My Unintended Success

I grew up in “poverty.” I never felt impoverished or marginalized, and we always had a place to live and meals to eat; but with so many (six) brothers and sisters, my dad in a ministry job, and my mom staying at home, there were many, many things we couldn’t afford, and the government said we were in “poverty.”

I realized early on that if I wanted stuff, I was going to have to pay for it. I started my first job when I was 9 years old, and I started buying all my own “extras” when I was 12. With each new job, I got paid more than the last, until here I am now – making more money with my one job than my dad does with three or four now, affording new dresses and movie tickets and Christmas gifts and plane tickets with minimal budgeting. If I had to, I could support a small family (probably – I’ve never tried).

In my 20’s, reveling in my independence and the amenities I could afford (amenities that my parents never could), I started to resent the fact that I might have to give it all up one day in order to be a stay-at-home mom. I LIKE shopping when I feel like it. I LIKE going out to dinner with friends or alone. I LIKE traveling to see friends or family out of state on short notice.

It actually quite stressed me out to think that someday I might have to give up my amenities in order for a husband to support me. I’d torture myself with thoughts like: What if he doesn’t make as much as I do now? What if he makes what I do, but we have to support two adults and a couple of kids on that salary? What if I can’t afford to go shopping and have to wear the same clothes for a couple of years?!  I DON’T WANT TO LOOK LIKE A HOMESCHOOL MOOOOOOOOM.

Even as I’d think these things, Read More

My Ultimate Hope

I sat across from my friend at IHOP, listening as she unloaded her family struggles and boy problems and work issues. I nodded and drank my coffee and made appropriate “mm hmm” noises.

“What do you think?” she asked. “What should I do?”

I put my coffee down. “It sounds to me like you’re spending all of your time focusing on your problems instead of on Jesus.”

“But Charity, I try to do that. I focus on my problems, which leads me to thinking about Jesus, which makes me think I shouldn’t try to do anything else. When I focus on Jesus, I don’t care about my job or my family or my work or ANYthing!” she said as she waved her hands dramatically.

I smiled as I realized it Read More