God Provides – And a Change

This is a very personal story for me, a pouring out of my heart. Some of you may not read it, but I hope you will. But here’s the “punchline:”

Over the past two months God has provided, through this blog, all our curriculum needs for the year. Praise Him! Now we turn our attention, and income, toward a more pressing need, a home.ย 

God Provides

He always does. The story of our last dozen years or so can be summed up with “leaning on God for provision, almost daily, and being able to see Him provide again and again.” I have often mentioned that we are not well off, but I’ve never really shared our story.

Our short story:

Two years into our marriage and not even a year into being parents, James was laid off with tens of thousands of other computer working people when the tech market crashed at the end of 2000. God provided through several different means to carry us through the end of our lease and we moved in with my parents while James looked for a job and the tech market tried to recover. Almost a year later we moved back out on our own after James had found a job again–but he had to commute 2 hours and we had debt from bills that we’d been unable to pay while he was on unemployment and I worked three part time jobs. Things were still tight, but God provided through every step.

Two years later he was let go after a management change and James pursued his dream of owning his own computer business here in town, and God provided again with an office space and customers. I pinched pennies and we relied on God to feed our 3 year old and brand new infant; we never starved. Since that time God has blessed James’ business enough to provide and, because self-employment is unpredictable and fluctuates, God provided in other ways when the business couldn’t. In the past 6 years we have been surprised with a 3rd child, James has expanded into online marketing and I’ve tried to make a few extra dollars for school books with my blog. God has provided for all of these things.

Poor But Abundantly Blessed

We are by most standards, poor. Many things people consider as necessities and everyday things are luxuries to me. And yet — we are not poor. We are not poor! We are blessed to see God work in our lives and provide for our needs on a regular basis. We are blessed to be able to survive on one income so that we can homeschool, even if sometimes it’s only just surviving. We are blessed to have 3 great children, great extended family, a wonderful home church, good friends, and the fortune to work from home, be self employed, and spend time with our kids. We are blessed.

I have so many stories; I can’t possibly share them all.

  • the day shortly after moving back out on our own again when a friend from church stopped by with an envelope – “We’ve taken up a collection to help you get back on your feet.”
  • the time our dryer died — right after our car died and right before Christmas — and someone from our church called to tell me that a brand new dryer had been anonymously donated.
  • when James had pneumonia and bronchitis at the same time and couldn’t work for two weeks and the church collected so much food for us it wouldn’t fit in our pantry.
  • when we truly *needed* to replace our car and God worked out the details perfectly so that we found something well within our budget and were able to help out someone close to us at the same time.

Learning and Leaning

Over the years we’ve learned to live with less and less as God taught us to lean on Him and be more responsible with our money. When I look back I see lots of growth, and now we willingly and happily live without things like cable or satellite, fancy clothes, or a nice house. We do have internet and cell phone bills (for James’ computer business.) We do pay for Netflix (because it is cheaper than cable or renting dvd’s or going to the movies.) But we are still aware that these are luxuries. God’s not through with us; we are still growing in wisdom and responsibility.

Over the past few years God has blessed us through this blog as well. When I moved to self-hosted, I began to develop my blog and use any income toward our homeschool curriculum. Even when I felt God leading me to pull back from the “business side” of blogging, he still used blogging as a way to provide for as much as half of our curriculum! Earlier this year I felt God leading me back into blogging as a second income and I openly committed my blog to Him to do with it what He will. As I’ve prayerfully considered each and every step, God has blessed and provided abundantly. Blogging income has paid for all of our necessary school curriculum, save maybe $40. (If even that.) Praises!! GOD. PROVIDES.

From homeschool curriculum to a home for us.

I’ve always felt that honesty and integrity were of utmost importance if I were going to glorify God with my blog. I’ve been open about including affiliate links and I’ve been forthright about the few paid reviews that I’ve done. I’ve told you that any money I made would go to curriculum and I have firmly stuck by that. God has provided for our curriculum and we’re good to go for the year. And now we have another need.

For a long time we’ve “needed” to get out of this rental house (mobile home.) It’s old. When I say old, I mean “old and literally falling apart at the seams.” I’ve been patient and trusted God and repeated to myself “all in God’s time.” It’s becoming unsafe and the time has truly come, we NEED to get out of this house. For a while now there has been a window, a way out, but the window was not all the way open. There have been setbacks like surveys that were surveyed incorrectly and a number of other things. There are no other obstacles at the moment, save one.

The Window and the Need.

