Sunday Snippet: When Things Are Tight…

It is the end of the month and the fruit bowl is a little lean…


The laundry is piling up like nobody’s business and you all know how I am going to be spending 1 May. It isn’t called Workers Day for nothing. Just stretching the electricity a little further, making it last another meal or two… rather than wasting it on laundry. Though not many folks blog about this, and those last meals of the month (and I could blog about those!!!). It is a scrimp and a squeeze and I am sure it is true for many families the world over…


When my husband and I were first married, we were both students and not exactly covered in wealth. In fact many folks said – how irresponsible we were to get married when you can hardly afford the rent. But we got by. And then we had kids… and not just one or two of them. “They cost money you know…” Yes, kids cost money, but so do lifestyles. I always thought my kids would grow up with their own space: A bed, a desk, a lamp and well of course of a bicycle… It turns out that while these things are nice, they aren’t quite as essential as I thought they were… I am guessing my older kids will have left home long before we have the resources or the space for a desk and a lamp for each of them, let alone a bicycle. I think I came with a packet of predetermined ideas of what child needed to have in order to grow up and I have discovered over time that this is hardly the case.

Matthew 6:28-30 And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?

It isn’t that my kids are blind, they live in the world after all!!! They do come home from youth group on a Friday night and know that they don’t have the coolest clothes, or the most fabulous holiday trips planned. None of them have their own room and only about four of them have ever been to a movie, one movie in their entire life. So their lives are quite different to their peers and they know it. And they are strong enough to know that that is okay. My kids would all rather hang out with each other than hang out at the mall. Yes, they are disappointed when they can’t have something they want, yes they do get annoyed when they don’t have a choice of shoes to choose from, but they also get outraged because winter is looming and families a mile or two from home won’t be warm enough this winter. When my kids grumble, and they do… I want it to be because winter is looming and they are so many folks that need blankets rather than wether they have the trendiest gear.


There is a group of very elderly ladies in our church and they sit in the row behind us on a Sunday morning and I have to be honest we have so much to learn from them. These ladies have a very different worldview to most that we encounter, an older and wiser worldview. They never fail to tell us week after week how rich we are. We recently lost a dear old friend to cancer, she prayed for our children daily, she sent them birthday cards that have been read to them and carefully saved until they are old enough to read the spidery writing themselves. Those letters will be remembered as huge part of their childhood and will be far more treasured than any pre-packaged gift that someone else might have sent them. We have a lot to learn from our elder ladies, they are right: We a richly blessed, and we have a heritage… we have noise, we have bounce, we have love… and from time to time a huge pile of laundry.


My kids haven’t grown up with every wish fulfilled, and we have been unable to provide many of their hearts desires. Yes we could plan a little better, we could even give a little less… but God has been faithful to us in every possible way, and our needs and so much more than our needs, have always been covered. There is a little tongue-in-cheek joke about #firstworldproblems but we live in a part of the world where third world problems are prevalent. I would rather my children asked me to give the last apples in the apple bowl to the township kids waiting for a free ride home from the beach on a hot day, than if they all stood behind the gate eating their apples and watching “those kids play football.”

Matthew 6:34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

In this crazy world where wealth is so awkwardly distributed and where the chasm between “the have’s” and “the have not’s” gets wider, we need to teach our children not to trust in a pay-check so much, but to cheerfully trust in the Lord with all their hearts. This isn’t an easy lesson to teach. I think that the more we have, the more we would give our children, the more they would expect to be given from the world at large. While it is impossible for me to want my children to suffer, I know that in order for them to grow up with even a smattering of understanding for most of the people in their world, they need to have a little less. We have been blessed with more than the average number of children indeed… but more than that we have been so blessed by not having incredible wealth.

24 Replies to “Sunday Snippet: When Things Are Tight…”

  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I needed to be reminded of this today. The 1st of may is a huge holiday here and I’m struggling to say no to friends plans that would cost what we just can’t spare. Your children are indeed blessed and your journey with them on this site is a blessing to many more you will never see. Thank you.

  2. You are very blessed and in turn you are such a blessing ! And to so many people you don’t even know . Thank you 🙂

  3. Well Said. Even as a single person, with the salary stretching only so far, I am truly blessed in every way!

  4. Beautifully said. I’d far rather give experiences than things. Learning something new usually has more impact and costs less. I know my children would prefer my time with them than the latest shoes.

    (And there was me expecting a fab recipe using lemons, garlic and ginger!)

  5. Hay Kate, Thank you so much for stopping by… I know how hard it is to say no to opportunities, but always when we do say no, we have been blessed in other ways. There is a lot of truth in the expression “One door closes and another opens.” Hang in there, the 1 May will pass and I hope your family finds something special to do together… and hopefully the sunshine will hold a little longer here and our laundry will get done!!! Have a good week!!!

  6. Hay Irene, Good to hear from you on a Monday morning!!! Thank you for stopping by… hope you have a fabulous week!!!

  7. Right just for you Cheryl… The Recipe: Chop up the garlic and ginger, toss it in the pan with a dash of oil…. swirl about, swirl about… toss in a cup of cooked rice and heat it up together. Meanwhile send the kids into the herb/vegi garden and tell them each to gather a fist full of fresh flavours. Chop the garden greens up really small and sprinkle on top… Squeeze a dash of lemon juice on top of all the flavours and you are ready to serve. If you were wise you may have small packet of bacon saved for the last day of the month – in which case chop it up and toss it in the pan with the garlic and ginger. This is one of my kids favourite meals – they grew it!!! At the beginning of the month I may sprinkle freshly grated parmesan but otherwise we keep it plain… There you go a recipe, as required!!! Hope you have a great week!!!

  8. Oh that fruit bowl made me laugh. My kids saw the picture and said, ‘Wow, that looks just like ours does all the time.’ And hurray for the recipe you shared in the comments – the one thing other left at the end of the month is rice, bought in bulk in the monthly shop!
    Hard to focus on the real riches in our context over here, and I too am grateful for our inherent income related restrictions in that department!
    Lots of love to all!

  9. Riches are a matter of perception. What an amazing setting you live in. Some people pay large amounts of money for a day on the beach. Thank you for blessing our homeschool journey through your blog.

  10. Hay Corli, I also buy a big bag of rice for the end of the month… one thing you can eat for breakfast with cinnamon, and lunch and supper!!! And a little goes a very long way!!! Hope you all have a great week!!!

  11. Hay Tammy… I really should do a series on end of the month meals!!! Not to mention end of the month meals when a heap of unannounced guests arrive!!! hope you all enjoyed the holiday yesterday!!! Have a fabulous day!!!

  12. Hay Dawn… You are so right: Riches are a matter of Perception!!! You are so right we are blessed beyond all measure… Hope your week is fabulous!!!

  13. Very, very ” rich” post! All i can say is that your children look very rich-healthy-happy people!

  14. Exactly Katja!!! Our children are rich indeed!!! Thank you so much for stopping by and all the lovely comments this evening!!!

  15. You are welcome! As i said before, your posts are, to me, like virtual coffee with you . I read them regulary, but i do not take time to comment. It is busy time (with an almost 3 months old baby) and two toddlers.Although I always comment in my mind ;),words do not write themselfs :).Thank you, i like your written words!!! 😉

  16. Aww Katja, You made my day!!! Thank you … May we have many many more cups of virtual coffee together… hope you have the most fabulous day with your little ones!!! Lots of love all the way from Cape Town!!!

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