If nothing ever changed, there'd be no butterflies. ~Author Unknown
Changes. They can sometimes be considered bad. They can sometimes be considered good. They can sometimes be exciting and at other times absolutely dreaded. We have had some changes going on in our household lately and each and every one of them is very exciting.
We all have big changes in our lives that are more or less a second chance. ~Harrison Ford
One thing that has changed is that we have decided to get out of debt. We have decided to begin following Dave Ramsey’s plan for Financial Peace. We have done several things that he has suggested. We tried selling my car to get rid of the payment but so far that hasn’t happened and that is OK. We went on to the next step. We cut out each and every thing that is not completely necessary. We sacrificed quite a bit but I am very proud of us for being responsible and mature enough to go through with doing it. We cut our cell phone bill drastically by dumping our data packages and smart phones. That was a hard one and probably the most dreaded and the most overwhelming one to think about because our lives are simply at our finger tips with the technology it provides but we got downright serious about it and did it. It is a HUGE adjustment. But, I am so proud of us and I am so happy we did it. We obviously dumped our smart phones for some old phones that we already had that we didn’t have to purchase. They are old style flip phones and I am having a hard time “dumbing down” and figuring out how to use these simple gadgets but it will be worth it. It calls out. It accepts calls. It receives and sends texts. I will survive! We also discontinued a couple of subscriptions and lowered our Netflix package (we couldn’t give up everything!) and our DirecTv package. We went to the most simple and basic package they offer. The kids still have their favorite channels and I still have local channels and the kid's music channel and the Christian music channel “The Spirit” is offered and so, once again, we will survive! I am really proud of us and the sacrifice it took to even start this process so I can’t imagine how we are going to feel when we shout “WE ARE DEBT FREE!”. It feels good to be a responsible parent and adult. We want to get out from under the “slave” mentality of working to pay bills and buy “stuff”. We can't wait to be able to live in a "giving" mode like we should be living.
"Neither do men pour new wine into old wineskins.
If they do, the skins will burst, the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined
No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved."
Matthew 9:17 (NIV)
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 15:6
Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. Romans 13:8
While doing our budget for the Financial Peace program… we realized and began implementing our second change:
Beginning August 1st I will become a Stay At Home Mommy. The Lord knew this was a desire in my heart for quite some time now but the timing had to be His and not ours. I am so happy to report that I will be more available to my husband, children, and our household. I am really looking forward to it and I cannot wait.
He gives the childless woman a family,
making her a happy mother."
Psalm 113:9 New Living Translation
Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her:"
Proverbs 31:28 New Living Translation
I am sure some people just had a gigantic “HUH???” run through their minds… so, we are trying to get out of debt and I quit my job?? That is where the third change comes in:
Because I don’t want to just equal out by staying home and saving on childcare costs for Kobe and Samuel and I still want to make some money to supplement so that we can reduce this debt quickly…I am going to be helping a sweet and dear friend of mine from church out with her daughter while she works. She was praying for someone to come along that she could trust to love and watch over her sweet Scout and I was praying the Lord would show me a way to supplement our income so He used us to answer each other’s prayers. We are both very excited about it and Samuel is thrilled to have Scout coming to play every day. I am also looking at using my “crafty/artsy” side and do something I love and create things and make a little money doing it…but that will come a little later. There couldn’t possibly be more changes??? Yes, there can.
But forget all that—it is nothing compared to what I am going to do.
For I am about to do something new.
See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
I will create rivers in the dry wasteland."
Isaiah 43:18-19 (NLT)
"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11
Next would be:
My family has decided to participate in a Media Fast. Instead of the traditional “meal/food fast” we are giving up media. We have “unplugged” from the world and tuned in to the Kingdom. We began on July 1st. We are enjoying more quality family time and getting a LOT done around the house. We are also spending more time with God and talking about God and reading about Jesus in our Bibles and devotionals. The kids have handled it so well. I am really proud of them. We have had two family movie nights so far and because we aren’t doing them so often the kids were so grateful and excited to have that time with all of us just being together watching a movie. We have completely eliminated the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3 and the Internet unless we have decided in advance we are going to give some special media time and so far it has worked out. We have had a couple of Family Game Nights and I have really enjoyed those. I am enjoying talking to John each night instead of blankly staring at the TV or playing on the Internet. Our Pastor made us some lists of things to do to help get through a 40 day Media Fast. One was to simplify and organize your house. We started with our closets. MAN! I LOVE our closets now. They used to be the one thing I disliked the most in our home and now they are one of my favorite things. I love them. We ended up having a HUGE amount of stuff once everything was cleaned out of the house that we no longer used. Which lead us to doing something Dave Ramsey recommends… having a yard sale. Everything has clicked together so well. I love when His plans come together!
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let
God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.
Then you will learn to know
God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect."
Romans 12:2 (NLT)
"Even now," declares the LORD, "return to me with all your heart,
with fasting and weeping and mourning." Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love,
and he relents from sending calamity."
Joel 2:12-13 (NIV)
We have also decided to do some “Facelifting” to the outside of our home. I am probably the most excited about this change. I can NOT wait to see what it turns out to look like! It is my birthday present from my mom and dad. It is getting started by this weekend. John has already started some of it by sprucing up the trees and bushes and our fence. It looks so nice and he isn’t even finished yet! We also got a new “member” added to our family yesterday. A new lawnmower. It is so nice and shiny and red! The kids were actually fighting over who would use it! We have needed one badly for a few months and ours finally completely died. My dad and John have already brought it ‘back to life’ three or four times this year so we let it go for good this last time.
Changes can be scary and they can bring all sorts of emotions. For me, these changes are so exciting and I absolutely can NOT wait to start a new season in my life.
"And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change
and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."
Matthew 18:3 (NIV)
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:The old has gone, the new is here!"
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)
As Pastor Bill always says... Don't take a picture of me now because this is not the finished product. God is still working on me!