Our landlords, basically family, want to sell us this land that we’re renting and the newer double wide mobile home that is on another part of their land. It’s a good home, it’s in good condition, it’s the right size for us, and it would be a blessing. We would rent to own it, which is also a blessing. We only need to move it three-tenths of a mile but it will cost us six or seven thousand dollars to move it. We don’t have six or seven thousand dollars to move it. We did. But we are self employed, remember? This year has been very lean financially; our savings is gone. But I am not going to worry. I’ve seen God provide for us repeatedly. I know that when we truly needed a car, God provided one. And I believe that now when we truly need to get out of this house and into that one, God will provide.

Putting feet to my faith.

We do feel like this is what we should do, renting to own here rather than finding another rental in town. Rentals in town are above our means; we do not qualify for home loans. This is our place. I’ve been saying I’m trusting God to provide, but what am I doing about it? We need to put some feet to our faith. To that end, the kids and I have started a family piggy bank with a large Ozarka water jug. We’re saving toward a house and we’re stuffing all our loose change into it. It won’t be enough, but it’s an active step. And now that curriculum is paid for, I have decided that my income will now go toward the house, too. Every penny.

Beside the point of telling you our story and our testimony of God’s provision, that is another reason that I’m writing this post. I want y’all to know that you have played a part, that God has used this blog to bless us this school year and that now I’m devoting any future income for this new purpose. However much that may be. I’m giving that part to God, and I know I’m in good hands.

I’m not asking for anything, except prayer, and that you continue to read and follow and comment as you already do. God will work out all the details and use who and what He chooses to use, which ads, what paid reviews, which affiliate links – He’s got it covered. I have no doubt that God will take care of us and meet our real needs.

I debated sharing this with you all. I was nervous. But a friend reminded me that there may be someone else out there, at war in the trenches with worry and fear, fighting to keep their head above the water financially. This is my testimony: God provides. (Not always when or how we expect it.) But God always provides.

Image credits: “Savings” & “Selling a House” Attribution Some rights reserved by Images_of_Money

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Stephania
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Stephania

Praying for you all! You are right. God DOES provide. We have seen that time and time again in our lives over the past seven years as well! I know that it is hard to be transparent, but I know that this post will be an encouragement to more than one person. I can’t wait to hear updates on your journey. ๐Ÿ™‚

Amber
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Amber

Thank you, Stephania! I will keep y’all posted. I know that there has got to be a reason that I’m sharing this, I just really felt like I needed to. God’s going to be glorified through the unfolding story I’m sure.

Natalie
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Natalie

Amen! It is wonderful to hear about how God is working in others lives. As I think about maybe having kids someday it’s great to read what other women say about it all. ๐Ÿ™‚

Amber
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Amber

Thanks, Natalie. God does provide. The circumstances around having our 3rd child was all God — and He has provided, not only everything we’ve needed for our son, but for our two girls as well. The majority of my son’s clothes, STILL, have come through good quality hand me downs. It’s amazing how little we’ve needed to spend on clothes and shoes for him. The girls, too. God certainly has helped us to take care of them through the sharing of others!

Carlie @ So You Call Yourself A Homeschooler?
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Carlie @ So You Call Yourself A Homeschooler?

Amber. Bless you heart. I am all too familiar with being poor (by the world’s standards) and have watched as God has blessed our family abundantly as we have continued to lean on Him and trust Him with all we have. I am proud of you for being honest with where you are at and what God is doing in your life. I am excited to see our mighty God continue to write this story – all with a means to an expected (and extremely blessed on all sides) end. Praise be to Jesus – the author AND perfecter of… Read more »

Amber
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Amber

Thanks, Carlie! I’m excited to see Him continue to write this story, too..

Kim Sorgius
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Kim Sorgius

Awesome! Just awesome. Not only do I love stories of how God provides, I love that blogging is one way that He does that. I mean, if I am going to buy products, I am going to support someone. I’d rather it be a family that is just trying to live out this life for God…even when it means having less than everyone else! Blessings to you, friend.

Amber
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Amber

“Iโ€™d rather it be a family that is just trying to live out this life for Godโ€ฆeven when it means having less than everyone else!” Yes, this – thank you Kim!

Jamie {See Jamie blog}
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Jamie {See Jamie blog}

Praying all goes well for you! Transparency is hard, but it’s good! Big hugs for being brave! ๐Ÿ™‚

Amber
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Amber

Thanks, Jamie. It is hard! But it is good.

Stacie
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Stacie

Thank you for sharing your story. It’s a wonderful reminder that God is in control and He is OUR PROVIDER. Prayers for you during this time!

Amber
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Amber

Thank you for praying! I appreciate it very much. “God is in control and He is OUR PROVIDER.” — Amen!

