Image via WikipediaI am updating again with several days combined equaling...Joshua. Of course Joshua was following in the footsteps of a leader that no one would ever be capable of rising to meet. I don't want to take anything away from Joshua, but Moses?? Those would be some seriously large shoes to fill. Joshua did as he was commanded. He was part of the promise. Part of the grand story. God's promise. He brought the people through to their inheritance that God gave them. His path was clear, but not without its difficulties. He sent spies into Jericho who relied of a prostitute and her family for help. An unexpected hero! He brought the entire nation across the Jordan. He led the fight of wars to take all the lands. He defeated kings. Many, many kings. The depth of planning and the foresight he had made him great. He may have been no Moses, but he was great. When the Isrealites successfully inhabited their land, it was divided up among them and a huge part of biblical history was complete. The cities of refuge were in place for those who may have unintentionally killed. They could not be sought after by avengers in these cities. Our pastor did a sermon about the covenants in the bible. This covenant, when renewed, truly brought to light God's glory to these people who spent most of their time asking why God would put them through all that. Wondering why he didn't just leave them in Egypt. Why would he make them suffer so? Then here in this covenant renewal, when they are being told to renounce all other gods, they respond with Joshua 24:16-18 "far be it from us to forsake the Lord to serve other gods. It was the Lord our God himself who brought us and our fathers up out of Egypt, from that land of slavery, and performed those great signs before our eyes. He protected us on our entire journey and among all the nations through which we traveled. And the Lord drove out before us all the natoins, including the Amorites, who lived in the land. We too will serve the Lord, because he is our God." I find this a bit humorous because through their entire journey from Egypt, the miracles were not enough, the promise was not enough, the trials made them question why God would ever treat them this way. He couldn't know what he was doing if they were suffering so. Put this into people today. We see suffering, we see sorrow, we see trials and we wonder if God has any idea what we are going through. We wonder if there really is a plan. And then when it all works out, however long that may take, we say, "Thank you God! We knew you knew what you were doing all along." We humans are like children all the time to God. We act out. We throw temper tantrums. We even think we know better. But when it turns out he was right, we act like we were following right along the whole time.
Thank you God, for always knowing better and thank you for teaching us humility. Help us to always remember you have the plan in your back pocket and even when we don't think it is the right plan, it is. Even a good and gracious God has a reason for bad things happening. Help us to know that these bad things will lead us where your plan says we should be, no matter how bad it seems. You always understand when we revolt and you hold our hands through the worst of our behaviors. You are a good and gracious God and model parent. You have patience and kindness and you also have the strength to follow through when you tell us you are going to do something, no matter what we do to try and change your mind. We are stubborn children. But even in our stubborness, we love you and are grateful.
So, in our fight, us silly children, we do learn lessons. We also learn the things that we can do to better ourselves. To do more to help others. In our family our effort has been to learn to save money more effectively AND efficiently so we can do more to help. It is kind of our family mission. Part of this effort is couponing and carefully planning when, where and how we spend our money. We have eliminated the "we think we deserve it" purchases. The "because I don't feel like cooking" dinners out. When we want something we save for it. We budget and we plan. We make our mistakes. We still have regrettable moments. But our steps forward are bigger than our steps backward. That is our motivation.
I had a regrettable moment yesterday. I went to the store and spent about $35 and only was able to use 1 coupon. It was for some things that I didn't plan for that are hard to get coupons for. I don't ever like to take a trip to the store without saving more than half of my total bill. BUT alas, it happens. So, I will move on and I will get over it. I didn't make a large purchase. I did buy 2 Ghirradelli chocolate bars for us. $4 total. That was the only thing for us. I also purchased a cleaner for our shower that had to be specific and I didn't have a coupon for that, but I could have found one if I tried harder. That cost $4.29. That's a lot for cleaner, but Mike is very happy with our shower right now. I look at that receipt and I wonder why I am so hard on myself about that bill. Then I remember. It is because I have worked so hard on saving for so long that the concept of purchasing things without the saving feels like it is unnecessary and wrong. I am asking you, for my sake, to tell me, "Christina, lighten up." Go ahead. Tell me. But then, know that I will again be hard on myself because I have taught myself how valuable those saving are. And now I know I have learned this lesson. CHECK!