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.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Making Do

This morning I was cleaning out my microwave.


In the middle of cleaning, I found myself thanking God for this appliance.  You see, for about two years we had a microwave with no turntable and no door handle.  The turntable had broken accidentally and the handle had come off due to normal wear and tear.  We had learned to place our fingertips under the door just so in order to open it up.  It became second nature to us and we made do.

Eventually I decided to look on Craigslist for a microwave to replace ours.  A similar model was listed with the dimensions needed for above our range.  I communicated with the seller and he said that he would sell it to me $15 below the list price!  That microwave is the very one that graces our kitchen today.

"But godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.  But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.  People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction." 1 Timothy 6:6-9

God taught our family to be content with the two-bit microwave that we had.  Sure a door would be handy, but it wasn't necessary.  Our family did not go hungry due to lack of a microwave door.  We made do.  Then when the timing was right, we purchased a USED microwave.

Contentment. This is where financial freedom begins.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Laugh of the Day

Pulling into the parking lot of my bank this morning I saw a woman in a candy apple red convertible pull into a parking spot a short distance from me.

As I exited my van I had to chuckle upon hearing the distinctive electronic sound of her locking up her car.

Classic!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Step Away from the Baby!

Earlier this week we were babysitting a friend's son for a couple of hours.  After following his daily routine, we came to the hour when he was due for a nap.

First my husband held him for a while but he cried. Next we put him in our son's swing, but he continued to cry.  My husband had to get ready to leave the house and handed the baby over to me.  He told me about a way to hold him that had gotten him to sleep last time we watched him.  I tried this suggested hold but the little guy cried on.

Then I realized the time.  With my stomach growling I knew that I needed to eat lunch or I would be crying alongside the baby!  I laid him down on a sleeping bag in our living room as he continued to protest. "I'll be right back" I told him and stepped away into the kitchen to make a sandwich.

While mulling over what toppings to add to the meat, I suddenly thought 'The crying has stopped.'  I went around the corner into the living to find the scene below.



The whole time I knew that what he needed was rest.  But I didn't know how to get him to do what he needed to do.  What I recognized after seeing him fall asleep on his own was that what needed to happen would eventually happen if I just let it happen on its own.

This reminds me of how God works in my life.  I have a problem and try everything within my power to solve the problem.  God lets me do this.  It doesn't work.  I get so worn out that I have no choice but to do nothing.  Then God handles business as usual.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

When I am trying to do things in my own power, I hope to remember to step away from my baby so that I can have Christ's power.

Money Mayhem

So yesterday was a finance day meaning that Ross was working on balancing the checkbook from previous transactions.  Often during this process he will come to me with inquiries about past expenditures that have long since left my brain.  With my "mommy brain" it is often difficult for me to remember what I did a couple days ago.  Trying to retrace financial steps from weeks past takes some major mental muscle.

In the process of his inquiries, I began to get frustrated because he asked me the same question about three different times, in three different ways.  Looking back now I realize that he was reflecting on the question himself as he was asking (almost like in his head), but at the time I was truly annoyed.

"Okay," I said in a barely restrained voice between my teeth, "you've said it three times now and I can't take hearing it again.  I will look into it and get back to you."

He looked at me-hard.  Then his look got softer and he said, "Okay, I got it."

I took some time and found what he needed.  Later on he asked me, "Do you know that you paid the mortgage twice?"  Ugh!  I had forgotten that we paid it before we left for vacation so we wouldn't forget to pay it when we got back.  I paid it a second time the day after we returned with the other monthly bills.  How small I felt for being impatient and angry with him earlier.

"It's okay," he consoled me, "We have an extra paycheck in the bank and it will be covered.  Having the extra money in there allows us to do things like that."

Whew!  I felt relief.  As frustrating as these money issues were I am so thankful for:

1) A loving, forgiving husband
2) God blessing us to have an extra month of pay in the bank
3) Humility

His grace is sufficient.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Reminder

Yesterday at church a young woman named Heather shared with our congregation about a blog  (Souled Out) that she had started.  She simply stated that she had a passion for writing and wanted a forum through which to exercise that passion.  Her blog provided that forum and she had stepped out on faith to begin writing as well as to share with us about her writing.

