of something that I can do between 3am and 6am every day to make money as that is literally the only time that I have available, kid-free. But, I remember that my main job is my children and if I continue to be diligent with the job that I do have, God will provide the rest.

    I loved the comment above that says “Give me money, or give me faith”. I may frame that, lol.

    • Christy says:

      I have heard of a few people who babysit school age kids during these hours. Single mom has to be at work at 5 a.m. and daycares aren’t open yet. So you go to their house, get kids up and off to school or kids come to your house and go back to sleep. I actually know of 2 seperate situations where people have done this. Not sure how you would go about finding this. Keep prayong; you never know.

    • Lindsey says:

      What about a paper route? They kind of stink, but you could do small one and earn some extra money for a season.

  • Megan says:

    Thanks for your story. That’s how we live too!! I’m really not sure how it all works out, but we are always able to pay all of our bills and have plenty of food. Though we were joking the other day that we could tell when there was a tighter pay period because my toddler will keep asking for beans and rice, haha.

  • Lisa says:

    I think this post was encouraging, because I am right there. We have done Dave Ramsey 2x, we have cut every extra expense and have a low allowance for the needs and it doesn’t work on paper. But God will provide and when I get stressed I just try and have faith in this. My Grandparents will give us leftovers after having us for dinner, or there will be a sale next week on the items we are low on, I coupon and we try not to buy anything we need without seeing if we can make due or using a coupon or waiting for a sale. It is hard, things don’t just happen, but like Crystal says small steps are none the less steps. We have been living the last year on my husbands reduced salary with 2 kids and haven’t missed a payment, used credit or borrowed $ from family, it hasn’t been easy-but I am hoping when things get better (they will right?!?), this has made me a stronger person, more faithful, and give me the discipline to save for the next storm in life.

  • Anonymous says:

    My husband and I had been married for 6 months when I quit my job due to biblical principles that I was being asked to violate. 2 months later, my husband lost his job due to funding cuts. We both searched for jobs and came up empty, so we took anything and everything we could to get by on a week by week basis (including cleaning toilets). Tithing was hard. How much should we plan to give if we never had the same amount of money coming in each week? There were a few weeks where we had to choose between gassing up the vehicles and buying groceries. The Lord impressed upon both of us (through different circumstances) that we should be giving 10% of what we needed to make our budget each week rather than 10% of what we earned. Once, I wrote the check without the money actually in the bank. My husband went out to his truck after the service to find $40 cash and a box of brownie mix on the seat. By Monday, there was enough to pay our tithe and some leftover. We were able to live on $8,000 over six months despite my health problems and special dietary needs. I wish I could say I am now healthy, wealthy, and wise. Nope. I still get stressed out when the numbers aren’t working out, and it’s still scary to write that tithe check every week. All that keeps me going is that we have a God who isn’t bound by spreadsheets or red and black ink. Like the story of the feeding of the 5,000, Jesus wants my lunch. It isn’t much. I’d be a lot more comfortable keeping it for myself, but I know Jesus can do a whole lot more with it than I can on my own.

  • Laurie says:

    Interesting post. I read many blogs and the underlying theme is that God always provides. I agree, but to an extent. I like others work very hard financially and we live pay check to paycheck. I have read Dave’s book and taken his class which os the best thing I ever did. I am blessed to just have my mortgage and I have almost 6 months emergency fund. When I chose to adopt my girls from china in 2004&2008 I paid cash for both of my adoptions which were over $50,000!!! I worked hard,never asked anyone for a financial contribution or had a fundraiser. Did God provide a check in my mail box or someone giving me mo money just b/c not for me. I think that it is great that God provides,but I believe for me he provides grace and understanding to get up everyday and be successful in what I do and for raising my girls in His way and paths.

    • Crystal says:

      God always provides for those who trust in Him. If He didn’t, He wouldn’t be God. His Word is true and we have seen Him be so faithful in our lives over and over and over again — even when the numbers didn’t work out on paper and the ends didn’t seem like they were going to meet at the end of the month.

      That said, I believe He provides in different ways for different people and at different times. For some, it might be a literal check sent anonymously in the mail. For others, it might be a pay raise or a new job. For others, it might be a gift of clothing or food just at the time it was needed. And for others, it might just be grace to survive a difficult season and to get up every day and go to work. For many, it will be a combination of many different things.

      He can be trusted and He is faithful, as many have testified to in the comments here. However, I strongly believe that He requires feet to our faith. We aren’t just supposed to sit idly by, waiting for His provision to fall from the sky. We need to work hard, exercise creativity, and live a life of financial stewardship.

