How Important Is Money To You? by Maria Natividad D. Macariola
KEEPING THE FAITH AS WE GROW OLDER
As a working single mom, anything that comes to my path is very precious especially if it concerns money! With five children to feed, and send to school, money is definitely a necessity. I was left with the tremendous responsibility of raising 5 kids alone without the financial provision and protection of their father. He was not stepping up to the plate, so I stopped depending on him! I took full responsibility in my children’s education and also for my well -being. Being financially independent and debt free was one of my goals, as I know that in being debt free, and having money in the bank made me feel more confident. Thus, I exerted all my efforts, energy, and time to seek teaching jobs to augment to the salary that I get working regularly in the court.
I am a mom but most of the time I spend outside my home because I work from 7:00 in the morning to 9:00 in the evening. Early morning, I have a one hour teaching load, after which I run to my office from 8:00 to 5:00 in the afternoon and at 5:30 to 8:30 in the evening, as a part-time college instructor. I work on Saturdays and Sundays too as a college professor. For almost thirty years, I have maintained these schedules to support my children and have better life for all of us.
Indeed, running low in the finance department is a common theme for single mothers! There are still some periods where I struggle with money issues, though! And these are during birthdays and graduations, also school projects and field trips, events and activities that I have to save more. I realize that it is really important for women especially single moms to truly understand & know how to manage their finances. Many women in the work force are terrified of financial issues, and they sometimes avoid dealing with it until the problem get too big to ignore. I’m in favor of anyone or an agency which assist women in being financially literate, and proactive.
As a workaholic mom, I sometimes miss going to church. I only attend church masses on special occasions, such as weddings, baptisms, and burials. Our Church is just across the street but I found no time getting inside to hear mass. My teaching and working schedules occupied most of my time and even vacations have no place in my calendar! My relatives and friends have told me that I worked to death which is true but I just ignored them as my priority is to be able to feed my children and give them good education, setting aside my own happiness and personal choices.
With God’s grace, my two children have graduated in university my only girl is a sophomore and another one in secondary level. My eldest was a special child, who passed away few years back.
Reaching the age of 50, I realized that I was not happy, and in my self-examination, I asked myself, ‘‘ What is it that I am looking for? Why am I not happy with my life?” One day, my feet brought me to God’s house, where I asked the Lord God while praying lots of questions, and many whys?” Why I am not happy? Why I don’t have a fulfilling life?” It seemed that there was something lacking, a void within me but I don’t know what was it and could not find the answer! After few more months of soul searching, finally I found the missing answer. It struck me that it is all about MONEY! Thus it dawned on me that money is not the key to happiness. The love of MONEY destroyed my faith in the Lord! I was then a slave of material things. Everything was not sufficient, and I was craving for more.
In looking back at past events, I have learned there are many single moms out there, who are trusting God to be the “father to the fatherless.” Whatever reasons why women like me, find themselves the head of a one –parent home, is certainly admirable and praise worthy! One thing is definitely true: God’s faithfulness to single moms can be seen in Scripture and prevails in the lives of single mothers and their children today.
I am positive that today, God is still reaching out to single moms! He wants us to have closer relationship with Him. Our heavenly Father God is offering single moms that He is a never-ending source of love, strength and provision as we face the challenge of raising God-fearing world-changers for Him. God calls the Christian to the joy of being above the weight of worry! God commands us to spend a little time each day to focus on Him, and trust Him during the rest of the day that He will provide for us, both physically and emotionally as we lean on Him. This word from God settled this money issue in my mind and gave me peace in my heart.
Truly, the pressures of this world are enough to leave even the most committed single mom deeply upset and agitated! But take heart, God has given us a command to “fear not.” Oftentimes, our problems and situations are overwhelming and the odds seem to prevail against us. But single parents have faith, trust in God, cast your cares to Him, and rest in His faithfulness to His promises. Amen.
I believe and realize that I cannot do anything without our Lord Jesus Christ so I surrendered my life to Him wholeheartedly, prayed constantly and focused on His finished work on the Cross. I am aware that every day He keeps me company and twisted my crooked road to a clear, clean path of peace. Surely, MONEY is not everything! I agree with this quote that: Less money, but full of joy, much money, lots of trouble!
Submitting to the Lord all our worries, loving GOD with our mind, heart, and might is better than the wealth we accumulate on earth! This love is free and the return is enormous! To me, even with less money, but having great love of God is sufficient because He sustain me. Since I trusted God, He gave me lots of time and resources, to mingle with friends and family and go on vacations to places that even before I did not imagine I will reach. Hallelujah to our Lord God!
Be a great example today and trust God to fill in the needs that are beyond your reach. Indeed, the challenges single moms struggle with are universal, but rest assured that the unfailing and amazing love of God to us exceeds the highest among all the wealth we have in this world!
To God Be All The Glory! Amen.
By Maria Natividad D. Macariola/OIC Philippines Writers’ Club