So after writing my last post, I consistently had 3 blog ideas the 3 days after I posted it. But did I sit down and immediately write these thoughts down? Of course not, I procrastinated and thought, I will just write them later! Well, guess what? I forgot everything that I was going to write about. And when I finally sat down to write something, I had a brain block and absolutely nothing came to my mind. So I shut the computer down and did something else. So my words of advice to me and all those other procrastinators, write things down as soon as you think of them, or you may forget them, and the wisdom that may have come with them will be forever lost! In other news, this past Saturday was the first Valentine’s Day Chris and I spent together as a married couple! Add it to our book of firsts! Oh yeah!!!! We had an awesome time together! We first exchanged gifts and then we just went out and explored! There wasn’t any real pressure from either one of us. The plan was to, in Chris’s words, “just go”. We do both enjoy spontaneity! So we went to a small town, that we rarely travel to together and we walked around and discovered some cool little shops. We went to Goodwill and found some treasures, then we went to a place called Jo-Ads, which is an two part Amish-type store. In one part of the store they have food and grocery which is amazing! We bought some mint chocolate fudge, some potato soup, and we even found dandelion mix for drinking, called Dandy Blend! In the other part of the store was furniture…handmade, hand built furniture! And boy was it beautiful! We sat in the most beautifully carved, most comfortable rocking chairs….wow. Just wow. Next we walked to a hardware store, that was very well stocked with just about anything you could ever need as far as hardware goes. As we walked around the store, we thought of so many things we want to do when spring comes! How exciting….it will be a spring of firsts…if spring ever comes…. Why do I say that? Well because we were hungry, so after walking back in the freezing cold to our car, it started to snow. When we got to the pizzeria that we were going to eat at, the wind picked up and the snow did too. Quite literally. As it came down the wind was blowing it everywhere! We couldn’t see 20 feet out the window of the restaurant. It reminded me of the day we first met in person. It was in the summer and sunny, we had just gone hiking and to Dairy Queen. We went to the park to play some basketball, and all of a sudden, out of nowhere, it started downpouring! We played in the rain a bit until it started pouring down so hard we couldn’t see! We took shelter under the shelter next to the court and got to talk about our families. It was a beautiful time! And now, here we were, in a random out of the blue blizzard! Crazy! So we got calzones and huge ice cream cones!!! Who gets huge ice cream cones in a blizzard? We do! That’s how we roll! After lunch we rented some movies and enjoyed the evening snuggling and staying out of the freezing cold! haha! It was an amazing Valentine adventure! So our first Valentine’s as a married couple was a great success!
Oh no…this isn’t about jelly…
When I was younger, every Saturday my mom would have us get up by 8 am and start cleaning the house….and not just like normal chores, but deep cleaning. You know, like getting everything off the shelf, dusting the shelf, dusting the things that go on the shelf before you put that back on the dusted shelf…that kind of cleaning. So naturally, doing that for most of the Saturdays of my life, I have tried to stick with that. I am proud to say that it has carried over to my married life.
Have you ever felt like you can feel your house getting dirty? That was me today. I knew the dishes weren’t done, I knew the carpet needed vacuumed, and the laundry?!?!? I don’t want to even talk about it…but I will…PILES EVERYWHERE! Clean and dirty clothes. And I don’t know if anyone else’s hubby does this, but at times, Chris can be a clothes hoarder. What do I mean by that? Well, Chris has a laundry basket tucked away in our room that he puts clothing that he has worn for a day…or two…that he wants to where again the next day…WHAT? Where does that even come from? I don’t know! I grew up knowing that if you wear your clothing for an entire day, then at the end of the day, you put them in the laundry basket. And we have a nice laundry hamper for the dirty clothes, and generally when the hamper is full, the laundry gets done. I don’t like to let things pile up…(it makes me feel like the house is getting dirty again.)
So, after a very nice Valentine’s brunch and service at church, we came home and it was time to WORK! So I turn on some jams. I am a musicaholic. I can admit it. I sing all the time, listen to music all the time…and when I am not, it is going on inside my mind! Certain words trigger music to just burst out of me at times…Chris’s family thinks this is funny, and sometimes annoying…
Anyway, I jam to Christian tunes. OH YEAH! There’s nothing like a good Christian jam, and I am not talking sweet contemporary Misty Edwards…I am talking about some Lecrae, Tedashii, even MercyMe has some good upbeat songs….which is something I want to share with you today. MercyMe has come out with this very nice, upbeat song and boy, when it came on over my Pandora radio station today…I was dancing, singing, and folding laundry all at the same time!
The song is called greater. It emphasized the Bible verse 1 John 4:4, “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” This is a beautiful verse! Anyway, I encourage you to check out this song, because when you are in need of a cleaning jam, physically or spiritually cleaning, this song is for you! Check it out!:
To say that “I suffer from nightmares” makes nightmares sound like a plague or something. In my mind, they are. Especially when there are so many night after night, and especially when I remember them. They can be so very vivid at times.
However, the past couple of nights, it hasn’t been just me suffering. Chris has also woken up in the middle of the night from them And last night, our nightmares were about babies. Both of us had nightmares about babies on the same night. I don’t know if that is some kind of sign, or if God is trying to tell us something, or if Satan is just attacking, but it was weird when we were sharing them with each other this morning.
