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.

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.


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Mommy Moment

Following our second night of vacation bible school for this week I was wiped out.  Once we arrived home shortly after 9 pm, I charged the kids with watering the flowers immediately after stepping foot out of the the car.  It was getting dark and this task is not easily done past dusk.  We were pushing it as it was.

My goal was to have everybody in bed without any fuss or conflict.  My youngest did not cooperate.  Little things kept getting him down or distracting him from his instructions.  I gave him my sternest "Just get her done" lecture, all the while trying my best to practice patience with him as I was very tired and I knew that he was too.

In addition to a myriad of other ailments mentioned, he yelled down to me from the hallway outside his bathroom that he got glass in his foot.  I took a deep breath, arose from my chair in the kitchen, and trudged upstairs.  As much as I wanted to ignore his plea as an exaggeration, I was reminded to show love to him in spite of how I was feeling.  Showing me the spot where it hurt, he asked if I could feel the glass.  I told him that I couldn't.  I'm thinking it was just something a crumb or something that he had stepped on.  I circumvented the problem by directing him to brush his teeth in my bathroom.

Tucking the boys into bed, my youngest prayed for two women in our church as he has been doing consistently.  My heart softened as I was reminded of this other side of his temperament--concerned for other people and sensitive to their needs.  After praying, he came down the ladder from his bunk to give the baby in my belly a kiss.  My heart melted.

Back downstairs in the kitchen I began working on prepping to make banana bread for breakfast the next day.  I hear the familiar creak of the steps letting me know that someone is coming down from their bedroom.  It is my youngest son letting me know that he can now  show me where to feel for the piece of glass in his foot.  Ugh!  I thought we were done with this.  Deep breath again.  I patiently ask him to sit in a chair so that he can prop his foot up on the table.  He feels the spot for himself and then directs me where to feel.  Sure enough I feel and see a small shard barely breaking his skin.  I grab a pair of tweezers and work on dislodging the sliver while he sits bravely wincing at the pain.  Finally, I get it out and present to him the source of his misery.

A grin fills his face from ear to ear as he gives me a big bear hug.  "Thank you, Mommy.  I love you," he says with the gratitude of one whose life has been saved. Thank you, God, for giving me yet another reason to be excited about being a mommy all over again.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Best and Brightest

Our family doesn't typically purchase a Sunday paper except for two special editions: Black Friday edition and Best & Brightest.

Best & Brightest showcases senior high school students in the Central PA region who are making strides to better their community, their families, and themselves.  They are selected by a panel of local community figures.

I enjoy reading what these young people are up to.  I get excited listening to their aspirations and learning about the obstacles they have overcome to reach their goals.  One of the young people selected was one of my husband's students and he is quoted in the article about her.

The student that stood out to me, however, was a young man named Scott Fogle from Cumberland Valley High School.  What set him apart from all the other Best and Brightest students is his plans for after graduating high school.  They read as follows:

Defer his acceptance to the University of Pittsburgh's Honor's College at Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Science to save for college.  He will live with his aunt in Redwood City, Calif., and work full time.

Wow.  This is the first time I've ever seen "work" listed under the immediate plans for any student selected for this honor.  What an encouragement.  What an eye-opener.  How refreshing.

Interestingly enough, there was also an article in this Sunday's paper entitled "Degrees of Debt" which features area college graduates telling of their struggle with repaying student loans.  One woman shares that her student loan debt drains her of about half of her disposable work income.  Given the chance she shares that she would have made different financial decisions.  Another woman in the article likens her college debt to a noose around her neck that tightens every time she tries to better her life.  Pretty sad.

Proverbs 22:7 reads, "The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender."  Right before this is the all too familiar verse that speaks of training our children in the way they should go so that when they get old they will not turn from it.  I don't believe that this is a coincidence.

Kudos to Scott and his parents for starting his future out on the right foot.  Although their decision may not be a popular one, it clearly is the best and brightest.