Beth
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Beth

Praise God! What a wonderful testimony!! God is good!!! Thank you for sharing this & reminding all of us that God is faithful and provides for his children. Sometimes we just need a perspective change on what we “need” =-)

Good luck on the house front!
Beth =-)

Amber
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Amber

Every now and then I *still* need a perspective change on what I “need.” ;0) Thanks for the encouragement Beth!

mich pendergrass
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mich pendergrass

I am so proud of you for sharing this!! I’ve been in the trenches. I know what it’s like to sacrifice, to wonder where the money is going to come from, to stress–and then to hand that stress over–and then watch God’s grace unfold on us.

I know one way I can help. I’ll talk to you about it before I do anything though, to make sure you’re ok with it! Love you!!

Dawn @ The Momma Knows
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Dawn @ The Momma Knows

Aww Michelle ๐Ÿ™‚

Amber
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Amber

Thank you so much, Michelle!

Dawn @ The Momma Knows
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Dawn @ The Momma Knows

Amber, I’m glad you finally shared your story. You’re right, God DOES provide, and it’s a lot harder to see HOW he does it when we aren’t leaning on him to DO it. ๐Ÿ™‚ “He who calls you is faithful; He will surely do it.” 1Thessalonians 5:24

Amber
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Amber

Thank you, Dawn! You know how long this story has been in the making! One day we’ll be able to look BACK on this story, instead of being in the middle of it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Mary
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Mary

Amber – I’m so proud of you for writing this post. Being honest about our struggles isn’t easy, but this post will bless many I am sure!

I’ve enjoyed getting to know you — and I’m praying for your situation.

Hugs!

Amber
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Amber

Thanks for praying, Mary. I DO hope that it encourages someone else to hang in there and trust God to provide!

Rebecca
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Rebecca

Amber, what a powerful testimony and step in faith. To truly lean upon the Lord and know that He will provide all the He knows we need. you are a blessing to so many….and a beautiful reminder that no matter how much we have or how little we have…by the world’s standards…by God’s standards, we are rich in Him – you are blessing your children with a beautiful testimony and example….you are investing in the eternal……Lifting you in prayers!!!

Amber
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Amber

Thanks so much, Rebecca. Your words me a lot to me! We are investing in the eternal.. Amen and indeed. Thank you.

Ticia
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Ticia

God provides amazing things, doesn’t He? My husband and I have recently prayed about and agreed that any money provided by my blog (which up to that point had been almost nothing) would be given to our church’s building campaign, and now I have a possibility of a regular paid writing job through my blog. How AMAZING is that?

So, I know He can do what you need in ways we aren’t expecting. I can’t wait to see what happens.

Amber
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Amber

That *IS* amazing!! It’s amazing what HE does when we give things over to Him like that.

Victoria@Snailpacetransformations
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Victoria@Snailpacetransformations

I love seeing others give God the glory in all their finances. I prayed for you after reading this article and I pray that God will pour out financial blessings for you and your family at this time as you save for your home, whether it be saving $5000 to $7000 or whether he brings this around another way.

Amber
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Amber

Thank you, Victoria! I really do appreciate the prayer. I’m not sure if He’ll bring it about his way or another, but I know GOD’S GOT THIS. =)

Jamie
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Jamie

I am so thankful you shared your story. We are in a similar situation with trying to buy our house that has been in our family since 1946 (my grandmother had it built). We also are on a limited income as my husband has had 6 back surgeries and I do not work for pay. Anyhow, God has always provided for us as well. I sometimes struggle when it does not come in the form or time I want, but I know he is present and will provide!! He is an awesome God!! Again, thank you for pouring out your… Read more »

Amber
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Amber

I’m glad that God is using this to encourage others!
SIX back surgeries!! I struggle with it, too, when it’s not how and when I want, but I just keep pressing on and trying to trust HIM. HE knows best, right? Hang in there, and thank you for sharing your story, too. Blessings.

Rachel
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Rachel

Your post sent chills down my back … so much like my own story. Except we were nearly to our 10th wedding anniversary – but Dh’s job at the small computer company he worked for ended late Spring of 2000. We had 2 girls, a just turned 5, and a 2 1/2. Our story has been tough – 12 years of pinching pennies – but God has provided enough for us. We live in an old trailer – the walls are rotting out where the roof is coming loose at the edges. We live out in the country, and the… Read more »

Amber
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Amber

Wow, that does sound very familiar! God is FAITHFUL. Even when we don’t know how and it doesn’t look like there’s ANY way possible.. God makes ends meet and takes care of us.