Chris shared his nightmare with me first: In the nightmare, he dreamed we had a baby. After the baby was born, my mom and dad (who were not my real-life mom and dad [apparently I had different parents in his nightmare, which is good in this case]) stole our baby and we were frantically running around in the dream trying to save our child.
I wish I could share more details with you, but that’s all Chris told me.
Then it was time for me to tell my nightmare: I dreamed that it was re-election time. We had already voted…and I think it was the upcoming election (2016) because Hilary Clinton was running. And the most awful thing happened. Hilary Clinton won the election. But the most awful thing about that was as soon as she won the election, we were watching TV that night (even though, in real life we don’t have cable). Hilary Clinton had put an ad on the TV. She had legalized abortion in the entire United States. In the commercial, she had used words like, “Get rid of your problems today and get on with your life.” As she smiled that deceiving smile, the picture faded to a screen where it had information about the doctors and clinics you could go to in order to have an abortion. I was standing in the living room, frozen in my tracks just staring at the television in disbelief. In the background of the screen with all the info for clinics there was a black and white picture. One of the most horrifying pictures I had seen. It was a picture of dead babies of all sorts and sizes piled up. My heart was broken, and I could barely breathe.
I woke up gasping for air, my heart still broken. I thought it was odd that Chris had a “baby nightmare,” too.
Then later in the morning, I was scrolling through facebook and I just kept seeing these posts! There was an advertisement for a book about abortion. It was the first thing on my news feed! Then there was an article and a video about a “drop box” in Korea that a man had made so that people wouldn’t have abortions, but bring their unwanted babies and set them in this drop box. And this man took care of them! (And they are coming out with a film about it in March!
So then I was thinking….this is no coincidence….but I am not exactly sure what it means. Does this mean that God wants us to adopt children before having any of our own? Does it mean he wants us to start an orphanage and take care of children? I don’t know. But it was just too much all at once to pass off as nothing.
All I know is my heart has been broken today and I want to take action, but I do not know what action to take! Lord, help me to see and do what you want me to!
Time. It seems like a small word, but in these four little letters, it carries vast possibilities, and sometimes impossibilities. Time can sometimes feel controlled or controlling. Sometimes, you have all the time in the world. But other times–and most of the time for me, it seems–there isn’t enough of it!
When I was going to college for my teaching degree, the one thing that I always got points taken off for on the days when I was observed in the classroom was TIME MANAGEMENT. I don’t know what it is about me. When planning, I often plan too much to do in such little time, and when I try to do it all, well, then almost nothing gets done and I am back at square one (sometimes with a not-so-good attitude).
After getting married, I was the same. As soon as we got back from our honeymoon (8 months ago), we dove right in to working. I started learning a new job entirely, working as my husband’s secretary for his business. Chris went straight back to working and going to people’s homes, fixing their appliances. So it was always, work, work, work, You have to work all the time, or you are going to sink…fast. (Whatever happened to trusting in the Lord, eh?) Don’t get me wrong here, I believe in working hard and working with everything you’ve got. I believe in Colossians 3:23 when it says “Whatever you do, do it as working unto the Lord and not unto men.” But when it comes to the point that you are working all of the time when you are not physically able to do anything else in a day because the day is over, yet you haven’t spent time with your wife/family/friends/kid/loved one, it’s a little cray cray…and I don’t like it and in makes me angry…because those relationships are important. If you don’t make time for them, you won’t have them….or you will have them, but they won’t be in very good shape!
Anyway, because of this “always work” mentality that Chris’s family has, and I also merged into, we never felt like we had time for anything. And TIME started to burden us, and weigh us down. We would go to work at 8 in the morning. I would try to get home (which is right across the street) a little after 4 so I could clean the house up and get dinner going. Unfortunately, dinner would have to wait until I knew Chris was coming home. His coming home is so unpredictable because at times, appliances just decide to be more difficult than you could imagine. Most of the time, Chris wouldn’t get home until 8 or 9. By then we were both so exhausted from working so much that it would be time to eat dinner, watch a little tv and go to bed. Chris even worked on some Saturdays (the days he is supposed to be off). It was such a struggle, and sometimes, it still is.
However, through these 8 months, I have learned so much about time. I have learned that it is a precious commodity, and once you get it, you don’t want to waste it. When we were engaged, Chris and I decided one thing we would really like to do in marriage is go on exciting adventures. And although life itself is an adventure, we meant little adventures here and there to spend time together and have some fun. We aspired to do so much. We never realized that we wouldn’t have time to do it. And that’s when it hit me…(in the last month or two)….
You are not going to have time to do those awesome things that you want to do, unless you make time to do them.
