February 07, 2007

Reminders of His Love -- Janet Sketchley

I write fiction because I love stories. Articles come as I try to capture and explore what God teaches me, and I share them in hopes He may use them to touch others. I keep them on file so I can re-learn my lessons, and here's one that first appeared in Our Family in 2000. The incident happened almost 17 years ago, and I needed to read about it again.

Reminders of His Love

© Joanna Mallory

When our first baby was born, my husband and I agreed that I would trade my 8‑to‑4 workplace for the privilege of being an at-home Mom. Suddenly we were living on almost 50 per cent less income. We'd never had to stick to a tight budget for any length of time, and the pressure left me struggling with self-pity.

We gave up dining in fancy restaurants, and tried not to use our credit cards. The hardest part for me was having no spending money for little impulse items. When the last few fish in my aquarium died just after an unexpected repair bill, I was overwhelmed. My urgent prayers that God would meet our financial needs seemed useless. Things were getting worse instead of better. Now here I was, not even able to afford the few dollars to buy some new fish.

The ringing of the phone intruded on my misery. Blotting tears of discouragement away with a tissue, I managed a shaky "Hello." My former boss was on the line. Did I have room in my aquarium for some extra fish? The latest addition to his tank was too aggressive for his smaller ones. I thanked him excitedly, then hung up and praised the One who showed His care when I was at the breaking point.

It's still hard living on one income, and from time to time we find ourselves in the same agony of finances. Looking back, I can see that God has provided for our needs at every step. And sometimes, when I'm at my most fragile, He has generously given special treats like those fish. Things I didn't need, but reminders of His love, to strengthen my faith and help me trust Him.

© Janet Sketchley, 2007
For devotionals, reviews and conversation, stop by Janet Sketchley's blog, God with Us: Finding Joy.


  1. Joanna, I love your fish story!

    Now you just wait. All your writing will pay off one of these days with some fat advances and royalties and it'll all be worth it - not that it isn't already.

  2. How I can relate to this! We had cardboard boxes for night table, but staying home with the kids was worth every sacrifice. God rewards me in many ways through my kids, even through the value and recognition given to them as adults by their peers and in the places where they work. It isn't always about money!

    thanks for the reminder!


  3. Ah, God is so tender. Thanks for your reminder of his personal care for each of our needs!

  4. Neat story, Joanna. Thanks. It's so good to remember that God always provides. I'm so thankful that I can look back on my life and say that I've honestly never wanted for anything - He's been very generous. Sometimes that makes it easy to forget He's the one providing, but I know He's been there.

  5. Hi Joanna,

    Just wanted to say that it is all worth it. I stayed home for 13 years, shopped at Biway, Salvation Army stores and garage sales. It gave my kids a feel for what we needed and what we wanted and the difference between them.



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