Alif takes care of all the bills around here, so when he handed me our gas & electricity bill and said, "We need to do something about our electricity bill," I wondered what was going on. He looked tense, to say the least. In the moments between his handing it to me and my looking at the bill, I thought, "Uh-oh, I'm going to have to turn the air down." It's hot, friends. I do not want to turn the air down.
Then I looked at the bill. It was nearly $600. $600. Oh ~ my ~ gosh. We cannot afford $600 in gas and electricity. I mean, no way. We can't. I told him I'd figure it out and he left to run errands, which is his way of unwinding. I felt defensive but also stressed out. I put the bill on my desk and thought I would just handle it in the morning.
Then, by the grace of God, I remembered to pray about it. I prayed that it was a mistake. After I prayed I had the courage to call the gas & electricity company. And would you know that it WAS a mistake?? So much for the Smart Meter they installed a few months ago! Our actual usage was the same as it was last month. What a huge relief!!
That enormous bill did give me pause, though: how much electricity do we use unnecessarily? We run our ceiling fans all day and night - do we need to do that? Can I bump the air up a couple degrees and "suffer" through feeling a little bit warm? Can I remember to flip off the lights I'm not using a little more often?
It also gave me more compassion for those who have air conditioner but simply can't afford to run it. There are some extremely hot days where I live - so hot that every so often someone dies from it. I can't imagine watching my kids truly suffer through the heat with no way to cool them down. I'm thankful for the provision God has given us but I'm also thankful for the super-high-bill scare.