October 26, 2006

Slash and Burn

Uh-oh. Halloween Horrors. After work yesterday, I looked at my Y-T-D budget for 2006 and it was not a pretty sight.

My head was spinning. I was freaking out.

I managed to make it to South St. Paul for Fundamentals of Catholicism at Holy Trinity with Fr. Robert Altier (Great class by the way. I'll blog more on it later). Unfortunately, I was really distracted by my self-inflicted budget woe for much of the evening.

Fortunately, Holy Trinity has a Perpetual Adoration Chapel. I've taken advantage of it a few times. Hey, since I'm in the building, I should spend some time with the Big Guy.

I threw my chapel veil on and prayed the Novena to St. Jude. I was feeling pretty helpless and desperate. I thanked the Lord for bringing me to this Chapel and the class. I prayed for wisdom and guidance.

Then, I went home and sent out a few email inquiries about seasonal employment. I went to bed and had a dream that I was drowning on the street in front of my house.

I woke up not feeling real encouraged. Then, I checked my email and both inquries about seasonal work had doubtful replies. Feeling out on a financial limb, like I have not felt since I was in College, I had breakfast and meditated in despair.

A voice came to me. "Sit down, and start looking at your schedule and planned expenses for the rest of the year. What needs to go? What can be cut?"

I started my red pen Slash and Burn on my budget (actually what-if scenerios in my spreadsheet). I determined if I don't go hunting in November, I decline a couple of party invitations, a night out on the town with a friend, don't eat out, don't order food when I bowl this month, only buy one wreath from the Boy Scouts this year instead of three, don't invite more people over for Thanksgiving then I've already asked, only buy one gift for each person on my holiday gift list, eat my cat's food for the rest of the year (just kidding about the last one!), I can make it work.

The hardest thing was calling my family and telling them I would not be participating in the deer hunt this year. They immediately freaked out. "Are you in trouble? Should we send money? How much do you need?". Friends, my family is, generally, in much worse financial shape then I'll possibly ever be. I was touched that they offered but insisted it was not necessary. Then, my Dad said he was really worried because I hardly ever tell him I'm having trouble of any kind.

Then, I thought about my prayer life. How open am I with God? Sure, He knows what I'm thinking. But, do I really talk to Him? This goes back to my prayer resolution from an earlier post. If my Earthly Father doesn't feel I communicate with him enough, does my Heavenly Father?

What did I learn from this experience? Besides that my prayer life still needs work along with my familial communication skills, and that I still lack fiscal prudence? I learned that this time I went straight to the Lord. In College, I'm not sure I would have done that. I did not ask the Lord to send me more money. I just put myself in His hands. Your will be done. Do what you see fit. Teach me, Lord.

Advice for you Gentle Reader: Check that budget now! The Holidays are coming up and I know I'm not the only one who experiences fiscal pain this time of year. Don't forget the Lord. He's always ready to listen. Oh, call your family and say hello to them too!

Update: My family was bugging me all day. After much negotiation, it turns out I will go deer hunting this year after all. My fear was that if we got one, I could not afford to have it processed. They have agreed to help me process the deer on our own.


Blogger Christine said...

I have 7 nephews and a niece to get Christmas presents for...and I have 4 b'days in December so at the end of the year I'm hurting! lol

October 26, 2006 7:21 PM  

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