I've been thinking a lot about the word "provision." Merriam-Webster defines provision as "1a: the act or process of providing, b: the fact or state of being prepared beforehand, c: a measure taken beforehand to deal with a need or a contingency."
When I think of provision in the sense of how God provides for us, the third meaning is the one that stands out for me at this point. When I left teaching in June, I knew my household was going to take a cut in income. I carried the health insurance, including dental, vision, and prescription. I also brought home more than my husband. With my husband's pay being reduced to now pay for insurance, I knew I would have to find something to do to supplement the lost income. We began looking at ways to cut costs and took a look at our savings.
In the span of two months, we were able to find a new home in one of our chosen districts at a savings of several hundred dollars a month, lower our car insurance, and lower gasoline costs for commuting to work since my husband's employer is literally down the road and I'm not commuting at all. Add to that the fact I didn't have classroom costs for back-to-school preparations, several hundred dollars was saved there, too. Not that my husband and I are frivolous spenders; far from it. I plan my meals according to grocery fliers, spread my grocery bill out among several stores to keep it low, shop clearance, overstock, and thrift shop items when I need things, and rarely go out for movies and meals. If the kids want a treat out, they have to buy it out of their own money.
With moving and maintenance costs over the summer, our savings have been eaten into and the pressure to find an income is mounting. We thought we had one source of income available, but there was an issue with the process and it may or may not be available now. I have applied for several freelance writing and proofreading jobs for education publishers. (Side note: My first degree is in journalism, and I was a writer/editor/proofreader before I changed careers and went back to school for teaching.) I was accepted to one company as a freelance proofreader, but it is not steady work. I've also applied to be a writer for the same company and am still waiting the results of that application. Additionally, I've been sent a writing test for yet another company and have applied to a fourth as an e-learning elementary content writer. Finally, I've applied to be an online tutor for a leading tutoring company. I'm just waiting to see what God has for me.
I'm also learning to really rely on Him for His provision. The old me would have run out and taken the first available thing just because it was there to provide an income, whether or not I was happy with it, and worried the entire time. I can say that I am calmer this time, although not completely worry free. Concerned, but still believing that our bills will be met this month. I keep reminding myself to remember He has provided a home, people in place for my children in their new schools, a network of other moms who are of like mind, favor with my applications, school clothes and supplies for my children, food for my table, and opportunities I would not have had otherwise...all in two months. It's a quick learning curve, but I'm hanging on.