Breaking the Bank

“This day had officially punched every hole in her crazy ticket.” –Kimberly Kincaid, Drawing the Line

This cannot be happening. Not after the week that I’ve had. Just a couple of days ago my car starting making some weird car noise…..again. This is the second time this week this has happened! We have already put a lot of money into this car, and it’s got something else wrong with it now!

I pulled into the garage when I got home and immediately went into my husband’s office and told him I think something is wrong with the car. It’s making this, “Grrrr….grrrr….bang….bang…psffffff….” kind of noise. I have to go through the whole process of answering the husband questions: What did you do? Did you run over something? I bet you hit the curb again. The answer is “no” to all of these questions….HONEST! We call the car shop and make the appointment to go in. I don’t know about your experiences, but when it comes to cars and our family it’s never a quick fix. I never hear, “Oh it’s just a cap that fell off.” Or, “That hose just became a little lose. I fixed it at no charge.” I NEVER hear that. We normally hear, “Well, this is pretty rare, or we don’t know exactly what it is, but its gonna be expensive.”

Not only did my car break down this week, my husband’s did too. How is this even possible? No joke, I knew way too much about the garage’s receptionist’s life. I had been there so much, we just figured might as well divulge all of our personal information.

As well as our cars causing trouble, the air conditioner went out. That is totally not even close to being funny. I live in the South! I don’t sparkle, I sweat! My hair is frizzy and unmanageable. Then, take our air conditioning away in July, well, might as well just take any possibility of a good mood away with it, too.

But, that wasn’t it. That wasn’t the final electronic blow. Our technical devices had one more trick up their sleeve….the dishwasher. I had loaded the dishwasher full of dirty dishes. It was ready to go, and I was so happy to let it do its job. However, when I closed the dishwasher. It started beeping repeatedly. You know the kind of beeping that needs to stop immediately or you are afraid you are going to go insane? That type. I looked at it over and over again. Maybe I filled it too full? Maybe I blocked the drain? I fiddled with it a bit more, and yet that terrible beeping just persisted. So, I looked online to see what it could mean. Of course, exactly what I predicted. Needs service AND I know the warranty expired on it about 6 months ago. Perfect…..PERFECT!!!!! Our cars are broken, we are hot, and now we don’t have a dishwasher during the summer time and everyone is home.

Now y’all might think my frustration is all about these things breaking. But, it totally isn’t. Things break sometimes. We live in a country where we have all these luxuries. They are not necessities. The human race has lived a very long time without cars, air conditioning and dishwashers. It’s not about me being a prima donna ; I can live in a hot house and do dishes by hand. Nope, it’s about a total deeper problem, which I can openly and willingly admit: MONEY ANXIETY.

I am a total recovering money worrier. I am. I admit it. There should be a 12 step-program for people like me…maybe there already is. I really struggle. So, when I see a lot of money going out the door to fix stuff, I kind of relapse if you know what I mean.

I used to not be this way. I used to live carefree in the beautiful bliss of ignorance. But something happened when I became a single mother. I lost pretty much most of my stuff. I couldn’t afford our home, gas for the car, and pretty much any other fun benefit. I remember feeling so defeated at the beginning of school when all the fees were being collected. There were times I just couldn’t pay them. I didn’t have it. Or, when the kiddos wanted fun little trinket things that all the other kids had, but I just didn’t have it in the budget. It was a constant reminder that I was unable to fully provide for my family during this time. Y’all know, too, that with kiddos they are always getting sick or into something. And, I know that they didn’t mind it as much as I did, but it just stuck with me. I don’t ever want to be in that situation again.

In reality, I had tricked myself into thinking that money offered me security. I had made it an idol really. And, it’s a little silly because if you looked at me from the outside you wouldn’t think that. I don’t act like a money hungry mongrel. I don’t go shopping a lot, or buy the newest things. I don’t withhold it from charities or church. But, it’s my heart, you see. I’m always afraid in situations dealing with money. I’m afraid if I spend too much, I won’t have enough. Enough for what? Honestly, I don’t know.

Money can never offer me security. Only God can do that. I know this, but it’s something that I continually work through. Money doesn’t love me, it doesn’t care about my well-being, it has no feeling whatsoever. But, I still willingly give my feelings to it. I drive my own self crazy. I know this…and y’all I’ve come a long way, too! My poor husband!

I have to remind myself that Jesus can only give me the security that I crave. He has never in my life made it to where I was not taken care of. My children and I have always had shelter, been fed and been warm when its cold or vice versa. What are you putting your security in? Is it money like me? Is it your spouse or yourself for that matter? If it’s not Jesus, it will let you down. It will leave you exposed to the emotional rollercoaster that comes with putting your trust in earthly things. We are all works in progress, lets continue keeping our sights on the one who promised us that we would always be taken care of.

“There is no one like the God of Jeshurun,
who rides across the heavens to help you
 and on the clouds in his majesty.” – Deuteronomy 33:26






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