confession: cards on the table

i wasn't going to post today, much less post something like this, but the more i thought about it the more i realized that what i really want for this blog is for it to be real, and genuine, and honest, and all the other synonyms you can think of for "authentic".

and though i haven't always posted this way in the past, i think things are more real and more authentic when you talk about them in the midst of them instead of waiting until you move past them and can put it all into perspective.

so, here, i'm putting my cards on the table.

yesterday was a bit of a rough day.

our church recently began a sermon series on finances. everyone's favorite topic, right? yeah. mine too.

well, while peter and i started out pretty rocky in the finances department thanks to my lack of willingness to talk honestly about things, we have more recently been on the right track. we have been on the right track.

me, not so much.


you see, i'm a bit of a shopaholic. i often go shopping when i'm upset about something, simply to cheer myself up. because when you look better, you tend to feel better. and frankly, for the past few years, i didn't feel that great about not being able to have a baby for so long, and i needed quite a lot of cheering up. however, i took retail therapy a little too literally.

there are certain stores that i would walk into knowing that it would be nothing short of miraculous if i walked out empty-handed.

and the trouble was that i had a couple of my own credit cards from before we were married.

peter knew i had them of course, but he didn't know how much i used them. and since i'm a prideful person, and was ashamed of my financial indiscretions, i didn't tell him. i tried to make myself feel better by at least letting him know that i had a balance on one of them, but i didn't mention how much it was.

i so wanted to take care of it on my own, and not make it his problem.

i tried just not going shopping. and when i actually didn't go, i did okay. the trouble is, there are other reasons to go to the mall besides just looking for something for myself.

so, i would take a harmless little shopping trip - usually because i needed to get a gift for someone else, or i legitimately needed something [like maternity clothes...], but i never left with less than what i was looking for, and certainly not with less than what i needed.

always more. always.

and then i'd lie to myself, and tell myself that it would be okay. it wasn't a big deal, and i could absorb the blow, and pay more the next month.

but that didn't exactly happen.

so, yesterday, sitting in there, listening to all of these truths about debt, and what we're biblically called to, it just sort of hit me - i had to come clean. obviously this is a weakness of mine. a big, ugly problem, and i had to stop pretending that it was smaller and more attractive than it is. because it wasn't going away.

so peter and i talked. it wasn't an easy discussion, and what i really wanted to do was bury my head in the sand, and not initiate it, but it needed to happen. in fact, it needed to happen much sooner than it did.

anyway, my credit cards are all getting cancelled and going away. and next week we're starting a class to try to help me get a better handle on finances, and to get us completely on the same page.

peter has always been good with this stuff, and i have failed, and failed, and failed again.

so we're taking steps to rectify the situation. because everything is not okay. and the bigger picture going forward is to make sure that if something terrible happened to peter i wouldn't fail our son/family. to make sure that i wouldn't run us into debt without a safety net. and in order to change, i need help.

and i hate needing help.

i don't like being uncomfortable. i don't like admitting weakness. and i especially don't like it when my weakness, and my poor decisions make me uncomfortable.

but actions have consequences. and i have to take responsibility for my actions, and deal with the consequences.

and not set myself up to fall into the same trap again.

[if you want to have a listen to what i heard yesterday, you can find the sermon HERE later this week. it hasn't been posted yet.]

so there you have it.
cards on the table.

i'll leave you with this little reminder - one that i need more than any of you i'm sure.

i'm going to go count my blessings.

thank goodness God is capable
of using us even in our weakness.


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