Some families with a single breadwinner have prided themselves on being able to make that sacrifice for the family. I held that word 'sacrifice' closely to my heart too, maybe too closely. I constantly told myself, it was a worthwhile sacrifice, for the sake of the children. However over time, that same word 'sacrifice' that uplifted many families, made me feel guilty of my decision to only work part time from home. Guilty of not providing enough for my family, guilty of not having that financial means to expose my children to various programmes, guilty of not giving them the best resources. I kept seeing our situation from a perspective of lack and neediness. I caught myself saying things like, "Oh we can't buy that because it is too expensive," or "Oh we can't go for that because we do not have enough money". And that guilt trip caused me to feel very lousy as a person and as a mother. Jealousy and envy of other women who appear to have it all started to set in.
Then I went for a course on creativity. It taught me skills to think creatively, to harness the already present creativity in me. And there was this particular phrase "Being Frugal and Flexible" that stood out from one of the course readings. It talks about "Jugaad" - which is about doing more with less.
I realised the word 'sacrifice' and me just didn't go together! Personally, I don't want to view our decision for me to stay at home as a sacrifice because we're not giving up a certain lifestyle for something else. We're redefining our lifestyle, we're making a deliberate choice to choose something different. Through practicing frugality, I started to see the possibilities in the resources we've. For example, we've many toys - DIY toys that I made, we made, the family made. I started to cut down on wasteful consumption by using cloth diapers. I see supply rather than lack in our lives when I recycled more. Now I find myself having a more meaningful discussion with Nat when he asks to buy something. We try to process the decision together. We try to think of solutions creatively.
When God told Abraham, "I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore," (Genesis 22:17) I think from then on, whenever Abraham looked up at the stars in the sky, I don't think he could see the actual descendents, I think he saw the hope, the promise, the possibilities in the stars. Now I no longer worry about our finances or fear lack because I know He is my Jehovah Jireh in so many possible ways for our family :)
(photo taken by Chienway, words by Rebecca, inspired by Psalm 8)