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, 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 :-)

Monday, February 23, 2015

Fill 'Er Up

I wrote in Cost of Raising a Child about how faithfully God has provided for our new baby boy, Story.  Well, to my amazement, He continues to do so.

We have the money for diapers and formula, yet God has consistently paid for these items through others for the nearly 3 months of his life.  Whether it be through shower gifts, gift cards, or giveaways from other parents, we have not shelled out any money for these two items.  On several occasions I have thought, 'All right we're nearly at the point where we need to pay for diapers.'  Soon after we receive some outgrown ones from another family, or a gift card to Target.  The same with formula--God keeps refilling our cup...at times even before the need arises!

I had no choice but to write about what He is doing to provide for our needs.  As He fulfills each one, He fills up my heart with gratitude.

Monday, December 15, 2014

What a Difference a Savior Makes!

Cable is one luxury that my husband and I made the decision to do without.  We haven't had cable for over 14 years, ever since we have owned a house.

One of the television channels that we are able to get is called "RetroTV".  It boasts sitcoms from the 70s and 80s like "I Dream of Jeannie", "Different Strokes", and "Father Knows Best".  The station is one that we can generally let our kids watch sans supervision knowing that the content is pretty much PG rated.  So different from today's programming.

Last evening Maude was on.  I had never watched the show in the past.  But ironically I had recently heard mention of a controversial episode.  It had to do with the main character, Maude, getting an abortion.  This exact same episode was on last evening.

Maude, 47 at the time, and her husband became pregnant.  They each thought that the other wanted to have the baby.  However in reality neither of them wanted a baby, but did want the other to be happy.  By the end of the show, both of them came clean and were honest about not wanting to have the baby "at our age" and how they "would make horrible parents".  As I watched the episode holding our two week old son in my arms, it concluded with the couple holding each other in their arms agreeing with relief that Maude would have an abortion.

When I first learned that I was pregnant at age 40, no doubt I felt like Maude and her husband.  Overwhelmed at going back to diapers and sleepless nights, I felt like I had been given a death sentence.  This was not the way that I saw my life turning out.  Our kids were independent and we were on easy street.  Why was this happening to me?

One evening at our church Bible study, our pastor's wife spoke on the topic of trouble.  The message told of how trouble tests me to see where I am in my faith.  It also give me the opportunity to show Jesus in my life to those who are watching me go through trouble.  Lastly, as a believer, my life is not my own.  I was bought with a price.  Therefore I am expected to honor God with my body.  What better way to honor God then to allow Him to use my body to bring life into His world?

After this message, I can say without a doubt that I was changed.  My outlook was completely different.  I was excited, even elated to be the bearer of life.  I began to see it as an honor and was able to enjoy it more than I have ever enjoyed any previous pregnancy.  In addition to commenting on how I was carrying the baby, people also commented on how I carried myself during this time in my life.  This was no doubt due to the assurance that God gave me after hearing His word.

So when I think about it, had it not been for having Jesus in my life, I could be Maude.  I am so thankful to have accepted Him as my Savior and have Him as my Lord to guide me in everything.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Sure of what we hope for, certain of what we do not see

8:30 am on the last day of Thanksgiving break.  The house is quiet as everyone takes in the final morning of sleeping in late.  Everyone except for me.  This is my time.

Downstairs at the kitchen table with a bowl of cereal, I enjoy the peace before my family awakes.  I am thanking God for healing from giving birth on Wednesday and for His gift of family and friends who are so good to us that I wonder if I am a good enough friend in return.

In mid-thought I glance over at the refrigerator door and see my used to be youngest child's (I guess I will refer to him as my 3rd grader?) latest artistic creation.

 

 
The turkey has feathers with the names of things that he is thankful for.  In addition to each of our family members (including himself) and baseball, he also put "baby" on a feather.

Seeing this got me thinking, 'He made this art project before the baby even arrived.  Yet he listed the baby as someone he was thankful for.'  Truly all throughout my pregnancy he was hopeful in his anticipation of having a sibling and certain that this baby would be a part of our family.  I so often want to see what God is doing in situation before trusting Him to handle it.  How different my life would be if  I would trust God enough to place my worries on a turkey feather. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Cost of Raising a Child...

$245,340 up until age 18.

Being as we are expecting our fourth child at the end of the month, this figure could be enough to send me into a panic attack or major depression. But instead I rejoice.  This is why.


God has so abundantly provided!  Everything shown in this picture was either given to us or purchased through gift cards for the baby.  The only two things we have bought are a second-hand car seat and stroller.

Because God is so faithful, He has grown me up to realize what is truly important.  With our first child, I had to have the nursery a certain way with coordinating bedding, walls, etc.  Much of my focus then was on appearances.  Today, with this our fourth child, the nursery is simply a space in our bedroom.



Totally different perspective!

Today I am content and so very thankful to God for what we have and what He is blessing us with--new life.  I recognize the significance of such a gift and no price can be put on it.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Adda Boy!

This morning while I was sitting at the breakfast table with my youngest son, Blaise, I challenged him that if he remained on "green" for his behavior at school through Thursday, I would pay 75 cents for him to buy ice cream during Friday lunch.  He emphatically accepted my challenge but shortly afterwards said, "Wait a minute...I'm not going to buy ice cream."

I was shocked.  When I hear the old adage "the way to a man's heart is through his stomach" my Blaise comes to mind.  He takes great pleasure in food, eats with such gusto that every part of him is engaged in the process--lips, fingers, mouth (occasionally a fork).  And sweets, well, they are his favorite kind of food.  What was making him reconsider?

"I'm going to use the 75 cents to save for the HoverBall that I want to buy."  Wow.  I was pleasantly surprised at his declaration.  We had seen the toy during a trip to Wal-Mart and he told me that he wanted to save up to get it.  However, Blaise has been notorious for saying he's going to save only to have his eyes alight on a future object of desire that he has to have right then and there.  Needless to say this was a new and welcome development.

"That's a great idea, Blaise," I said.  "You know what?  If you stay on green through Thursday I'll give you a dollar instead."

Well that was all the incentive he needed to begin calculating aloud what he would need to save for the remaining cost.  Then the business man in him came out.

"Can you give me a dollar every week that I stay on green?"

Smart kid.  Looking to run a business out of good behavior.

"I'll have to think about that," I replied, not sure if I wanted this to be a perpetual means for earning his purchase.  Just the same, it pleases me to see a transition in my son towards becoming more future-minded with his money.  Many adults haven't even begun to master this concept yet. 

Adda boy, Blaise!