In December, Chris and I were getting bogged down again with all of this work, work, work, time is of the essence stuff. So while in the office one day, I decided it was time to plan an adventure. Where would we go? What would we do? I hadn’t the slightest idea. So I got on google maps and looked for what was a good place that we could drive to on the weekend, have some fun, and drive back? And there it was…CLEVELAND. Haha. I know it sounds silly, but really it’s not too far of a drive, but a place with plenty of things to do. And I found out STOMP was playing at Playhouse Square! (If you don’t know what that is, youtube it. Seriously, tons of fun to watch and listen to!) So I booked some tickets, a hotel room close enough so we could walk to it and not pay for parking, and planned out some places to eat.I am grateful to say that I didn’t plan too much with the time we had this time…see, I am learning! I made this a surprise. Chris had no idea where we were going or what we were doing. I told him that I knew that when we got married, we wanted to go on some adventures, and that since then, we hadn’t much time for it. I told him that I made time for us. (THAT IS SO IMPORTANT! MAKE TIME FOR THINGS IN YOUR MARRIAGE! YOU WILL BE BLESSED FOR IT!) We had a blast!! Not only did we see an amazing show, we also ate at some great places! We had the most expensive meal we had ever eaten in our entire lives, with the bill adding up to about $130. But you got what you paid for. THE BEST STEAK WE HAVE EVER EATEN! And that’s saying something, because until then, Chris had never had a better steak than the one’s I make him. I was honored to be one-upped by this place though! We also had some awesome gumbo and J. Gumbo’s. Amazing…and not so expensive. Haha!
We made the adventure last even longer as we traveled in Cleveland to the Greater Cleveland Aquarium, which was awesome! We loved every moment with the fishies, and even got to walk under some sharks!!! On our way home, we traveled to the largest candy store in the United States! It was a huge candy warehouse! I thought I might be in Heaven, but then I saw the suckers with the bugs and scorpions in them and I knew I wasn’t. Haha! But what an amazing adventure it was! We spent a lot of time together just laughing and having a great time–being relaxed and not stressed about work, work, work. It was an adventure well worth making time to take it. I know that big trips like that won’t happen for us all of the time. (We’d be broke as a joke if they did!) However, I do know this: making time to do something special (even if it’s just going to a movie or out to eat or on a walk or hike) is well worth the time you sacrifice to work yourself to death. (I think I worded that right….if not, I meant that taking time out of working yourself to death is a sacrifice worth making in order to spend time with your spouse/friend/loved one and have an adventure!)
So I urge you…MAKE TIME. Whether it’s going on an adventure, or making time to study the Bible more, or making time to work out, or making time to play a card game or board game with family…..MAKE TIME. I promise you, it is important!
It’s a new year. A new breath of fresh air. A new moment to start over, to begin again, to truly live once more. Social media is spilling over with people pledging to do new things, to make their lives better, and to reflect on what’s happened in the last year. I enjoy reading all the amazing stories. I remember at the end of 2016, everyone was angry, fed up, and actually blaming the year 2016 for being awful. When January 1st, 2017 hit, people everywhere were saying “this is our year!” And for many, it was.
There were so many amazing events that took place for the Hubs and I in 2017. It was probably our busiest year yet. We made a push for better health, went on more adventures, planned parties and celebrated friends and family, kayaked for the first time and loved it, directed a children’s play, found a new church and got involved, became closer to our friends, and redirected our focus. All in all, 2017 it was a great year. But today, I’m going to tell you about something that not many people know about that happened just a few months ago in 2017.
Many people know that the Hubs and I have been trying to have a baby for years now with no success. There are many reasons as to why it’s not happening, but that is beside the point. A few months ago, we found ourselves in a sad state of mind. In a way, 2017 was so busy because we don’t have children. So we constantly tried to fill a void by putting more and more things on the calendar to keep our minds off of the ever increasing reminder of what we knew all too well. Around the end of September, I started feeling depressed. Hold up, I’m about to get real here.
I had become so busy with life. On top of that, I couldn’t get my health together. I had some kind of lung cough for weeks and it wasn’t going away. I am ashamed to say that it didn’t take much more than that, and I had lost hope. My thoughts turned from “I know we’ll have a baby someday!” to “What’s the point? I can’t even keep a clean house for an extended period of time, I can’t even stay healthy long enough, I can’t even keep up with my own life and my husband’s life enough. We’re getting older and soon it will be too late to have babies. Maybe I should just accept that I am never going to have children, and leave it at that.” When I first thought these negative thoughts, it scared me to silence. I didn’t talk to anyone about them, not even the Hubs. I didn’t want to discourage him or bring him down, so I was silent. I struggled so much to have a good attitude about everything else. I struggled to find the promises that the Lord had given me. I struggled to communicate with my husband for fear that the subject would be brought up, until one day in December, it was.
We were on a long trip back home from visiting my family in Kentucky. We needed the break and took a small vacation to visit for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and a couple of birthdays. We had an amazing time, but on the way back home, we knew it was time to refocus. The Hubs broke the silence and started the conversation off. We talked and prayed for hours. I cried a bit, finally feeling able to relinquish what had been going on in my mind. Little did I know, he had just about given up on babies, too. And that’s the cold hard truth.
I am so thankful the story doesn’t end there. I am grateful that I can tell you today that we haven’t given up, and that we are still clinging to God’s promises and his unconditional, unfailing love. I am blessed to have a husband who will talk to me about the hard things, and that I can come to him about them too. We took that time in the car to talk and to pray about what God wanted us to do, and feel like his direction was clear. We need to be prepared and willing to be faithful in the little things. Luke 16:10 says “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much; and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.” We need to be faithful in the little things. If we aren’t, then how can we be trusted to be faithful in the big things? After it became clear what we needed to work on, we had a renewed sense of hope and trust in the Lord, because even when we are unfaithful, His is always faithful and true.