      Recognizing that our money is ultimately God’s and we are just managers of it has caused us to be much more generous in our giving and much more careful in our budgeting.

      • Well said, Crystal. I appreciate your testimony of tithing.

      • Jennifer Turner says:

        I have experienced this so much in my life, not just in finances, but in so many life trials as well. As my pastor has said before, “You can’t outgive God.” While my husband and I tithe and give generously out of the desire to honor God and help others, we are always amazed at how God gives back to us (financially and in other ways!)

  • Cass says:

    Been there done that- looking at the figures it won’t work but God always provides. When money has been more plentiful I find I don’t depend on Him like I do in the lean times. We had a pastor’s wife 30 years ago who used to introduce me to people as, “This is the lady who prays for something and goes to yard sales or thrift shops and finds it.” When the money is there to go out and buy there is no need to depend on God like we do at other times. We used to live paycheck to paycheck while spending very thrifty. Now my husband owns his own business- we had good times and bad times as far as the money coming in. At times it is living job to job- never knowing when the next job will be. That is scarier than living pay check to pay check BUT it sure had me looking to the Lord for our needs and He always came thru just in time.

  • jenn says:

    I can relate to God providing. In May, my hours at work were cut and I was informed that only rarely would I get that missing shift back. Before my hours were cut I was barely making progress on my debt. When I sat down to rework the numbers I had a $40 monthly deficit. This is after cutting everything out that I possibly could. The first two weeks I was called in to work extra shifts. The third week I mowed the lawn for my parents and have done little odd jobs since like house sitting, babysitting, etc. I may not know at the beginning of the month where that additional $40 is coming from but I know that God will provide me an opportunity for it.

  • Beverly, you are right! We have lived this again and again. Every month, and every year I think that by looking at the numbers, we shouldn’t be making it…and yet somehow we always do. Three days ago we were closing out the month with only $7 left in our checking account. That same day, I got a “surprise” direct deposit in our account from my blog for $96. My husband has had to eat out a lot for the last few days due to the nature of his work, and I was relieved to see the money was there to cover it. Somehow, some way, God always pulls through and meets our every need!

  • Ginger says:

    I will also testify to His faithfulness. In every season, every situation He has always provided what was needed (sometimes with excess!) in good time. I could list literally hundreds of examples. But one came to mind when I read this piece.

    I had only been saved a few months when I felt the Lord directing me to put our son in a Christian school. I approached my husband (who is not a Christian. Your prayers are appreciated.) with my idea. His exact words were “if we can afford it, you can do it.” I was then working full-time as was my husband. And I will testify to the fact, on paper, the money to pay his tuition (let along his uniforms, etc) was not there. In faith, I told my husband we could swing it. And God provided each and every month.

    Over the next six years, I stepped out in faith and decreased my work schedule (with my husband’s approval). God provided in so many different ways each and every month, year after year. Two years ago, I felt lead to homeschool our son. Again, approaching my husband, knowing it would mean another decrease in my hours. Again his response was “if you can make it work with our budget”. I am now home full time, and God makes it work each day.

    The way He has provided has been different, depending on the need and the season we were in at the time. But I will never forget looking at the pencil and paper budget that first time and knowing that He would have to work a miracle for us.

    I tithe out of my grocery budget now, since I no longer have an income. I don’t tithe out of duty or the belief that He will stop providing for our family if I don’t tithe. I tithe out of gratitude for His constant faithfulness.

  • Heather says:

    I’m so sorry to hear that some don’t understand the author’s point. I’m a “math” person. I have a degree in math. I tithe faithfully and I have experienced this exact same thing. I thought I crunched the numbers incorrectly. I used pen and paper, calculators, cross-referenced bank statements and eventually used a computer program, just to be sure. I cannot explain to non-believers why for one straight year I had more than my register showed except to say that the God I serve has proven Himself a miracle worker more than once.

  • sarah says:

    It’s so funny… I totally commiserate with the first commentor’s point, even as a believer, and yet I too have been in the same circumstances that many of the other commentors have been in without being able to exactly explain how the numbers worked out, only that they did.

    I also wanted to add something about tithing that a lady at my church pointed out to me recently. My husband is not a believer and will not allow financial tithing. I don’t feel that going against him in this would be right or honoring to him or our marriage. The lady at my church is in the same position and pointed out that tithing can also be of our time or other resources rather than simply financially.

