When our eldest, Pikalily was born, I remember completely freaking out about how we would survive on only one income. I had a few panic moments about it, convinced we were going to get further and further into debt.
A decade later we've moved round the world from the UK to NZ, NZ to Fiji, Fiji to Australia, we've had three children in three different countries and two of them are now at school. I am amazed at God's provision and how The Squeeze has shown us where to cut back on the financial flab.
It's not just financial flab either. We've also been squeezed over the years in our patience as we've parented, our energy as we've served in churches, our kitchen cupboards as we extend hospitality and our physical flab as we've embarked on eating more healthily and doing more exercise. We didn't think of ourselves as flabby in these areas before but we were.
It's amazing how often when you think you can't give any more, there's always a little bit more hiding somewhere - food, energy, finances.
I've realized too that when you get into these situations where the pressure is on, your priorities shift and change.
We only have a limited time in the day, so where are we going to spend it? What's most important? Where is our energy going? What are the unnecessary flabby bits of our lives where energy, time, resources are being wasted?
As January marches steadily by, the time for resolutions and goals is almost past but the working out of my word for the year Roots is coming to mean:
more family time,
more enjoyment of where we are right now,
more thinking about where my time and resources can be made leaner and more effective.
The pressure continues, we work a little harder each time but we're building muscle, we're strengthening the bones of our life. Budgeting comes a little easier. Re-evaluating where I spend my time and saying no is easier. Decluttering is getting less of a challenge. Making do with what we have in the cupboard is less of a chore.
This losing flab, unattractive as it is, brings long term benefits that I like and can see the good in. How about you? Where are you in the journey? Is your discipline paying off? Are you reaping the benefits or are you just starting out? If you're just starting out, be encouraged. The hard graft is worth it in the end. The price you're paying now will more than earn it's wages.