The Bible says “The Lord is close to the broken hearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34: 18). We need to remember that we can go to the Lord at anytime, even if we are scared silent. We also need to realize that God puts our spouses in our lives for us because he loves us. Don’t torture yourself or your spouse by remaining silent about important issues.
So with that, we head into the new year. With a renewed sense of purpose, new goals, and a better attitude.
Ah, 2018. It’s going to be a good year. 🙂
May God bless you all this year, and may you cling to him in the big and the small things.
You know those silly little acronyms that you’ve grown up saying and knowing? Like TGIF (Thank God it’s Friday), or BYOB (Bring your own bananas, I know that’s not the real one, but it was for a banana split party I went to in college!)
For Christians, there are lots of cute acronyms.
F.R.O.G – Fully Rely on God
A.S.A.P. -Always Say a Prayer
P.U.S.H. – Pray Until Something Happens
T.G.I.F. – Thank God I’m Forgiven
B.I.B.L.E. – Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth
Yes, I know they sound silly, but when the pressure is on, they do come in handy because if you remember them, they really help out.
Today, I want to share an acronym that popped into my head today. But first, a little back story:
Chris and I have been praying for the past few weeks that God would help us find a cheap tiller or provide funds for a new one. Last year, we weren’t able to do a garden due to my killer migraines. After searching around, one of the cheapest brand new tillers cost at least $400. And we are a lot like most Americans in the fact that we don’t have a whole lot of extra cash floating around. What? You think money grows on trees?! (And there’s my mother in me.) So we checked the newspaper and found that there were 4 tillers for sale! So I waited until the weekend to call to inquire about the tillers because we were going to yard sales and would be in the area to look at the tillers then. Every single one of those tillers were sold. It was a little disappointing, but I knew that God would answer our prayers one way or another.
I talked with Chris and he said “If we don’t get a tiller within the next week and a half, I will dig up the garden with a shovel and hoe.” And although I appreciated his willingness to basically kill himself so that we could have a garden, I really thought that if we didn’t find a cheap one, we should get a new one.
Chris told me that he would dig up the ground not even half a week ago. Today, we had a meeting in Zanesville, and on the way back from Zanesville, I was checking out the local sales on Facebook. I scrolled 3 posts down and lo and behold, there it was. A Troybilt tiller for $300. I told Chris about it and he told me to send a message about it and ask if we could go take a look at it. So we ended up going over and looking at the tiller. It just turns out that the people that were selling it were a couple of Chris’s previous customers. He had repaired their refrigerator some time ago. I talked with the wife about life while the men talked business. It was a lovely visit and I didn’t even know these people! It was fun! Chris tried out the tiller and it worked great. We ended up getting it for $260!!!! Which is great! We looked it up on amazon and brand new, it would have been $1200. THE LORD IS GOOD! We stayed and chatted for a while longer and the man of the house said “we also have a hand plow. I was selling it for $50 but I’ll let you have it for $35. haha SOLD!
I tell you this story to tell you the acronym that I was reminded of today:
GAP – God Answers Prayers
We prayed for a garden, we prayed for a tiller. And God answered those prayers with a big “YES!” He doesn’t always answer with a yes. And He doesn’t always answer exactly when I might want Him to, but He’s always right and He’s always right on time.
Do not give up in praying to God. He can help you and he will. I’m not just talking about material things either. Just take a look at my migraines! What migraines, you ask? Exactly.
I cannot help but praise Him and thank Him for all he has done for us. He loves me like crazy and I love him too! Don’t forget to thank the Lord when He answers your prayers!
Philippians 4:6-7 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Our prayer and God’s mercy are like two buckets in a well; while one ascends, the other descends. ~ Arthur Hopkins
What prayer has God answered for you lately?
My Saturday has been interesting. First of all, it’s March, and we went to garage sales! There were only two, but they ended up being worth it. We found a filing cabinet that will fit perfectly in the craft room! We also found birthday gifts and Christmas gifts for people! I love garage sales. When we got home, I didn’t know what to do with myself. After putting our garage sale finds away, I started thinking, “What now?” I didn’t want to do chores, it being such a nice and warm and non-rainy day, but Chris also wanted to take a short nap, so I didn’t want to do anything that made a lot of noise. So I did some things I have been putting off for a little while.
First, I started crocheting a baby blanket for my sister’s baby (coming later this year). Don’t worry, I had her pick out which blanket she wanted, so she already knows about it. Normally, as soon as I find out a baby is going to be born, I start making something right away! But this blanket was a daunting task to me. It is intermediate level crocheting, and I have been stuck on beginner mode ever since my amazing grandma taught me how to crochet when I was 10 or 12. I was afraid that if I tried learning something new, I would fail miserably. But today I learned that youtube.com is pretty epic. There are TONS of videos on there that will show you how to do just about anything. In this day and age, what excuse do we have NOT to learn something new? True, I was intimidated by the skill level, but well, take a look:
Yes, it’s supposed to look like that!!! I would like to take this time to make a big shout out to Johnny Vasquez at “New Stitch a Day” on Youtube for showing me was a Front post double crochet and a back post double crochet is! Super easy to learn by watching this guy! Thanks!!! With my grandma being gone, it’s hard to find someone to teach me new things like this!
I will leave a link at the bottom of this post to his Youtube channel for you all to check out.
