Tuesday, 12 February 2013

The Payoff

There were moments, many moments, while in the midst of canning this summer when I thought I must be crazy. Canning peaches is a lot of work. Tomato sauce entirely by hand - unbelievably time consuming.

My reasons for canning last summer were two-fold.
  1. It was simply something I wanted to try. 
  2. In the long run, it will save us money. 
I was careful not to go overboard. I have a tendency to jump into things with both feet. I buy all the tools, supplies and set up as if I'll continue on for the long run. Then I realize how much work it is, or it's not as fun as I thought, and I bail. So, I was careful not to go overboard. I borrowed a canner, I bought jars as I needed them. I only did a bushel of peaches, 1/2 a bushel of nectarines and a bushel of tomatoes. Apples, well, 1 1/2 bushels made a lot more applesauce then I expected.

I say all of this because I am now wishing I had done more. And I'm so thankful I did what I did.

The reality of working in new home construction is that work slows in the winter. This results in less hours working, less money coming in. The months of January, February and March are our leanest months of the year, financially speaking. And it doesn't help that the government resumes deductions from paychecks either. (By fall half of those deductions stop because we're basically paid up for the year.)

I have these conflicting thoughts about having, or not having, money. When I think of the times we've had an abundance, when I can buy the more expensive cuts of meat or a frozen lasagna (instead of making one) and then compare those times with paycheck to paycheck living - having to count every penny - I realize that despite the stress that comes from the 'have not' times, I am more content and at peace than I am during the 'have' times. Is it because I know I'm literally doing all I can to serve my family and be responsible with our family's resources? Is it because I'm reminded to look to the Lord in all things - and actually do it? I think it's a combination of the two. Of course I'm more at peace when I'm looking to the Lord. In this season of my life, my job is to serve my family. When we 'have', I don't do that to the best of my ability; I get lazy. When I get lazy, I get restless and depressed. When I get restless and depressed, I tend to comfort shop, squandering our family's resources.

So, here we are in the middle of February. I've already used up over half of what I canned this summer. I've gone back to making absolutely every thing I can from scratch rather than buying it. I often feel like there just isn't enough time in the day for everything that needs to be done. And I'm more content and at peace than I've been in a long time.

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