When I was doing my undergrad in Religious Studies I came across an old Buddhist proverb that said, "The finger that points to the moon is not the moon.... But if you want to discover the moon, you need to choose a finger"
This post actually marks a bit of a turning point for this blog!!! One of the reasons I started this blog in the first place was to answer questions regarding how we manage to raise seven kids on a single income without going crazy. Not only that, but to show that with a little creativity, is also possible to afford the FINANCIAL costs of having kids these days AND still have lots of fun in the meantime!
It is probably evident that I have been writing this blog from a Catholic Christian perspective...which just happens to be the finger I have chosen to study the moon (i.e. my relationship with God). I should point out that I approach theology not only from a personal perspective but from an academic perspective as well. Not only did I do my undergrad in Religious Studies, I also worked at a monastery as the coordinator for their youth program....where by the end of it, I had conducted retreats and motivational seminars for over twelve thousand youth aged 13 to 19.
Anyway the thing that tends to get me these days, regardless of religious point of view, is hearing people balk at the prospect of having kids because of the cost. Let's get something clear right off the bat. First, I am NOT making any judgements about the number of children a couple decide to have. Although it seems that many do not seem to hesitate making some sort of judgement towards us for having so many kids. Second, there is a BIG difference between choosing not to have kids for health or medical reasons and choosing not to have kids for financial reasons.
So this year we are embarking on a journey....perhaps a year long, perhaps even longer.
As of this post, I am beginning a year of parental leave, essentially cutting my income in half, and we have decided to homeschool all the school aged children (four of them are school aged) all the while, with God's grace, making ends meet.
Now just because I choose to believe in God does not meant that I think that bags of money are going to fall out of the sky. You don't have to have a degree in theology to know that God does not exactly work like that. However.....as some of you may have read in my discussions with Elrin, when you follow scriptural principles regarding the use (stewardship) of money, God tends to provide funds through ways you don't expect.....especially when you follow the principles of tithing.
One of the things I have mentioned in my offline discussions with Elrin, is that there is an order to charitable giving. What that means is that scripturally speaking, there are levels of charity, the highest being: feeding the hungry and giving drink to the thirsty, clothing the naked and sheltering the homeless....(corporal works of mercy anyone?)
That is not to say that giving a few bucks to a kid who is raising funds for a school trip to the zoo is not a good thing, it is just not in the same category as donating funds for building a well in Africa. (raising funds for the school trip falls under a different category of charity....called financial blessing....which I will talk about later)
Having said that, some of you may have noticed the donate button on the top right hand corner of this blog. For most bloggers, this is one of the ways that they generate income from their work. However, we have decided to REVERSE TITHE any income that comes to us through this blog. Here is how it works: Tithing, scripturally speaking, means setting aside the first fruits of your labour to God....right off the top. The exact amount is 10% no more, but more importantly, no less.
Reverse tithing is giving the first 90% of every dollar to God, leaving the last 10% for us. So by donating to this blog, you will not only be helping us make ends meet, but 90% of every dollar you give is going to go towards an organization that feeds the hungry, gives drink to the thirsty, clothes the naked and gives shelter to the homeless....and no I don't mean us, although we are going to put some of the 10% towards funding a mission trip sometime in the future.
Another thing to look for in the next coming weeks are books that I will recommend on amazon! There are so many good resources out there, not just about managing your household finances but also about being able to communicate better and getting the most out of life! Once I figure out how to get the button thingy onto the side bar it shall be done. Just so you know, I NEVER recommend anything I have never read and by the way, if I have time to read them then so do you!!!
So that is about it for now; be sure to tune in for more adventures in this Leap of Faith year! By the way, if God decides to send us a reality TV series, we would not say no, but I can assure you that we are most definitely NOT like John and Kate....and that probably wouldn't make for good TV......
Join us next week where you will hear TiPSI Dad say...."Don't use the toilet brush for your hair......THAT IS NOT PLASTICINE!!!!!!!!"