By the time I started to crochet, Chris woke up and came to the craft room to play computer games with one of his friends. I worked on the project until it started to look like something. Then I decided that since it was such a nice day, I should do something outside!
So I did! And brought Chris to help me!
Last year, I wanted to plant a garden and be outside all the time. But, being plagues with migraines…well, it didn’t happen. Since the Lord has healed me, I have been constantly doing something! This year, that garden is going to happen. Last year, Chris and I sat down and brain stormed what we wanted. I told him that I would like to cook with herbs that we grow instead of buying them at the store, along with other veggies. I want to do what we can to save money. So to Lowes we went! I don’t know if I came up with this idea myself, or if I saw it on Pinterest, but I thought that I would like to have something like window baskets for plants hanging off the porch. That way, anytime I wanted to cook with herbs, I could just walk out the front door and grab some off of the porch. Well, we look at the window baskets….it was close to $30 for one! I say nay!!! We’re trying to save money here, not lose it!
But then I thought….”Hmmm, what looks like these window baskets that will work on our porch?”
Yep, plastic gutters. I know it sounds odd to put gutters anywhere but on the roof of your home, but you can get about 8 ft of gutter for a low cost at the Lowes store. And end caps are $2-$3 a piece.
So today, we put gutters on our porch, and I think they will do the trick! And they kind of look nice too! What do you think?!
So my lost-and-wondering-what-to-do-Saturday turned into a good-finds-learning-new-things-creative-constructive-productive-Saturday! Not to bad if I do say so myself!
What was your Saturday like?
Here’s the link to “New Stitch a Day”. Enjoy!
Before you get married it’s really good to know particular information. For example, your health. It is good to know where you stand with going to doctors or hospitals. It is good to know if you are in good health or bad health and if you are in bad health, it is good to know what medications you need to be taking, etc. Also, before you are married, it is good to know about how you handle certain situations. How do you fair when conflict arises? Are you argumentative? Passive-aggressive? An emotional bulldozer?
Those are definitely good things to know before you get married. However, those are not the reasons I am writing this blog. Oh no. This blog is about something else that is good for you to know about before getting married: FINANCES.
I take total blame for this one. I went to public school, where they teach you practically nothing about finances, except for how to add and subtract them. And as for learning these essential parts of life at home? Well, I was a latch key child. My mom worked hard to provide for us, which took tons of time and energy. That, and knowing almost nothing about finances or their importance, I wasn’t very interested in learning about them.
So when my high school education was coming to an end, my mom said I had to go to college, and I wanted to go. And although I made pretty good grades, the college God was calling me too was still way above my price range. So I was told to apply for a loan. Knowing nothing about finances, and being a naive high school teen, I did what I was told without researching a thing. I said, “okay, I’ll get a loan and get a job during college and pay it off that way.” I had no idea if I could juggle a job and a full time college student position, but I got the loan anyway. It turned out that I could not get a job throughout college.
Luckily, I didn’t have to start paying the loan back until after college. But still, I was over $20,000 in debt and I had no idea where any money was going to come from. The jobs I worked at after college, albeit they were wonderful faith building jobs, didn’t offer a 6 figure salary.
Then I got married. Chris knew I had a loan before we were married, as I am brutally honest about most things in my life. My loan became our loan. He said we would work on it and get it paid off as soon as possible. He told me he firmly believed that the Bible is clear about debt…and how you shouldn’t have it. (I didn’t know that either!) Little did I know, Chris’s knowledge of finances, although it far surpassed mine, was not on the expert level.
For a while, we just paid the monthly dues. And then we researched it. The little monthly dues we were paying were barely chipping away at the loan. Not only that, but because of the interest rates, I actually owed much more on particular parts of the loan than I had originally borrowed. When we learned about that, our hearts and stomach sank.
Then we got serious about this loan. We started doing weekly payments instead of monthly ones. Once we figured out that it was STILL barely making a difference, we started paying more weekly.
It was at this point that I began to feel like I was in a battle or a war. And then I realized that I actually was. DEBT IS WAR. It will continue to be an ongoing battle until it is paid off. While you keep giving it all you’ve got, it is constantly burdening your mind, your finances (what finances you have left), your heart, and your family. It tests your limits, your discipline, your strength, your faith. While you slowly chip the army of debt away, it often will make you wonder if you are making even the slightest difference and if you will ever be free again. Because you are quite literally fighting for your freedom, and for your peace of mind. Proverbs 22:7 says, “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower becomes the lender’s slave.” Yikes! But that is LITERALLY how it feels to be in debt! If you are debt free, you are free. Period. And you should thank God everyday for that!
Chris said the Bible was clear on this issue. Before I was married, I didn’t know anything about what the Bible said concerning debt.In Proverbs 27:12 the Bible says, “A prudent man sees evil and hides himself, the naive proceed and pay the penalty.” I understand that verse now more than ever! I guess that’s one reason it says to “study to show thyself approved”. I started studying. And here are a few of the verses that talk about debt:
In Romans 13:8 it says “Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.”
Owe nothing to anyone. I clearly messed up there. I am definitely paying for my lack of understanding when I was younger.
Ecclesiastes 5:5 “It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay.”
Deuteronomy 15:6 “For the Lord your God will bless you as He has promised you, and you will lend to many nations, but you will not borrow; and you will rule over many nations, but they will not rule over you.”