    I just thought i’d throw that in there for others who may be in a similar position. I used to get so discouraged when i’d hear people talk about how blessed they were because of tithing, but I feel more at peace now knowing that i can give in other ways.

    • Liz says:

      @Sarah–Don’t be discouraged. Remember that God looks on your heart. If your heart is WANTING to tithe, then He will bless you just as though you WERE tithing!

  • Susan says:

    I’m glad it isn’t just me … this article makes no sense. I read it thinking “what is the point” and then it appeared to simply stop, with no conclusion.

    Perhaps a better theme would be that “God helps those who help themselves.” Money doesn’t magically appear from prayer alone, but prayer can, in my humble opinion, help give us clarity of thought so that we can made better decisions and give us strength to carry on in whatever circumstances we may be in.

    • Pamela says:

      I agree, Susan, that this article is lacking in terms of compositional technique and clarity, but I think understand what the author is trying to say and I greatly appreciate her sentiment. God truly is sovereign over all, including our finances.

      I hope the theme is not “God helps those who help themselves” because that isn’t a biblical concept. God helps those who can’t help themselves!

    • Jennifer says:

      Well, I have to say that I have heard multiple stories of money “magically” appearing, and I’ve had it happen to me. From finding a $20 in an old coat that was about to be sent to the thrift store, to getting a check in the mail from our insurance company because, oh I can’t remember…this was about 10 years ago, something about a reward for no accidents? Really? The insurance company sent a check? Be a skeptic and find the logic to that, but I say “Thank you, Lord.”

      Yes, God does give clarity of mind to help us think things through, but miracles do happen. I am a recipient of those miracles.

  • Jennifer says:

    It’s so interesting to me how split these comments are: some saying how they can relate to this post and sharing stories of their own miracles, the other half completely debunking the thought of miracles and God providing outside of logic.

    Perhaps the author could have included some examples to her particular story, but I have to wonder if those who are skeptics, are skeptics because you’ve never stepped out on faith and allowed God to be in control. Thus, you have never and will never experience or understand the kind of miracles that Beverly and others are talking about.

    A babe born in a manger to a virgin? Impossible.

    Turning water into wine? Impossible.

    Walking on water? Impossible

    Turning 5 loaves and 2 fishes into a meal to feed 5000, with 12 baskets left over? That completely defies logic. Really, those people should have been prepared and packed a lunch (trust me, that thought has crossed my mind.)

    A Savior dying on the cross for the sins of the world, then rising again on the third day? That’s ridiculous.

    But they happened. And that God hasn’t changed. He is the same yesterday, today and forever.

    Remember the story of the Elisha and the woman whose sons were going to be sold to pay off the debts? Elisha said “What do you have?” She said “Just a little oil.” Elisha told her to gather up every bottle she could find and fill them with oil from her jar. She filled up every single bottle from just that little bit of oil from her jar. How? It’s not mathematically possible, it defers logic, but it happened.

    That’s the power of the almighty God.

    It doesn’t mean just lying in bed and saying “Okay, I’m going take a nap while you get me some money, God.”

    No. Take what you have, use it to the best of your ability, and allow God to do the rest.

  • Bridget says:

    I feel the same as this author!

    My husband quit his job recently to go back to school and started working part-time Starbucks, a job that will help provide insurance but pays not even a fraction of what he made before. I continue to work 3 days a week but still, our monthly budget was cut almost in half. I must admit I was scared for when he would take this leap, I thought we wouldn’t have enough to make ends meet… but we are thriving!

    With him working part-time, and I working 3 days a week, we are able to forego childcare altogether and save $600 a month for our two kids. Other than that, I have no idea where all the extra money is coming from. All of our other bills are the same or more.

    Not only are we making ends meet, but we are putting money in savings because we have extra at the end of the month. And that is something I never imagined when I pictured my husband going back to school. We are faithful tithers and do give the credit to God for providing for us above and beyond what we imagined.

    The posters looking for a 3 step-plan to “thriving when we shouldn’t be surviving,” I don’t think that’s the authors point. Sometimes there’s no 3 point step to miracles. Sometimes things will just baffle your earthly mind and you will have to give credit to something or someone other than yourself.

    I’m sure if I went through my expense/bills and paychecks with fine tooth comb I could find where the money was adding up (maybe or mabye not?), but nonethelss, I still consider this an unexpected miracle, because I was confident we’d be emptying our savings instead of pouring into it. Our God is faithful.