Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Spring Afternoon

I have to admit, I relish working from home on days like today. Clean linens, cool afternoon breeze, trees rustling in the distance combined with the sounds of a busy husband in the next room, and a lazy pup stretching in the sunlight near by.  Spring is here, friends.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Getting Into the Routine

This week I began my new schedule as a part-timer. I have spent the last five years in household staffing sales and recruiting and about four months ago I let my employers know that I would be making a change. I am currently in graduate school for professional counseling and I am finally nearing the end of my coursework. Can I get an Amen? I am,  however, also in danger of my catalog expiring, causing me to have to take additional classes. I would love to avoid this and so I am doubling up this semester, then I have one more lecture class and lastly my practicum work. The goal: being completed by spring 2001 in order to avoid falling under the new catalog.

Anyway, in order for me to go part-time, Larry and I have and will have to make some financial sacrifices. We will need to eat at home more, shop less, ration the wine and maybe, just maybe put my coveted Tyler candles on the back burner for now.

When we first decided to make this change, we started taking a closer look at our budget. It was very evident that a huge junk of our money was spent on food, particularly restaurants and eating out. Larry and I don't eat out a ton, but I love going out at lunch. And buying sodas or a coffee. In the months ahead, I will definitely be curbing this habit *whimper*. We have rid ourselves of credit card debt and are now working on the remaining balance on my car and our school loans.

A friend of mine recommended when I was explaining to her that we were needing to keep a better eye on our finances. I swear by this website. It has been such a valuable tool for our little family and I know that it will only increase in value as our family grows.

I also really enjoy the advice of the Get Rich Slowly blog. It is full of tips and relative articles. It often puts things in perspective and helps me think more about our goals for the future.

I went to school today to print off some research materials, and I found my mind drifting: where should I stop on the way home to get a drink? Is there a Sonic near by? Home Goods is on my way home...I should just peek in and see if they have anything cute. But I resisted the urges and pointed my Acura straight home without spending an extra penny. Sweet small victory.

I write this blog as somewhat of an introduction into this new season of our lives. It is sure to be a sweet one. I have already been able to spend precious time at home with Larry and help with things around that house that he typically takes the initiative to do while working from home. I am also hoping to find areas where I can help him with his business, as he is taking on more of the financial responsibilities. My hope is to begin frequently writing about money savings tips that are working for us and if you have any to share, I would love it!

If you will, we would covet your prayers for financial wisdom and discipline in both school work and with our time.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Left Wrestling

It has been several weeks since I have written.  My little leave of absence began because I was too under the weather to even stare at the light from my computer screen, but then I read a post by one of my favorite bloggers authors,  Ann Voskamp. The entire entry is breathtaking and thought-provoking (read it. hint, hint.) but a few simple sentences caught my eye, my mind and then eventually my heart.
Afraid that when we aren’t talking, aren’t connected, aren’t piping in on conversations around tables, water coolers, comment boxes, aren’t messaging or emailing …. that we don’t matter. That we will be forgotten.
That we’ll become invisible.
And then...
This. I think on this: “the great contemporary terror of anonymity.” Is the whole of our lives this flailing, surging struggle against obscurity? That our worst fear is to be unknown. Not known as someone special, unique… better. That only when we are seen, and then, most importantly,valued … only then do we see our own worth. 
Oh how these words ring true for so many reasons.

I have always been a woman who has struggled with opening my writings and the whirling of my mind up for public opinion.  On one had it is a door that ushers in those that I love and  are like-mind to connect with me and know my heart, joys and struggles. Yet on the other hand, it is at times merely a way to be seen. Partially known from afar. After all, it is much safer that way, right?

On Saturday night I sat 'round a table with some of my dearest friends, and we talked about Ann's post and our culture and I confessed my sincerest desire to write for God's glory, discerning when to invest time pounding away at the keyboard. I also shared with these friends my feeble attempts at merely wanting to being seen and not forgotten in this world of chaos.

I have poured out this struggle many times before to my sweet husband, who graciously accepts me as I am.  But Saturday night, I felt brave. I took the risk of coming outside the safety of my own home, and let words of pride and vanity drip from my lips. These words came forth as an act of faith; trusting that the Lord will not leave me this way, leaving little to fear. He does indeed command us to confess our  sins so that we may be healed.

As I often do, I sing Ginny Owen's sweet lyrics up to heaven as a cry for dependence on the Lord's sanctifying work in my life.
And I am clinging to the promise You're not through with me yet.
You're not through. Not yet. Amen.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in your sight O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14