Bill paying as a spiritual discipline

So, no pretty pictures of our Christmas decorations today, either.  We are still searching for baby Jesus.  He is a part of the soft doll nativity set that I made years ago when M. and B. were little.  Well, not surprisingly, G. and L. immediately loved them, with G. loving baby Jesus best of all.  For the first couple of days she would go nowhere without 'her' baby.  She would hold him and talk to him and make sure he was tucked into bed with her at night.  It was quite sweet and probably a great concrete representation of how we should think about Jesus.

But, also not surprisingly, the baby Jesus doll has gone missing.  We have searched high and low and he is no where to be found.  This morning when I asked the girls about it again, G. informed me that L. had put it in her pocket.  This could be possible.  He is small and could fit in a pocket and I am a little behind in the laundry so it's quite possible the item of clothing which may or may not contain baby Jesus could still be in the pile.  It's my next place to look.

All this to say, I would like to take a picture of our nativity dolls, but with baby Jesus.

Instead, what I have been doing today is paying bills.  This is not my favorite job.  Consequently, I put it off until I can put it off no longer and as a result, the mountain of bills grows in my imagination to sizes that I know our bank account cannot cover.  When this happens I want to sit down to pay them even less.  I'm also sorry to admit that I am not the world's most patient and kind mother while I am doing this.  My older children, through years of conditioning give me a wide berth.  My younger ones... well, they haven't quite caught on yet.

I am not proud of this endless cycle.  I know at the root of it all is worry.  Worry that this will be the pay period that the bills exceed the income.  Worry that I have been too spendthrift.  Just worry.  This despite years and years of God proving Himself faithful.  We never have too much, but we always have enough to pay for our necessities and enough to share.  Sometimes His provision for us has had a bit of the miraculous about it.

Just one example... I realized a couple of days ago that we have yet another set of US immigration papers which we have to fill out and return which are sent to the consulate.  Along with this paperwork we have to send a check.  It is not one of the larger amounts which we have had to write, but it was certainly more than I had available in the checking account.  (If the the US government would finally decide that yes, indeed we adopted two children and give us our 2010 refund, this wouldn't have been a problem.  But, I won't go there right now.)  Anyway, I was pondering different creative book keeping ideas to see if I could come up with a way to pay for it when J. comes home from work yesterday with an envelope.  A gift from a friend.  A gift in the amount which will cover the consulate fee, the necessary overnighting fees and the fees we incurred from overnighting our signed LOA forms.  I didn't need it before and it wasn't more than I needed.

I have seen this happen over and over and still I fret each time I sit down to pay the bills.  A part of me always thinks that life would be just dandy if I could sit down and know that there is enough in the checkbook, but then I wouldn't know who is really paying my bills, would I?  I might start to think I had something to do with it.  And since I am quite certain at this point, I have nothing to do with it, I suppose this is the healthier place to be.  I try to not let worry overtake me in the days leading up to bill paying, but I have a feeling this is something I still need a lot of practice with.

But it's done for another two weeks, and I guess I'll go sort through the laundry in search of baby Jesus.


Terri Downey said…
Once again, you have been peeking into my homelife, Elizabeth! From the denial to the unpleasant attitude, I could have written that post myself! LOL
Amy said…
I wish the IRS would also send us our refund check for our adoption in 2007. They tried to subtract from our 2007 rollover credit the credits we took for our son's adoption in 2005. It is possible to adopt more than one child in five years. I know of a number of families like us still waiting.
LawMommy said…
I only know of one family that has actually received their 2010 adoption tax return, and that is saying a lot considering how many families I represent in filing re-adoptions. I'm really beginning to wonder if the IRS agents in charge of particular credit haven't got the slightest clue what they are doing.

I hope you find the baby Jesus. I suspect he will turn up by the 24th. :-)

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