Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Thoughts on Finances and God's Goodness and Provision

First I'm going to start with a disclaimer: I am not a financial counselor. If you thought by the title you were going to get financial advice, you might save yourself the time of reading this. If, however, you have been affected by the 'economic crisis' in which we are living, you may be inspired by reading. Some of you may be saying, "but the crisis is over". I disagree. It may have improved and even 'gone away' for some, but in my geographical area, more particularly, this household, there is still a crisis.

Let me give you some history of our family and work situation. When my husband and I were married 7 years ago, he owned and operated a small (2 employees besides himself) but very successful and growing excavating business. He also owned 3 over-the-road semi trucks and drove one of them as he needed to. Excavating was booming (it was during the housing boom) and the trucks were becoming more of a nuisance so he decided to sell them and focus on the excavating. Things went VERY WELL for us for about 3 or 4 years. Then the economic depression. I can't say we felt the effects of it right away. Things definitely slowed down but we were still able to make a decent living. Around this same time, we purchased the small (30 acres) farm on which we live. We had been living in a small (1200 sq. ft.) house in town. We bought that house right at the peak of the market. (Big mistake, but how did we know?) When we bought this farm, we tried selling our house in town. Remember I said it was right around the time of the crash..... Well, no one wanted a small 2-bedroom house (that was over-priced). We owed too much on it to sell it for (then) market value. We tried unsuccessfully to sell it for well over a year before deciding to rent it out. We currently have good renters - a big blessing!

Over the past 3+ years, the excavating basically slowly screeched to a halt. Since that was our sole livelyhood, DH went on a job hunt. His cousin was working (in excavating) for a man who agreed to buy a semi-truck for DH to drive. I was to be his dispatcher. This was not the dream job for either of us. But, it was a generous offer on the employer's part and it paid the bills. The downsides were: DH was gone all week on the road and I, in addition to trying to keep the home fires burning, had to spend HOURS at the computer looking for the next load. Our paycheck depended on it. Trucking was hot and loads would disappear off the board seconds after they were posted. It was a very stressful 2 years or so.... until the employer decided to sell the truck. Once again, DH is left without a job. This happened in December last year (2010). During the time the excavating was slowly dying, we were also slowing acquiring debt. Most of the time there just wasn't enough money to meet all our obligations. (We still had loans on several pieces of equipment.) We were robbing Peter to pay Paul.... and digging a deeper hole. Yet, we always managed to keep everything fairly current. We made a huge mistake {LEARN FROM US} and took out 'promotional offers' on credit cards. Of course, our intention was to pay them back before the promotional period ended. This did NOT happen and we were making the minimum payment and getting virtually nowhere.

So, here we are, right before Christmas, out of a job and in debt to our ears. By now, we had given up on excavating ever coming back. One right after another major excavating businesses in the state were selling out. We kept all our equipment in hopes that it would some day pick up. This didn't happen and we started selling things. We didn't sell everything but we were able to pay off MOST of the credit card debt. This was a big relief but we still didn't have a steady income. A successful business owner in our church knew of DH's plight and offered him a temporary position with good wages. What an answer to prayer! In January he started working as an equipment operator, something at which he is very experienced. While we are very thankful for this job, our faith has been put to the test again. You see, we have had an abnormal amount of rain this Spring. When it rains, DH is unable to work. No work means no paycheck. No paycheck means no home improvements, etc. :) There have actually been quite a few weeks that DH couldn't work. Last week was one of them. On Monday, he looked at the extended forecast for this week and noted that he probably wouldn't be able to work much this week either. It's coming up the end of the month which means our mortgages are due. And there have been too many weeks off this month and the funds are not there. Back on our knees.... there's only One who can help us. DH decided it's time to sell the larger of our two dump trucks. Before he does so, he wants to repaint the bed. He has proved in the past that money spent improving the looks of something pays for itself in the final selling price. Since he's taking it to an auction, he wants every advantage he can get. So, he called on Monday to the place he would have it painted. They told him that it was a good day to bring it for an estimate because the owner was there.

When DH came home he was bursting with excitement. Not only was the estimate less than he figured, but he had some work to do for THEM! Plus, the owner wanted to buy a landscape tool that DH had for sale. So, just like that, God provided the money for our mortgage this month!

So, what is the moral of all this rambling? Just this, God brings us to our knees through less than desirable circumstances so He can show us His power. There have been many more times in our 'crisis' that God has provided 'just in time', but this is the most recent and it has been an item of praise these two days.

I also want to add at the end - I realize that even amidst our struggles we are still VERY blessed! I have not watched my loved ones lifted away in a fierce wind or had my house and belongings blown to the next county. I'm very blessed that even amidst tornado threats, we have been unscathed. My thoughts and prayers are with those who have lost everything.


  1. Thanks for being honest about the struggles you have faced the past few years. I think so often we Christians put a false front on to others and are not honest about our needs - or share the miraculous workings of God in our lives. Thanks for doing both!

  2. I am catching up on your blog (as you can see) and I totally agree with Gina. I found your honesty in this post inspiring and love how you see God at work. It was a good reminder for me to be grateful for the good paying, steady job that Vince has. Lately I've been feeling frustrated with some of the long days etc. But you've reminded me to be thankful. Blessings!

  3. Check out Dave Ramsey's radio show 1 to 4 pm Centeral time, or his website, or his best selling book Total Money Makeover.

    His approach is biblical and with God's help and his you will breathe easier. Good luck to you.


Thanks for taking the time to make my day with your comments!