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Question: We just found out we are going to have our sixth child. While finances have always been an issue with us it will be especially so now. We are going to need to buy a larger vehicle, etc. Anyway, currently my girls are in dance, I have a couple of kids in music lessons, gym classes, art classes, etc. I worry about cutting back but feel like we will have to cut something out. We have plenty of opportunity to socialize with our homeschooling group at parks and such so I don't worry about socialization. I just worry that they will miss out on things if we cut out extra activities. What can I do at home to make up for these cuts?
Answer:

Dear Mom,

Congratulations on your pregnancy. It is a powerful and holy witness for children, when they are included in discussion concerning finances and budget keeping. Let me explain. To come before your lovely family and tell them with great joy that they will soon be gifted with a new sibling is such a blessing. When your children see the joy with which you tell of this news, they can not help but be caught up in the spirit of happiness.

Ask them to help you to decide what needs to be done in order to ensure that needs and priorities are met without undue sacrifice or compromise. I am always amazed at the eagerness and readiness with which my own children will "step up" to the challenges at hand.

One year it was necessary for me to cancel dance lessons indefinitely for my three youngest daughters. They were indeed disappointed, however they understood the necessity. I prayed for a creative way to work through this challenge. The Lord showed me that I could turn our living room into a small dance studio. This I did. Taking the furniture out of the room and putting up the ballet bar was the first step. The girls got into the spirit of the project and were eager to help. In no time they were dancing and enjoying themselves. They made up dances and put on performances weekly for the family. In this same year it was also necessary to suspend piano lessons for a time. The older children taught the younger ones from their old books. It worked.

I guess you can gather that we too were faced with financial challenges that demanded a change in our normal household routine. Though I felt badly for the children, they did not seem to mind nearly as much as I.

It has been my experience that children love their parents and will take their cue from the way parents face challenges. It is essential for parents to communicate with children on a level that is sensitive for them to comprehend when they must discuss challenges. When we approach difficulties with the Lord's strength behind us we are showing our children a strong and powerful witness.

Living life is not about waiting for perfection in order to enjoy happiness but letting He Who is Perfection work through our lives to bring us lasting happiness, that the world can not take.

You are a sensitive and loving mother. Your children are gifted from the Lord with a mother who not only desires to follow the will of the Lord but longs to guide her children to the knowledge of this will. To give up worldly pleasures for the good of a family or to ensure the care of new life is worthy and certainly holy. This type of witness comes from walking hand in hand with Jesus and trusting in His care to provide what is truly necessary.

Jesus, please empower this dear mother with creative alternatives to the activities her children will need to sacrifice. Continue to anoint her and her husband with the strength and the witness necessary to be Your joy and Your light in the days to come. We love You, Lord, and long to see Your face. Amen.

Sending out a prayer,

Rita Munn

   
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