THANKFUL FOR TWENTY NINE DOLLARS IN DIMES
Last week, I counted $29.00 in dimes and used my hands to scoop it all up into my clear make-up bag. I’m a wife and a mom who happens to be earning my doctoral degree in clinical psychology. My funding was cut by $13,000 this past year, and frankly that $13,000 was used to go towards our lease which is about $1,000 a month. I remember when funding was cut a year ago, my business partner asked me, “Kristina, how are you going to continue without all your funding?” I can still hear my answer to her:
“Well, I truly don’t know. It’s not humanly possible, but God will provide. Besides, you can’t get ¾ the way passed a hungry lion and then turn around and go back the way you came.”
Feeling like hungry lions were surrounding my family several times throughout the year, I continually told God that I knew He would shut the mouths of the hungry lions. “You did it for Daniel, and I know You can do it for me, Lord.”
But let’s put all the faith analogies away for a moment. It’s been hard. I say that not to complain to you; I am simply reporting a fact. We’ve eaten pancakes for dinner and I have spread peanut butter on lunch bread thin enough to make it last the week and thick enough to protect the bread from being too saturated with jelly. I believe I am a PB&J expert. I, personally, have realized that regular oatmeal is the perfect food. I’ve eaten it for three meals a day. I’ve eaten it cold in my car, and I’ve heated it up for dinner. It’s delicious with a little applesauce or yogurt mixed in. It keeps me full and it keeps me going. Oatmeal has become my Warrior Wife and Warrior Mom Meal Ready to Eat (MRE).
In the military, I used to eat MRE’s. Chicken-A-la-King opened up once, flying in the air and landing on my boot. Yes, I ate it off my boot because that was all the food I had, and I knew I would need the energy to march back to the barracks.
I will add that my son, Jacob, has a cochlear implant, and his implant cracked a few weeks ago. He needs a new one. They cost $8,000. Needing $8,000 in an already ‘impossible’ situation further makes me cry, “Abba Father.”
I grew up on Welfare; my mom was a single mom. I had 5 mean step-fathers. My grandparents rescued us many times, and I spent the majority of my childhood living in their basement with my mom and my two brothers.
And God wants me to share all of this with you. Why? Because I am the least likely to be poster-child for God’s Warrior Women ministry. Or am I? Wasn’t Paul the worst of sinners? Wasn’t David the smallest of all his brothers? Wasn’t Moses inflicted with a speech impediment? Wasn’t Boaz, who would later marry Ruth, the son of a redeemed prostitute? Yes! And how humbling it is to count $29.00 of dimes and use it to buy food for lunches? Very.
For about two days, I knew I was going to have to use that $29.00 of dimes and go to the grocery store. I decided to go at 5:00 in the morning and use self-checkout. I didn’t want to make people behind me mad, and frankly, it was rather embarrassing to have to do it. I asked God for strength the morning my alarm went off at 4:30. It was either I do this thing, or my kids go hungry that day. I could not send them to school with no food and no money to buy food.
At the self-check-out, I dished up dimes and put them individually through the little coin slot two hundred and ninety times! Some early morning construction workers looked at me for a while. They probably felt bad for me; it was embarrassing. I didn’t “look” like a woman who would have to do such a thing, but I was. I was dressed in my 7 year old slacks that looked new, my heels, and a nice 2nd hand blouse. I would be spending the day at a college counseling center where I was earning my clinical hours towards completing my doctoral degree. A mom who looked like me, up early and getting stuff for her kids’ lunches, used the self-checkout next to mine. She quickly swiped her debit card and was gone. She looked at me. I felt her staring at me, but I kept on. I just kept thanking God for the dimes. I truly was thankful for the dimes. I was thankful to God for this food. I was so grateful that my kids would not be hungry that day or the rest of the week.
The whole time, my spirit cried, “Abba Father, praise You, my Dad.”
God had been confirming to me that He was working on my behalf. He was going to bless me and my family. He explained that He had me just where I was supposed to me. He even told me that it would be because of my brokenness during my lifetime and in me sharing it all that the masses would come to Him. He reminded me that there were moms all across America up early, doing the same thing! I wasn’t the only one going through tough times.
As I pushed my cart out into the dark parking lot, God reminded me of the following Scriptures:
1Pe 5:8Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
1Pe 5:9Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
1Pe 5:10And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.
1Pe 5:11To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen
“Thank You, Lord,” I said. “That was embarrassing though.”
“Kristina, I embarrassed Myself for my children too, but it was worth it,” God spoke in the most gentle, loving voice I’ve ever heard Him speak to me. His Words to me were like a blanket of warm water running down and around my heart. I felt such comfort.
Immediately my eyes filled with tears. He was right. He suffered shame and ridicule. He was beat and spit upon. Quickly putting 290 times into a coin slot at 5:00 in the morning, embarrassing myself a little so that my children would not be hungry was nothing compared to what Christ suffered for me – and for you.
Thankful to God for the sacrifice of His Son,
Kristina Seymour loves to encourage and equip women through the Word and through community. She is the author of The Warrior Mom Handbook, The Warrior Mom Leadership Manual, and The Warrior Wife Handbook; they are available at Amazon.com. Kristina's Bible studies are for women who desire to live by faith in the midst of their everyday lives. She has learned that women can't survive on caffeine and animal crackers alone; women in the Word and in community are united and able to stand firm. To learn more about Kristina, please visit her recently founded Share & Company Publishing House http://seymourkristina.wix.
Originally published Tuesday, 26 July 2016.