Deuteronomy 28:12 “The Lord will open His good storehouse, the heavens to give rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hand; and you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow.”
But you shall not borrow.
Let me pause here and tell you that I am not trying to be a “Debbie downer.” I am just sharing some of my life experiences in order to (hopefully) help others in some of the tough decisions life put in front of us.
Loans are a HUGE life decision. I didn’t know that back then, but I know it now. We live in a world of convenience and entitlement. Where we want to get whatever we want and we want it fast…like NOW. So we end up making decisions that will most certainly follow us the rest of our lives.
Advising others to not get loans and go into debt is NOT a popular opinion. It will never be as long as Satan runs this world. But just because something isn’t popular doesn’t mean it’s wrong. I guess what I am trying to say here is think before you do. Plan things out, budget, work hard, and please, please, PLEASE try to steer clear from debt.
A lot of people these days say that staying out of debt is impossible. I beg to differ. It can be done with hard work and determination and discipline. (I don’t speak about this part with experience as I am in debt, but I have seen plenty of good examples!)
Here are a few things the Bible says that may help you (and us in the future) make some good decisions about loans and debt:
Proverbs 21:5 “The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage, but everyone who is hasty comes surely to poverty.”
Proverbs 13:11 “Wealth obtained by fraud dwindles, but the one who gathers by labor increases it.”
Proverbs 27:23 “Know well the condition of your flocks, and pay attention to your herds;”
Luke 14:28 “For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it?”
Sometimes we have to go against the flow of this world. Sometimes we have to make the unpopular decisions. But most of the time, we are better for it.
Chris and I are going to be battling this loan for some time, but we will not give up. In fact, with God all things are possible. With God, sooner rather than later, we will be debt free.
We will be free.
Until then, we will fight.
After our first full week of 2016, I have realized something: It’s all about perspective.
One of our New Year’s goals was to build a big bookcase for our living room, that way we could clear some of the clutter and get rid of the 3-4 little bookcases we’ve acquired over time. We started our project last Sunday. Sometimes marriage is about working things out. So we sat down and did some major drawing which we drew over and had little side drawings and we argued about how tall, how wide, if we want doors on the front, and all the little minor details. It was slightly chaotic, but we worked it out by drawing some more so we could both understand each other…we may both be visual learners! Haha!!!
I told Chris I would like to have it done by the end of the week. And if you don’t know our family, that’s a bit of a tall order. Often we will start on things and leave them half finished. I can’t stand it, but often the projects being done go beyond my skills and abilities, so I am the cheerleader for them! Well, here it is Sunday evening. One week has past. And during this week, unexpected things happened.
- Migraines (although I do expect them now, I never know when they’re going to hit)
- Sickness (All of a sudden, everyone started getting sore throats and sinus colds. Even though, I have been lucky enough not to catch it! Thank you, Jesus!)
- The Weather….which is most of the time unpredictable. Most of the week was cold and cloudy, and with Chris being sick, I didn’t want to send him out into the garage where it is as cold as the outside!
So yesterday (Saturday) we were able to knock out a big chunk of things. We had to get some things done in the office because one of the work trucks decided to break down on Friday and we weren’t able to get all the work we needed to get done finished. But then, Chris starts measuring, cutting, routeing, and working hard on this thing! I love to see my man work! He’s pretty awesome. I helped where I could. I did some varnishing. Then I cleaned up around the house, made an awesome pot roast, did dishes, replaced the kitchen light bulbs, set a couple of mousetraps, and burned our Christmas tree! It was a very productive day!
Today (Sunday), I woke up with a migraine that last until 11 or 11:30. We had Bible study at 2. And then Chris’s brothers randomly volunteered to help us work on the book case! So they are out there now, even though this has been the worst day for weather with the super wind and the rain and snow. I love it when family comes to help without us asking! It makes my heart smile!
Anyway, I said all this to say this: Yes, the goal was to get it done in a week. No, it won’t be finished by tonight. Especially since varnishing takes 24 hours to dry. But instead of getting upset over not achieving a goal at the exact time you want it achieved, you can look for the joy and the positive aspects of the situation:
- Brothers get to spend time together, helping one another. There can never be enough of that!
- Because the brothers are all working together, I get to have time to blog and clean around the house!
- No, the project won’t get done in a week. But it will get done. And although the living room may look like a construction zone, it won’t be that way for much longer!
- The migraine went away. They have been quite sporadic lately. Coming and going frequently, but not lasting a whole day like they normally do.
I have an amazing husband who takes great care of me. Since I had a migraine this morning and felt like doing nothing but sitting on the couch until it went away, I didn’t have time for a shower. So I just through a sweater and jeans on. I thought my hair looked awful so I put on a silly hat. Chris complimented me on how cute I looked and decided to put a silly hat on as well. He sure made me smile!!!
It’s time that we stopped moping around. It’s time we stopped seeing all the bad in everything and everyone and stopped dwelling on it . “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again, I say rejoice!”(Philippians 4:4) We must CHOOSE to find the positive–the joy in everything! It’s definitely not easy at first. But once you start making choosing joy a habit, it will come more naturally over time.
So there it is peeps! It’s all about perspective!
OH, and here’s a picture of me and Chris in our silly hats this morning!
