Friday, June 21, 2013

(EBT Family) Should I Be Ashamed?


Should I be ashamed that I am a mother of six children and this is our second year on Food Stamps? (At least that is what we called them in the 80's)....

People look at me as if I have a disease because I have "so many kids" and if I told them I got money from the government watch their jaw drop even more.

Does this mean I should stop having kids "since I can't afford them?"

I don't know. It has been on my mind like crazy because my application for these benefits has been dragging out and I still have had no word when it will take effect.

I have only been planning meals for about 3 days in advance because I don't want to suck our checkbook dry. Not to mention, making my own bread because for some reason bread on the east coast cost an arm and a leg.  I have become very creative with what is in the cupboard and it has majorly challenged my cooking skills. (One definitely looks at leftovers differently when you are paying with your own money or your debt.)
But that is where I see it as very healthy that I am waiting. It is not our goal to stay on assistance forever. Sean and I have even been disgusted with what junk you can purchase with an EBT card. At least in North Carolina you can't buy coffee, Oregonians would have a fit if they made that a law. I am not a mom that purchases two liters pop and stacks of Totinos Frozen pizzas. Yet any purchases are humbling, especially when you have all your kids with you.

My husband works hard. He has learned an entire new career this past year and I think is doing an awesome job.  I am open to working, although I have seen the stress it can put on the home. I know he is open to working evenings too. Even when he was a pastor for four years we were barely making ends meet. If it was not for the generosity of those in the church we could have never lived in the housing we did. Many Pastors stay in such a position because the generosity is great to those who have title. We many times just felt guilt. My husband is no less of a man now. Free gifts are not something one should depend on... I should not depend on government food assistance either!  There are many on EBT card (I laugh) because I know you would be shocked by whom they are too.

One thing I don't want to do is leave GOD out of the equation. With every child we have had, HE has always provided the money. Even if it meant we lived more simply. I recall a time in our marriage when we had no money to pay the entire electricity bill and my father encouraged me jus to pay half. The next day we got a $900 check in the mail from an audit done to our mortgage company (via a house we had sold a year prior in Missouri.) Even last week I was very stressed about how much to spend at the store, what to make for dinner.. ect, and we received a check in the mail from a website Sean designed. It was suppose to cover some of our expenses from the Road Trip, but God knew when we needed it.  Exactly one of the reasons WHY we made the trek back to NC- the cost of living here is insanely cheaper than Corvallis, Oregon.

I am poor and needy. God will deliver me out of my troubles. No good thing will those lack, to those who trust in him. Would some christians say I am not trusting in Him because I am relying on government money for food?? Maybe. Some Christians would say I am wrong for having debt too...

About six months ago, we ran into a couple at Goodwill that we knew from church and in our small talk they mentioned how their debt was so great it was hopeless to ever get out. "Oh, yeh.. Dave Ramsey.. we tried that.".. was more of their response. They had no goals. No joy. It seemed really sad.
I heard on the radio, that debt was the "one personal thing" that all christians were terrified to be revealed in their life. Even if that meant exposing any personal thoughts, their feelings about in laws, immorality, hidden sin.. DEBT WAS SOMETHING NO ONE WANTED TO TALK ABOUT.

I am not without hope. Every year, if need be every dime of any tax return goes straight to our credit cards. I do recall even two years of our marriage we had no debt. Does that mean God was blessing us because we were "more in His will"? Certainly not. I have come to understand His dealings with us are far above our understanding. He wants us to seek Him daily and love Him with all of our heart, mind, soul and strength.  It is more blessed to give than to receive. I want to continue to love on those who have less than I do, and more than I do.

My lot in this life not huge by any material standard... that is the least of my concerns. I do want to have wisdom with every dime we spend. My children are amazing. I know these little trials we are experiencing are going to build a lifetime of richness in them, shall the Lord tarry.  They understand why we shop at thrift stores or snag up free items. They currently understand why there are very few snack in the house too. :D

My God shall supply all our needs according to his riches in Christ.
I don't think I even answered my own question in writing this blog. One thing I need to know- NOT to fret about opinions of others. A family with more than 3 kids gets used to that real quick!

