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What to do with illness and empty pockets?

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Living with chronic illness financially is like pouring your money into a sieve.

I just finished reading a beautiful, true story of a young couple who chose life for their conjoined twins. The surgery to separate them occurred this weekend.

How on earth did they fund such specialized care, I wondered. As I read further, I realized both parents had to quit their jobs to care for these special needs children and to plan for the needed surgery.

They’ve been living without tv or internet access. Their bills have been paid through fundraising and the generosity of the community around them.

Second-hand clothes and groceries have been donated to them on a regular basis. Without all this help, they would not be where they are today.

What a hugely humbling position to be in! Anyone want to walk in those shoes?

 But these folks chose not to murder their unborn children. They chose life.

None of us have directly chosen chronic illness. We have, however, chosen to remain faithful to our chronically ill spouse!

While it is more blessed to give than to receive, remember that receiving means you have enabled someone else to be blessed.

God gives grace to the humble as I Peter states. Grace is very simply defined as undeserved favor.

In the big picture, ALL of God’s children are the very needy recipients of grace. No one is more important or more deserving than the other.

The book of James has some harsh words for rich believers who ignore the needs of the poor. We are all expected to extend God’s grace to each other.

This week I had to humbly ask for help. It was hard. But I knew I would end up in bed for the weekend if I loaded our ton of wood pellets into our house by myself. My husband cannot lift.

When I put the word out, the response blew me away. I knew I was inconveniencing folks. I had to remind myself it was a blessing for them, too.

What can you give up to try to live within your means?

  • Cheap heating fuel, anyone? We have central heat. It costs us a fortune to run it. Thus the extra labor and effort of keeping a wood pellet stove running instead.

  • Unfortunately, I cannot run a business very well without Internet. But the young couple above were using public wifi to cut that bill. Maybe that is an option for you, or maybe not

  • Consignment stores, thrift shops, well –those do take extra time to pick through to find the right size and needed items. If I pop in consistently, I find much of what we need secondhand.

  • Do you really need data on your phone? I found a cell plan that works for us. Unlimited talk and text. No data. No affiliate link here!

How do you deal with the needs you cannot meet on your own?

  • Say “yes” to donations. It’s humbling being the “needy” friend. I tend to be silent about our needs. There is always a list, though. What is amazing is the opportunities I’ve had to bless others by passing along extra things I’ve been given. To do so, I had to accept the freebies, first.

  • Practice praying for what you do need! One of God’s names is Jehovah-Jireh, God will provide. God stretches my faith by keeping me on my knees. James 1, again! His supplies are vastly beyond my puny needs. I pray for a lot of little things on my list. Right now there are some big things, too.

  • Go ahead. Ask. We are supposed to bear each other’s burdens. Sometimes folks have no idea how to help. They aren’t in your shoes. It isn’t their fault. I watched personal items, paper goods, food items, and comfort measures flow into my brother and sister-in-law’s home during the four years she struggled with cancer. They had a few fundraisers for bigger needs. Every. Single. Bit. Helps.

 

Practice profound and genuine gratitude. Grace is a gift. It is not an entitlement. 

A couple of helpful websites for money ideas are:

http://www.daveramsey.com. We’re still in the “dream” stage of debt-free living.

See my past post.Four common frustrations you may face this week

http://moneysavingmom.com/  the most encouraging!  I use her tips regularly. Do you have any great money tips or encouragement? Please do share in the comment section below!

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Four common frustrations you may face this week

Hi! Happy Monday!

I never post on Mondays. But all my posts recently have been about giving encouragement. Being real is important. I often dread facing Mondays. So I pulled together my thoughts on why.

Also, I was given a huge boost of affordable encouragement lately that may make your Mondays better.  It is an e-course on productivity and time management. Keep reading to learn more.

Frustration 1: FINANCES!

Eww! This is a huge monster in my closet and has been since we started married life with a bang due to chronic illness. I found I could not even totally follow Dave Ramsey’s  Total Money Makeover because we are chronically underpaid! It does not work fully if you have insufficient income.

BOOM! That revelation has had me on my knees and searching constantly like Crystal Paine of Money Making Mom & Money Saving Mom for legitimate ways to make better money for my family.

I am on that road right now. I will keep you posted! We are not out of the financial woods yet. Living on one income is very tough. Add all the extra expenses of chronic illness, well, see point number 2!

Frustration 2: OVERLOAD!

Do you have a crazy, nutso to-do list? Confession! I recently missed the first deadline for filing for a property tax reduction based on income! Yikes! That mistake will cause me some headache this year. But if I gave you the list of things I must accomplish every day, I think you would be understanding. It is just overwhelming.

I can feel my stress cortisol levels rising as I write this. Some of you are dealing with hefty health issues and these affect every area of your life. So, when I found out Crystal Paine had a time management course callied Makeover Your Evenings for really cheap, I cried. She is so, so, so encouraging. Bite-sized chunks that only take 15 minutes a day. Here is my affiliate link.  https://gr161.isrefer.com/go/MOYE/Julia/

 I would not share this if it wasn’t a blessing for you, too. Make over your evenings and share with me what is working for your life!

https://gr161.isrefer.com/go/MOYE/Julia/

Frustration 3: FEAR!

I have mentioned courage on several occasions! Facing chronic illness well requires a boatload of this quality. I fight fear. Every. Single. Day. What if my hubby reacts poorly with this new med? What if I lose a client and cannot pay the next bill? How can I reinvent myself as I launch a new business?

Fear is our enemy. Jesus told His fearful disciples on the stormy sea, Do NOT be afraid. Faith in Christ and His promises help us face our fears. I need my daily courage vitamin from the WORD.

When I listen to God’s Word whether in my car, on sermonaudio.com, or just those little verse cards, I can breathe through those fear attacks. Those are little ways to fight fear that I use.

WHAT is your favorite fear-fighting tactic?

Frustration 4: Isolation!

No matter how much I try, I cannot walk in your shoes exactly. But your are my fellow-caregivers. You and I do share a commonality either by suffering a chronic illness like my husband, or facing the dreadful fallout that chronic illness brings to a wife and family.

I do get some of your struggles. Let’s share. Let’s pray. Let’s encourage each other, as Hebrews states, “looking diligently lest anyone fail of the grace of God”. How can I encourage you better?  Hope this Monday post helps.

And let Crystal encourage you, too. She is a master at survival on a slim budget. She is a Christian who cares. Her free posts are always valuable.  But her online courses are charitably affordable.

https://gr161.isrefer.com/go/MOYE/Julia/