HAPPY 2016 EVERYONE!!!!
Here is it the first day of the new year, and do you know what I’ve done so far?!
Goal writing, baking, smooching, organizing, cleaning, writing, and in a little while, I am going to go play games with some friends and family! It’s been a busy new year already! HAHA!
This morning, Chris and I slept in. I am SO thankful we didn’t have to work today! Today is a day for celebrating! It’s a day for reflecting! And it’s a day for making new goals and aspirations for this new year!
After a much needed shower, Chris and I sat down to look back at our goals we wrote down last year. We went through them and saw that we had only accomplished three. Instead of getting down about it, we celebrated! Three goals accomplished is progress! Although, the progress is small, it is STILL progress! What did we accomplish exactly? I am so glad you asked!
- We made it and entire year without drinking soda! WOO!
- We paid off more of our loan. It’s not completely paid off, but it’s getting closer and closer to not existing!
- We got our employee trained and out on his own!
Yes, it does feel awesome. 😀 2015 was a year of ups and downs. I was plagued with migraines all year, which stopped me from doing some of the things I love and helping the ones I love! But there were many awesome things about 2015 as well! Chris and I celebrated our first year anniversary! We traveled and had some adventures! Vacationed with the family! And achieved some of our goals! All in all, epic might just be the word I’m looking for!
So we got out a new poster board to write down our new goals for this upcoming year. There are a lot more goals on this year’s list. But I feel like they are even more reachable than last year’s (even though some of them are slightly the same) ! So here they are! (In no particular order):
- Become migraine free!
- Clean and organize the garage and maintain it!
- Weight loss!
- Have a garden and grow herbs
- Keep the porch cleaned off.
- Incorporation and application of Dr. Tent’s suggestions about our health
- Michelle to finish and apply accounting course
- Blog once a week! (Guys, if you are not seeing this blog once a week, tell me to write something! You can be my accountabilibuddies!)
- Clean and organize craft room and make it functional. (I’m a little tired of taking all my crafting supplies to the kitchen table.)
- Get the dog fence where it needs to be and put in a doggie door. (It’s been a long time coming!)
- Learn guitar together
- Read our Bibles every day!
- Build the shelves for the living room.
- Do more service projects and ministry
- Clean out and organize pantry!
And that’s it! Yeah, it’s a lot, but these are doable! And we REALLY want them to happen! SO at the end of the year I should be a happy, organized, skinnier, healthier, headache free, accounting knowledgeable, garden growing, herb growing, clean, crafting, blogging, guitar playing, Bible reading and applicating, constructing, ministering, awesome wife with an awesome husband doing some of the same things!
I’m exited! How about you?!
What are your new year’s goals?!!?!?
Well, here I am again. I’ve already written one blog post for the night. But since I am still wide awake, do not currently have a migraine (Praise the Lord!), and I have more thoughts on my mind, I thought another blog post would be great!
Chris and I have been doing pretty awesome as a couple in our first year and a half of marriage (not bragging, just super excited of how nice it’s really been!). I mean, we argue from time to time, and we are nowhere even close to perfect, but honestly, I am super proud of him and how patient he is with me. For this is not an easy task. I remember before I was married and I was attending college, I would go home on break and within the first fifteen minutes of my arrival my mom and sisters would be saying things like “Why did she come back?!” and “It was so much quieter when you were at college.” Of course they were joking, but I tell that story to give you an idea of how easy it is to get impatient with me around. Yet, my husband remains awesome! (Thank you, Lord!)
More recently, Chris and I have noticed something missing though. Not in our relationship per se, but almost like a hole in our hearts that is meant for something greater than ourselves. You want to know what it is?
We have been so caught up in the busyness of our lives. Running a business is no easy feat, especially when you (me) have no clue what you are doing. It has been so easy to get overwhelmed and feel as if we are drowning in business and busyness that we have neglected one of the only things we are called to do while we are here on this earth. SERVE.
Let me tell you something. When the day comes that you (we) realize that life is not about us…that will be (is) one of the most glorious days of our lives. It is the day we finally know that abundant life isn’t about just us and our needs, but also others and their needs. There is no better feeling in this world than to know that you are exactly where you are supposed to be, doing exactly what you are supposed to be doing. And one of the things we are called to do is serve.
When we serve others, not wanting anything in return (not even recognition), there is a void in our hearts that is filled that cannot be filled any other way. It’s true. I promise.
I said this one’s about the future, and it is. Chris and I have decided that we NEED to serve in order to be filled completely. Showing God’s love by serving is one of the ways that we feel closer to God and that He feels closer to us. Not to mention, it will bring others to Him, too, which is awesome!
We have already begun looking for local places that we can get involved and help serve. Unfortunately, (yet fortunately at the same time) there are not homeless shelters or children’s homes around us…Goodness, if I could volunteer at a children’s home–that would be a dream come true. I love children! But just because those two things are not an option right now does not mean there aren’t others. I have been able to locate a few food banks that help out people in need of food and I am continuing to scout out other opportunities as well.
Oh yes, this is a marriage adventure we are most definitely looking forward to!
But even if we don’t get in contact with these community wide services, there are other ways to serve. They may seem small, but I promise, they mean the world to the ones you serve! It could be as simple as babysitting, tipping your waitress some extra cash, doing simple favors for your neighbors/family/friends.
