I received my class load for SUU today. 4 students, 2 of which are taking hour long lessons, so it's really like having 6 students. And it was like I could breathe a great big sigh of relief.
Last semester, SUU lowered Joel's pay and almost cut me because they had hired a few other adjuncts with more advanced degrees. In the end, they gave me two 1/2 hours to teach, but it wasn't much money and I was terrified that they really would cut me this semester. As you can see, they didn't and I am incredibly blessed. My pay this semester will be triple from what it was last semester. And that means it's easier to simplify because I don't need to be hunting for other students from whom I have to demand money or wonder if they'll quit after one month. The one nice thing about teaching at the University is my paychecks are consistent, whether or not the students show up.
You all know we are not rich. A school teacher's salary in Utah is not much. We supplement as best we can with my students and Joel's extra SUU class, but the problem with my students is they can't totally be counted on. People quit here and there, especially in January when money is tight. People forget to pay, and although I'm learning, I have a hard time demanding a check. So, budgeting is a tiny bit difficult because I never know exactly how much I'll be making from month to month.
But here's where the blessings of paying our tithing come in. It's almost as if it doesn't really matter what happens because we're always taken care of. If I lose a student, the money either doesn't seem to be needed, shows up some other way (like through an unexpected photo shoot), or Joel will get a private trumpet student.
Around Thanksgiving time Joel got a really large check due to a couple extra bonuses that were on it. We were up north, so I didn't pay the tithing that very Sunday and of course I forgot after I got home, until I was balancing the account and realized my omission. Because it was such a huge check, the tithing amount was also bigger than normal and I didn't really have enough money to cover it and still buy groceries (we used most of that bonus check to pay for car repairs, you'll recall). But, I knew I wasn't going to have the money at all if I waited any longer, so I wrote out the check and said a little prayer. Not a minute later my mom IM'd me and said she'd felt prompted to put some money in my bank account and it just happened to be enough to pay for groceries that week. Talk about the Lord saying "thank you for keeping this commandment" instantly!
So I find myself being incredibly grateful today for the blessings that paying tithing can bring us. I seriously don't know how we make it sometimes. If you looked at the state of our bank account, or worse, the cash flow forecast in Microsoft Money you would probably laugh at the absurdity of it all. Tithing often seems like a huge sacrifice, but honestly, I don't think we can afford not to pay it.