When the paycheck doesn’t pay

Trusting the Lord has been an area of my life where I am covered in stretch marks. Places where I didn’t want to grow, but the Lord has had some work He needed to do, either through me or in me. Trusting Him financially has always been a challenge. Not because He has ever failed me, but because I like to have a real tangible plan. Just going on faith, not my strongest suit.

My husband though, I don’t think that man has ever had a real worry about our finances. Not because he is disengaged from the reality, but because He trusts that God will never leave us hungry.

The last month and a half have been real tight…as in half our paycheck didn’t show up each month. I don’t know how many of you who read this are living, like most Americans, paycheck to paycheck. But if you are (like us) and half your paycheck doesn’t show up…well let’s just say it causes a little bit of tension.

Now I knew the money was coming. I knew the Lord wouldn’t let us starve. And overall, I didn’t freak out. I did what I knew how to do…pay only the essentials. Cook meals that didn’t cost much Hello rice, my old friend! Did you know that with a pound of kidney beans you can have red beans and rice and use the leftovers to make homemade refried beans, throw those on a tortilla and sprinkle some cheese on top and call them tostadas and your kids will gobble that stuff up? Seriously, there were several nights where my food cost breakdown for dinner was right around $5 for my family of 7!

Now that the pay has been corrected, we get to have repair work done on our van. It’s old and has 230,000 miles on it. But we just can’t afford to replace it. So in to the shop it goes. And then I can pay all those people who keep calling me, every flippin day.

If you’re stuck not being able to pay your bills, if you’re struggling to see the light at the end of the damned debt tunnel…well I feel you! And I just want to encourage you that God is walking right there with you. He won’t abandon you and He will come through. Although it may not look like you want. Sometimes the tunnel gets darker before you get out. But you will get out. And I will certainly be seeking wisdom from people wiser than me.

So in an effort to help each other out, I’m going to share my homemade refried beans recipe.

Refried Beans

3 – (15 oz) cans kidney beans drained and rinsed or 2 cups leftovers from red beans and rice

1 C water

5 Tbsp – Olive Oil

1 medium onion

1 jalapeño – seeds in or out depending on how spicy you like it

2 cloves garlic

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp salt

Place beans, water, onion, jalapeño, and garlic in blender and blend until smooth. Heat oil, salt and cumin over medium-high heat. Pour in bean mix and stir to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally until beans thicken, about 10 minutes. Serve on tortillas for fake tostadas or on the side of your favorite Mexican dish.

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