Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Our Story ~ Letter to Little

Well, now we come to the part of the story I don't know how to tell.  In five, ten, fifteen years my sincerest prayer is that we can point to the altar we built during this time and declare in confidence the LORD brought us through a really dark time and grew us while we were in it. The blessings have outweighed the pain.

Dear Little One,

Sometimes life is more difficult than we let on and in trying to hold our life together by ourselves we cause more hurt and brokenness - to ourselves and sometimes to others. In those broken times our mind wanders and in the worst of times can lead us off the narrow path. 

What I want you to know is you can never stray too far from the power of grace. This is what your papa and I learned this summer. While we can't change what happened and though it may continue to haunt us and those who were hurt, this I know: God will make something from these ashes.  

We need people in our lives. To share our joys and sorrows and to hold us accountable. I hope you always feel the love we have for you and the love of the people who will surround you feel. 

We love you and are so excited to meet you.


***I think I started writing this a year ago, but still didn't know where to go with it. A year later I think this suffices.***

Monday, October 14, 2013

Showers of Blessings

***I realize this is a weird way to come back to blogging - there's about 5-6 months of really fascinating details from my life that needs to be documented, but this is what needs to be proclaimed right now.***

It is not a secret that I struggle with budgeting. I believe I've mentioned it a time or two in "year in review" and "about me" posts. It's something I know the value and importance of but have never succeeded in putting to practice. Several things have happened in the last couple months that brought to mind the parable of the talents.

A couple months ago, our dear friends invited us to live in their finished basement and we moved in the beginning of last month. This is a tremendous opportunity for us to focus on paying down our debts and build up a nest egg. 

We want to make the most of this time we have, so a couple weeks ago we sat down and focused on our budget and debt snowball. We were encouraged to see we could be debt-free (with the exception of a student loan we're still trying to get all the details about) by August 2016.

We then opened the first of what we thought was a medical bill. Inside was a reimbursement check for an overpayment I had made. The check was for $1.24 more than an unanticipated dental bill Jason had received a call about the day before. We had been budgeting for 5 minutes and were already winning!

The following week I had my annual review at work, where I received a 5% wage increase that will be retroactive to August 24, which is my hire anniversary. When I came home, there was an envelope holding another unexpected check for our refundable apartment deposit. (I have lived in several apartments and have never received my deposit back, no matter how spotless I have left the unit, so this was incredibly surprising.) Suddenly, we were ahead of the game.

I want to build an altar here in this place of how God is providing for us. We recognize the blessings that have come our way and we want to be good stewards of the resources we have been entrusted with. For the first time in a very long time we are caught up on all our bills, can put extra towards our debts, have made tithing a priority and don't feel like we're suffocating. We're still far from being debt-free, but in light of last week's events our debt free date has moved up to January 2016 (with the same caveat as above) and suddenly doesn't seem so unattainable.