God has challenged me to write about how He will supernaturally pay off our mortgage in 5 years. I am a homemaker, my husband is a teacher, and we have three children. Our mortgage balance at the start of this blog is $97,802.62 with a projected payoff date of May 11, 2035.

Sounds foolish, huh? The Bible says that, "...God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise;..." So I am choosing to be foolish and trust Him. He's never let me down before.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Would you look at that?!

This morning while walking back to the house from our son's bus stop, I decided to check the garden and look in on a runt cucumber.  It is the latest of a total of three that have grown from the vine.  The others grew strong and hearty and have long since run the course our digestive systems.  I've been waiting on this runt to add to a garden salad but alas have had to hit up the markets for 2/$1 deals on the vagabond veggie instead.

This morning it looked like this.

 
Not much change from the last time I saw it.  Still small, underdeveloped, and not ready to eat.  As I checked on the other veggies before walking away, something caught my eye underneath the leaves of the vine.  The deep green bumpy surface gave it away.  Moving the prickly leaves aside my suspicion was confirmed--it was another cucumber.  But much bigger than its sibling.  Here it is.
 
 

 
Jackpot!  I was so excited, but a bit confused.  Where in the world did this cucumber come from?  It seemed like a miracle.  I had never seen it growing all the times I was checking in on my runt.  Then all at once it hit me...I never saw this cucumber because I was never looking for another cucumber.  All of my focus and energy was going into complaining about the one cucumber that wasn't growing well, so much so that I couldn't see the cucumber that God allowed to grow up big and strong in its place.
 
 

 
Big difference, huh?  Have you ever been like that in your life?  So focused on what's not happening that you end up missing the very miracle God is doing right before your eyes?  His work is everywhere.  We just need to take the time to stop and look.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

A Practical Way to Save on Printer Ink

While viewing Consumer Reports articles on the web in search of a new printer, I came across this new story.  A 14-year old developed a science fair project and determined a way that we can all save money on  printer ink

Thank you Suvir Mirchandani for helping this frugal gal to save even more!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Give us this Day, Our Daily Bread...



A couple of 2 loaf packs of bread for 74 cents to be exact.

Amen.

Cover (A) Girl

God's Holy Spirit is my make-up.

Regularly people say to me "You have such a gentle spirit about you" or "You're such a sweet person."

If only they knew where I was.  If only they knew where I am.

God reminded me today in prayer with Him that He makes me beautiful.  He covers up my sin with His grace.  He makes the dark spots in me light with His love.  I can take no credit whatsoever.

Only my God can cover a girl like me.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Treats from Daddy

Prior to the start of each month, Ross and I sit down to review our spending plan (budget).  We begin that meeting with prayer and end it with prayer.  The opening prayer is thanking God for His provision and asking Him for help to remember all the expenses for which we need to plan.  Our closing prayer is asking Him to bless the budget that we've prepared and to cover us in those things that we may have missed.

Tithes and bills are a given in each budget.  After these, we share any additional wants or needs with each other and make a decision as to whether or not to include them in our spending plan.  I had on my list two items from Costco that were certainly wants, but definitely things that our family could use: a pencil sharpener and an air mattress.

8/1
Pencil Sharpener

20.00
8/1
School Supplies

20.00
8/1
Annapolis Trip

50.00
8/1
Annapolis-Hunter


8/1
Senators Cash I
x
15.00
8/1
Senators Cash II

15.00
8/1
Air Mattress

30.00
8/29
Bball Tailgate

40.00
8/1
Cat Food

15.00
8/1
Drive-in movie

50.00
8/1
Sneakers--Hunter
x
25.00
8/1
Sneakers--Blaise
x
20.00
8/15
Mom Birthday

30.00
8/5
ST Taxes Ross
x
343.00
8/5
ST Taxes Chanty
x
14.70


Yes, $20 for a pencil sharpener.  But it's a good pencil sharpener.  Last school year I was plagued by complaints about points breaking off in our 99 cent pencil sharpener and about how we have pencils but the sharpener doesn't work.  Buying this $20 one would be more for my sanity then anything else which in my mind is priceless.  The air mattress request stems from our camping interests and how Ross and I find it more uncomfortable with every passing year to sleep on the ground in our tent even with padding.  We've talked about getting an air mattress for a while.  It would also serve us in being used for overnight guests.

We agreed that we would put these items in our spending plan, but they would not be priorities and would likely be the first on the chopping block if we needed to downsize our spending for any unforeseen expenses.  I was content with this.

Yesterday evening I went to get the mail and saw an envelope from Costco with my name and address handwritten on it.  Inside was a letter apologizing for an error made in our recent membership payment along with a gift card for $50.42 to make up for the difference.  My mind went right back to how we prayed over this month's spending plan and how God made allowance for my two requests.  Certainly these items were not needs for my family, but God wanted us to have them just the same.  

Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?  Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?  If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him? Matthew 7:9-11

What blessing to have a Daddy treats me to good gifts that I do not deserve!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Say Cheese!

Last evening was the final date to use a coupon voucher for a free birthday burger at Fuddrucker's for our son.  Since Morgan had band practice and Ross had some meetings, I whipped out a BOGO 1/3 lb. burger coupon from our coupon book and we were set for dinner for three (me and the boys) for under $6.00.

We had already planned that I would have the birthday burger, since it was a smaller kid's burger, and the boys would get the 1/3 lb burgers.  We had also talked ahead of time about what they could get on their burgers since there was a dollar charged for every topping on the menu.  I gave them an allowance of one topping each in addition to having free reign of the no charge toppings at the bar (veggies and condiments).

Looking at the menu above the counter, it was difficult for me to determine whether or not they charged for cheese.  I inquired of the cashier and she told us that, yes, there was a dollar charge for cheese.  Thankfully, one of the offerings at the bar was hot nacho cheese.  Ta-da! We got our cheeseburgers at no extra cost.

On the drive home, my mind started churning...this week Karns has Sargento cheese 8 oz. for $2 a bag.  Would it be "cheesy" of me to bring cheese to Fuddruckers and put it on my burger as soon as it comes out to save myself a buck?  Hmmm...talk about having your cheese and eating it, too.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Ten Dollar Dilemma

This morning I found a ten dollar bill while walking through the parking lot of the plaza below our neighborhood.



There it lay in a parking space.  The time was about 5:30 in the morning and no people or cars were around.  Excited about my unexpected fortune, I picked it up and continued on my walk.

In the last class that Ross and I taught on managing finances, we shared that money with no named job or assignment is often poorly spent.  It practically runs out of our hands leaving us wondering where it went.  In spite of our recent teaching, I still fell victim to the "I wants".  

Looking over at the bagel shop I thought 'I could treat the kids to breakfast this morning.'  But the more I thought about it, I reasoned that I had just treated them to lunch yesterday and we had plenty of food in the house for breakfast.  I think it was more that I wanted to go to breakfast than anything else.  I thought about using it towards maternity clothes but God had blessed me just yesterday to receive a box of mostly brand new maternity clothes from a friend.  How should I spend this money?

God brought to mind James 1:5, one of the verses shared in our most recent class.

If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.

'Remember, Chanty,' I thought.  'You need to pray.  Ask God what to do with the money.'  So I prayed while I walked and asked what to do with the ten dollars.  Almost immediately I was reminded of the plan we already had in place for "found" money.  We have been putting it into an account to save for a new vehicle in the near future.  Dilemma solved.