I had the opportunity to speak with her after service to let her know that I would be following her blog.  In listening to her excitement, my own passion for writing has been rekindled.  With the recent birth of our son, I had pushed writing way down on my priority list.  It has become a luxury rather than a leisure.  But I truly sense God reminding me through Heather's testimony of the work that He has for me to do through my writing.  The words that I pen are not only for me, they are for His people...and maybe even more importantly for people who are not yet His own.

So, today I write and thank God for the reminder to do so.
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Monday, March 30, 2015

Aging Gracefully

Morgan, Story, and I were driving home from being out yesterday.  A Newsboys cd was making its second run-through in the player and I was exhausted.  We had gone right from church and had made about three different stops that were in close proximity of one another.  I was anxious to get home to a lunch of stromboli that Ross was preparing and then take a nap.

While my mind was wandering to thoughts of my head hitting the pillow, Morgan says

"Mom do you feel old?"

I laughed to myself in light of what I had just been thinking about.  In the past, naps were something that I had never really been into.  Napping was something that kept me from getting things accomplished.  After all there is always something to be done.  But with my recent pregnancy I had begun forcing myself to lay down daily after lunch because I was feeling exhausted by the end of the day if I didn't.  And now with a newborn naps are at a premium!

"Sometimes," I responded directing my thoughts back to her question. "Like when I see a young mom with a baby who is Story's age.  Or when I go to kneel down on the floor and think in my mind 'I really want to sit on a chair'.  And when I look in the mirror and see dark circles under my eyes."

She graciously laughed off my comments and said something about my eyes not being that bad.  Sweet girl.  Then I asked her, "Why do you ask?"

"Because you don't act old," she piped.  "When I think about it, I'm like 'Wow, mom is 41!'  But you don't seem like you are."

You can only imagine how good it felt to hear that from a 15-year old who probably has the perspective of a 30-year old being "old" as well.  With a huge grin I let her know that I appreciated her compliments and was reminded of God's grace in, of all things, aging.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Ah, Communication!

Recently I was at the dollar store to purchase some odds and ends.  (In all honesty this post doesn't have much to do with the dollar store at all, but I figure I might as well share some shopping savvy while I'm at it.  Also, here is a  link for an article on what to buy and what not to buy at the dollar store).  I don't buy a ton of things at the dollar store because although everything at Dollar Tree (where I shop) is typically a dollar or less, oftentimes I can find many of the same items cheaper.  Things I typically purchase there include tortillas, toothpaste, toothbrushes, shower caps, and all-occasion cards.  On this particular trip while shopping for some of the aforementioned items, I came across a body wash.

This wasn't just any body wash.  It was a body wash with an acne medication called salicylic acid.  In short, the body wash was a knock off of the one Neutrogena manufactures.  I purchase the CVS brand of this wash for myself and my two teens to use as face wash.  Yes, it's sold as "body wash" but I've found that the ingredients are almost identical, it cleans just like a face wash in that it's not harsh on our skin, and you get about double the amount that you get with the face wash for less money.  The store brand I buy costs about $5.  Imagine my delight in finding this item at Dollar Tree!

However before hauling off and buying 3 bottles, I decided to just purchase one and test it for quality.  In the meantime, my son had run out of his face wash and asked to use the one that I had.  I told him he could but that he needed to put it back into my shower so I had it for when I needed to use it.  He has been struggling with remembering to do this and so on a typical morning I would step into the shower, go to wash my face, and find the face wash M.I.A.

On one particular morning, I was going through my typical routine of getting ready to shower when I hear a knock on my bathroom door.

"Yes?" I answer.
"Mom," Hunter replies, "I have your wash."
I think to myself, 'I finished up my laundry yesterday. What wash would he have of mine?  And if he does have wash for me, it's not like him to bring it up to my room.'
"Just put it on the bed," I respond.
"O-kay," he hesitantly answers.

I turn on the shower water, wet my face, reach for the face wash, and it's gone again. 'Hunter!' I grumble in my head.  After showering and dressing I step out of my bathroom.  I do a double-take as my eyes rest upon an object laying on my bed--my face wash.

Note: I will not be purchasing the body wash from Dollar Tree.  It does not lather and is very watery so that when you pour it into your hands to use, you end up wasting more than you use!  I asked Hunter and he agrees :-)