I am praying I will keep my eyes on the Lord and not my mailbox this next week. You bet, I am going to be even more thankful and careful on whatever amount of money I receive this time around.

Dare you say you are on government assistance? What are your experiences? Do you think it is wrong?  Email me please if necessary- (buckout six at g mail dot com) . I am curious. I know I am not alone.

Ok, naptime is just about over! Good weekend to ya!!
Blessings,

5 comments:

  1. Good for you for opening up about this topic! Shortly after we were married we were on food stamps for about 2 months, that was all that was needed until I got a job (we were very poor, in school, but had no debt). Once we had kids my little home business was extremely helpful at times! I think the way EBT should be intended is to help for short term needs. Maybe that's a couple years or a couple months while a family transitions to new job or .....? It looks different for each family, but bottom line I think it should be a temporary assistance, not sometime to rely on long term (I know that causes the next generation to do the same thing, and so on). Maybe it would help if one per household who were on EBT had to be pursuing a career or certificate training in something to continue receiving EBT?? Or if the EBT office connected peoples skills to jobs or new training to help them help themselves in the long run? We also think the church should be doing more. I agree simple needs and an adjusted life style are great lessons for kids. I always knew as a kid when my mom was making a pot of beans that she was "feeling poor". I still love beans today and think of my frugal mom and the lessons she taught me every time I make them. (She was a single working at mom mom, who was never on food stamps, but her frugal decision making helped shape me!). Anyways...there are some of my thoughts! :-)

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    1. One more thing.... :-) And just like everything else it should come down to the matter of the heart

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    2. Thank you Heidi :D It was a relief to get off my chest. I don't know why.. it just helped. Our government is so messed up. We have even thought it would be a good idea for EBT to be used like WIC. Where those in need can only buy certain items.. like rice and beans. It might help solve part of the obesity epidemic too! So sad that i could go spend all my money on candy, soda, tv dinners and such. I stocked up on rice and bean before we left Oregon because I knew there could be a waiting period in store. In fact, it is funny you said that because we are having black bean tacos tonight! lol Love you guys. ANd I can't thank you enough for opening your home to us... and I am so thankful to Jesus that he spared you the plague. So happy your fundraising is going good. Can't wait to see your babies in your arms!!! Love and HUGS!

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  2. Hi Heidi and JuRita, Just to put my two cents in ... I think EBT should not have restrictions on short or long term use...I understand idea of not wanting future generations to use it but really I just think that if kids or parents are going to go hungry there shouldn't be a time limit. We don't know the future. Duane lost his job 3x. I even went to work for 3 yrs and still didn't make enough to cover all the cost of just trying to live. Kids grow!! Need clothes, shoes, toilet paper, shampoo, ...so anyways bottom line for me is if there is a need Praise God for his help : ) I do think there should be restrictions on for you can buy. It is crazy what you can get. WIC way would be good. Plus, the amount we qualified for ( a family of 5) was too high. But really even that was. Blessing. Where we were so poor and struggling in every other area to make ends meet it was such a blessing not to worry about food : ) Love you both! And thanks JuRita for your post and for opening up to everyone. I guess I had few things to share too : )lol
    Love, Monica

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  3. 3 days before Ethan was born, Seth lost his job. I was planning to be at home with my baby, i didnt have a job either. Well, we went (reluctantly) the the DHS office and I was put on the fast track for insurance AND food stamps, they had us approved in less than 12 hours (which we all know the DHS NEVER works that fast) and the insurance covered my entire medical bill. WHAT A BLESSING. We moved to live with my parents when Ethan was 4 weeks old. Seth and I both started the job search immediatly and i went back to work when Ethan was only 8 weeks old *so hard*... Anyway, my point is, like Heidi said, it was there when we needed it and it was NEEDED. We worked hard to get back on our own feet as soon as we were able. We appreciated it and made the best of it. I used the food stamps to buy a lot of meat and produce and i was so shocked that people could/would waste all those dollars on candy and pop.. but the bottom line is that it is there for people when they need it and im grateful it was.. i fully agree with Heidi its about the state of your heart and knowing that you are making frugal decisions and being good stewards of what you have.

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