Showing posts with label Life. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Life. Show all posts

Money Matters

Recently, my husband and I have decided to take a hard look at our finances.  Tax season normally encourages that sort of thing.  We learned that we can't always account for where the money goes. On paper, we should be fiscally fine. But real life doesn't always feel fine. It gets you thinking: How much is enough? How much would we need to have before we started feeling that we had enough?
This looks like enough. =)
When we analyzed, we realized that we had to change two things.

First, we needed to be sure that we weren't giving in to the constant pressure to have more THINGS. Jon and I have traveled to very poor countries.  We've seen people who were perfectly content with almost nothing. We've played with children who were laughing and smiling while rummaging through the garbage for something to eat. We understand that the accumulation of things is not a guarantee of happiness, and the absence of things can encourage us to focus on what is important. But sometimes we forget that. Consider us reminded.
An Egyptian Child
The second thing we needed to change was the method that we used to keep track of our money. We did some research and decided to start a money program - the Dave Ramsey program. Dave Ramsey recommends starting with The 7 Baby Steps. Baby steps. That seems doable.
Dave Ramsey teaching on managing your money.

Have any of you had to re-make your financial habits? What worked for you? We'd love to hear what motivated you to change, and what helped keep you on the right fiscal path. What program did you choose, and why? Do tell!

Things Worth Celebrating

Following along with my previous posts where I realized once again the incredible significance of the truly important things in life, I decided to share with you a few shots of the event we recently celebrated.

My beautiful sons turned 3.  We gathered family and friends from far and wide to rejoice in the day they were born. There was much laughter. A multitude of hugs. Fun. Jokes. Joy.

And yet this day was almost lost for us.  A stomach bug came ripping through our home - the really bad kind. The 14 loads of laundry, disinfect the floors and walls (even the ceiling!) kind. There we were, the day the party was to be held, lying in bed and moaning for relief. We pushed the party back a day and hoped for the best.

When we woke up that next morning, we were tired and shaky. And yet we were once again reminded that it's the little things in life that matter most.  The thought of having to cancel the party reminded us how much the party is worth! So we cleaned, and cooked, and planned and purchased. And gained a greater appreciation for the party that was to come.

Twins are an amazing blessing.  They are doubly lovable, doubly adorable. Of course, they are also double the work. But when we are focusing on the important things, the work seems not so bad.

Wearing an "Uncle Wayne" hat
Bob and Larry covered in candles
Here's hoping you have reasons to celebrate this week as well; and that whatever hard work you have to put your hand to, pales in comparison to its worth.

In the Blink of an Eye

Yesterday my world turned upside down for just a moment. But that moment was long enough.

It started with a text in the early morning hours from my husband that began with a words "I've been in an accident". Though no fault of his own, my husband was in a car accident that did terrible damage to his car. He is sore and bruised, but otherwise fine. It was all decided by the difference of a fraction of a second. If the other car had pulled out just a hair later, the impact could have been fatal. And so here we are - alive, well, and completely overwhelmed with how easily and completely life can change. In just the blink of an eye.

We go through life, with all its routine and mundane existence, stealing joy and contentment where ever we can. We focus on the busyness, the pressing engagements, the to-do list. We remember, only briefly, to stop and smell the roses, to hug our children for a few extra minutes, to smile at a friend. We plan and dream for the future, as if the future were an event that we could depend on. And in the middle of all this, we forget, so often, that we are just dust. We can be gone from this life in an instant.

Last month we had a scare of a different kind. There were medical tests, with alarming results, and although the end of it all was positive, it was quite disconcerting to have a doctor tell you that he "just saved your life". Combined, these two experiences have shaken us. Which causes us to realize that when the shaking comes, everything that is 'shakeable' falls to the wayside, and all that remains is what was ever truly there.

Which leads me to my final thoughts - what in your life is solid, unshakeable, true? What holds fast when everything else falls away? Are these solid things the things you focus on, or the things you push to the sidelines of your life? For me, the true things are my faith, my family, and my love for my friends. And with that in mind, I wish you an incredible week; full of love, joy and the constant treasuring of all that you hold dear. For in the blink of an eye, everything can change.