We can’t all be superheroes. I know. It’s absolutely shocking and depressing all at the same time. I always aspire to be Super woman…but I know I fall short. No need to get down about it though. It just means you have to be super in your own way (super in serving others, that is! You’d be a super server! HAHA! :D) .
Think on this:
John 3:30 “He must become greater; I must become less.” (That’s my favorite verse!)
So let me hear about the ways you serve others. (I definitely want to hear about it, and it may give me some ideas as well!)
Comment below and let me know!
Forever is such a funny word. I use it all the time, although most of the time, I don’t use it accurately. But here it is past midnight on a Thursday evening/Friday morning and it’s one of the only words that seems to be a constant in my thoughts.
It’s been forever since I’ve written a blog. I’ve thought about different ideas and stories to write about, but never actually sat down to write them because it’s been so busy.
It’s been forever since it’s not been busy around here. There is ALWAYS something to be done. If not at work, then at home. If not at home, then at church. I’m not exactly complaining. I love having a adventure full life filled with things to do. But it seems like it’s been forever since my hubby and I have had some REAL R&R.
It’s been forever since I haven’t had migraines. Haha! This one’s funny because technically on Tuesday of this week I didn’t have a migraine, but I have about 3 or more a week still. It feels like answers are so close, yet forever away.
It’s been forever since I’ve seen my family. This is definitely not true. Of course, forever means forever….and not six months or less. 😀 But I sure do miss them!!!
Then the big “forevers” turn into smaller ones.
It’s been forever since it snowed last! But then when it snows, and gets miserably cold I will be saying that it feels like Spring is forever away!
Falling asleep tonight feels like it’s taking forever! (I knew I shouldn’t have had that Mocha Frappucino at 9pm…In hindsight, I should probably not do that again.
Yes, forever is such a funny word. It almost makes it sound as if this whole blog is complaining! But, really, I am not. Because the point of this blog is that forever never lasts as long as it seems.
As I sit here on the couch, illuminated by the sparkling lights of our heart-warming Christmas tree, I reflect on this past year. (I know it’s not New Year’s yet, but hey, I’m thinking about it now, so why not!?) Yes, it’s been a tough year, ridden with migraines, trials of all sorts, frustrations, and failings. But it’s also been a year full of learning, good times, smiles, joy, family, friends, service, Thankfulness, blessings, and triumphs.
The battle is real. That’s one thing we’ve been learning through our family and friend Bible study we’ve had at our home this year. The battle for the heart and soul. The enemy so wants to steal, kill, and destroy. And he’s been trying so hard to do that this year! But Jesus came so that we may have life and have it to the full….even during times of trial. The fact is, God is so good to me. I am blessed to have a roof over my head, all kinds of food to choose from to eat, a husband who loves me more than I thought any one person good love me, and never really need for anything. I mean, that’s AWESOME! And that’s only scratching the surface.
This year, we’ve taken a few different trips: we went snowboarding in West Virginia, visited family in Kentucky and Missouri, celebrated birthdays, had a blast with those we love, traveled to Amish country, celebrated our first Wedding anniversary, took another trip to the mountains of West Virginia and stayed in cabins, went fishing, hiking, swimming, built a dam, rode some bikes; saw the Transiberian Orchestra in concert and met them in person, and had some great mini adventures as well!
On top of all the travel, we have been working super hard with my husband’s appliance business. We’ve taken so many steps forward and continue to do so. It’s getting there. Hopefully by this time next year, we’ll be caught up on things, more organized, and (in my case) smarter about the ins and outs of how things run. 😀
In the subject of health, the migraines have not stopped. But we are continuing to press forward. We may even be finding some answers in February, when we will take a trip to Michigan to see a doctor who seems to have things a little more figured out than most doctors we’ve met. (February seems like forever away! HAHA!)
I don’t mean to ramble on. I guess what I am really try to say here is this: Cherish where you are in life, what you do, who you are, who you love, you loves you. Cherish both the good and the bad times. Really they are both there as part of the big picture. Don’t be like me and take things for granted. Like migraines. Most of the year, I was in a sour or depressed mood when I had a migraine. Complaining about how I couldn’t do this or that because I had a migraine, or whining about how much I hated being still for so long. It was only recently that God helped me to see, that those things could be blessings too! Maybe I needed to be still because I am always on the go. Maybe when I can’t do anything physically, I should be praying for others. Maybe, just maybe, I shouldn’t take those migraines for granted. No pain, no gain, right!? God is good. Even when I have migraines, even when I get sad, even when something bad happens, even when my attitude is the crappiest Christian attitude on the planet. There are millions of people in the world right now that are probably far worse off than I am. I have no right to complain. The Bible says to not complain about anything, to be content…I’m getting there. Progress, no matter howl little it be, is still progress. 😀
I was blind. But now, I see.
This year has really opened my eyes…to not focus on my misfortunes, but on my blessings, and to take joy in them (whether it’s a “good” day or a “bad” one)! It seems like forever ago that I learned that exact lesson, but maybe I have not cherished that lesson enough, which is most likely why I am having to re-learn it.
Some say “with age, comes wisdom.” I’m not sure how true that is. But after another year, I feel slightly wiser. And I can only thank God for that.