Elastic Basket for my Peaches

I also have a website: www.lizhightower.com

Thursday, August 13, 2009

From Riches to Rags

I am definitely going through a transitional time right now. The weird part about this transition is that it seems to come in phases. Right after school finished, nothing felt much different since I'd had the summer off last year. I traveled for Jesus and pleasure and hung out with friends just like last summer. One big transition during this time was moving into my parents' new house with them. It's been good overall and definitely a money saver but we all still relearning how to cohabitat.

Now it seems like am in a different transitional phase. I think it began when I got my last paycheck. One of the best parts of being a teacher is that you get paid in the summer when you are not working. They divide your paycheck up and spread it out over 52 weeks. Now I have received my last paycheck and no longer experience the joys of a steady income. It feels a little scary. I have done the whole missionary living on support thing before and I know it will all work out in the end. I think this time is harder because I just quit a job where I was making far more money than I ever have. My cost of living wasn't high and I was able to do just about anything I wanted to do without feeling the financial crunch. I learned to live more frugally the last time I was in ministry but I feel like having a "real job" made me unlearn some of thos lessons.

I've been raising support for my upcoming projects this summer and it's gone pretty well. But everything felt a lot more secure with the promise of future paychecks. Now that this is over and I feel I have lost a bit of my security. In the end I know the truth. Christ is my security and through Him and His people I will always be provided for financially for doing His work. Yet, He doesn't deposit a check into my account every two weeks like my teaching job.

I am about $1000 away from my fundraising goal of $6000. That's not too far at all. People have been super generous and for that I am so thankful. There are also several people who pledged support but haven't sent anything yet so I know more is coming. I am not where I want to be with monthly support at about $175 of the $400 I need for my time in SBFM. But from my previous experiences as a missionary, I know monthly support is something that builds the longer you are out in the field so I am confident it will increase over time. I'd hoped to sell my car before I left to give myself further cushion but apparently since I just paid it off, I won't get the title for about a month and at that point I will be gone.

So, I am trying my best to be frugal and not spend much money. It's not easy. I find the busier I am, the less money I spend. Well, with most of my friends at work all day and me with no job, there's really not much for me to do. I try to fill my time with free activities; in ways that are productive like spending time with God, working on my Chinese, reading books and working out and unproductive like watching TV and playing on the internet, esp. Facebook.

Even though I get frustrated that I can no longer just buy what I want , I think this time of more extreme frugality is good for me. I am learning to depend on God more and to seek out activities that are free or inexpensive. By the time I build up my support and feel less strapped, I will be wiser with my money.

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