Blessings: Version 2008

On Tuesday, we received some bad news.

It seems the state legislature has given some pretty big budget cuts to all state universities. In this economy, such things are to be expected. We’ve known about the cuts for quite a while, and hoped that the music department would somehow escape the consequences because they didn’t rehire a full-time professor who left last semester.

We weren’t so lucky. I get to keep my job, but Joel doesn’t. They decided that the Jazz band could be handled by the full-time professor over band, even though it makes his load incredibly full. They cut several other adjuncts, so it’s nothing personal….just deciding which classes can either be cut altogether, or taken over by full-timers.

I admit, I freaked out a tiny bit (a lot). It’s not really a ton of money, but it paid the student loan each month. I’ve been pretty worried about how we’ll make it next semester, and I’ve been praying that we will be okay financially. I’ve been looking at our budget and finding things we can tighten our belts on. I can always do better with couponing. Joel can take more private students. I can raise my photography prices, which I was going to do anyway. We probably won’t be able to save up for the tenth anniversary trip we were hoping to take this summer. I’ve considered unwrapping and returning half of Christmas. As a last resort, I suppose we could defer the student loans for a bit, but I would really hate to do that.

And then, the mail came. In it was a notice from the Utah State Tax Commission. It said that we prepared our taxes for 2007 incorrectly, and they would be refunding us almost 200 dollars. It isn’t millions of dollars and it won’t even pay the entire student loan payment for one month, in fact. However, I felt it was a little wink from Heavenly Father (as my friendHilary puts it) telling us that all would be well. After all, He has always taken care of us, why should He stop now?

Every year (2007, 2006, 2005) I love to reflect back on the blessings we have received from tithing. They aren’t always obvious, but the simple fact that we have been able to pay our bills on the salary of a high school teacher is nothing short of a miracle. High School teacher’s salaries aren’t made to pay off loans incurred by earning a doctorate, and I don’t advise trying it. This is our situation, though, and we felt that this job and this place was where the Lord wanted us to be for now, and He has proven time and time again, that when we follow His commandments, tithing and otherwise, we are richly blessed.

So, I have resolved that I am not going to worry. We might have to live off of rice and beans, but hey! The gas prices will save us a hundred dollars a month alone. Joel will have less stress in his life, and I won’t have to cook as often. Things will be okay. They will likely even be better than okay. I know this, because they always are.

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Yes, absolutely yes. It is amazing the miracles the Lord will work in our lives when we follow that individual plan He has for each of us. Way to go!


That was a beautiful testimony. I’m sorry to hear about Joel’s job, but remember “where one door closes, another one opens”.

Mommy Belle

I am very sorry to hear about Joel’s job. As others mentioned, your testimony and faith always amazes me! I think worrying is natural, but for you guys to live off of one income (with three kids) is absolutely amazing. I wish you guys all the best!

Maybe you’ll win another photo contest? 🙂


So sorry the realities of budgets and life hit you in this way. But like Hilary puts it, you’ll be fine with the “winks” from HF. I wish I could come up there and have you take some family pics of us. We just did our own snapshots (with a timer and putting the camera on a stool! and running to get in place in time!) while up in Pinetop for Turkey Day this year.


Financial worries are the worst. Or at least they can be pretty bad. We have had more than one of those tithing miracles and it is such a real thing. I really admire your perspective and attitude/gratitude. 🙂


So sorry about the cuts, Lara. That’s one reason I’m SOOO glad we’re at a rich, private Catholic school. Hope we’ll stay safe for a while.