So, long time no see. I totally dropped off the planet for a couple of weeks out of necessity. I guess we’re friends, right? So you should know what’s up over here. Well, here’s the scoop. Since we moved to the country I have loved and hated it. I LOVE the house (even the little ghetto parts) and the cows and the quiet and the space. It doesn’t bother me how isolated physically I was. I’ve been far more isolated with people close to me. But the thing that got me was that I missed my husband too much. I know one million women who’ve held down the fort while their husbands travel much of the week and I thought I could be like that. If I was honest with myself I should have known that that would not work for us. I do feel like God gift-wrapped that particular house for us and that we should be there, but I think we should be there together. I knew that before we left, deep down, so failing shouldn’t have been a shock. The kids missed their dad too much and I’m just not really an independent kind of gal.
Fast forward to now… we’re back in Houston and the country house is still there. We’ll use it as a vacation house for now until we figure out what it’s supposed to be. I’m gun shy now and a little blue. I’m confused about where God wants me and how to fix what I clearly botched. So I’ve been wallowing a bit for a few weeks.
But yesterday started a new thing. I don’t know what God’s grand plan is for me or this house or that house or some business or some ministry. And I figure today that it’s not my job to try and cling on to what I think it might be. I can just go one day at a time and focus on what I’m clearly called to do. Today, without question, I’m supposed to be a wife and mother to the best of my ability. To take care of this house, the one I’m in. And the people that are around me. That’s enough to think about for now.
So sorry that’s a downer. That’s partly why I haven’t blogged anything. Nothing completely wonderful to say, just where I am. I’m totally fine. I’m just nesting a bit. Thanks for popping by and I’ll be back in just a few days, surely, when I’m a little more chipper and we’ll talk about something hilarious or insightful or something like that.
last week my grandma popped over for a little visit and we got to chatting about being broke. she told me how things used to be done and how she still does alot of those things. here’s the big game changer for me. i tried it this time and it was life-changing granny wisdom. ready?
don’t piss away all your money on payday! hang on to it. act like you’re still broke. when you have a couple grand in the bank account it’s easy to think that there is plenty to goof off with. i will usually go shopping and eat out on payday. not this time. i just got off a broke stretch, so i just kept it going. today i’m halfway through the paycheck and i have way more than i thought i would. but still it’s enough to make me think twice about eating out… also, all that time gave me a chance to mull over whether i really needed what i thought i did. so the rule of thumb is to spend only on necessities during the first half of the pay period. then the second half is for fun stuff once you see (accurately) how much you have left.
make do with what you have. we have guests coming in a few weeks. i always feel a little inadequate with our house situation. i wanted new linens for the bed, an update for the bathroom, and a patio makeover. well, all that’s just not going to happen. instead, i used linens and pillows that we already have and put new combos together for something ‘new’. i bought a piece of art off etsy to bring it all together. $25. done.
i brought patio furniture from the other house.
and i used paint from another room to revamp the bathroom. is the bathroom still tiny and funky? yes, it is. is it much better, though? yes, it is.
spend your time wisely. you know yourself. if you can’t go to the stores without dropping a bunch of $, then don’t go. i can’t go. so what do you do all day? hmmm… what would your granny do? bake bread from scratch. i did this today! it spent 3 hours of my day, made my house smell amazing, solicited praise from everyone in my house, made me giddy, and costs like 30 cents in yeast. 2 loaves, baby. it was crazy awesome. here’s the tutorial i used and it came out perfectly!
what else do grannies do? sew. sewing can be cheap or expensive. if you’re broke you should maybe think cheap. yo-yo’s are fast and fun and you can tote them all around. you don’t need a machine or batting and all that. or you could embroider some dish towels. or maybe some hoop art. that’s all cheap. or you can get together with friends. my grandma said that her and her girlfriends used to get together to do housework and laundry and stuff. one day at one person’s house, then the next day at someone else’s. that sounds fun, right? or maybe canning. that’s fun with a crowd. anyway, think like a grandma.
save some for a rainy day. my grandma used to save money for hard times. smart, huh? they always come. also, this goes for food too. this week (while we still had $), i made a bunch of freezer food for next week (when we might not). more on that tomorrow. but we also stocked up on ‘stuff’ this week. diapers, gas, paper towels, laundry detergent. those things really hurt when you have $30 left to your name. so sock away some money, some food, some necessities.
count your blessings. things aren’t perfect and they never will be. so stop chasing it all day! look around. there’s awesomeness all around you.
so last week we found ourselves with negative dollars in the bank. we’ve come very close again and again lately, but this is the first time in the red, and something had to change. i’ve been planning and praying and thinking about how to avoid some of these $$$ problems in the future and here’s what i’ve come up with.
it all starts on payday. my usual is to be broke, and then super broke, and then go crazy on payday. i’ll usually eat out and light up the internet with some online shopping. but that’s all wrong, y’all! i already know it when i do it, but this time we implemented some strategy. i will do those things, if and only if, i make it through the first week just fine. we’ll entertain all that on week 2. more on that later. today i spend on just a few things.
1. the tithe. we aren’t in a church here yet, but God still has to get his part. i’ll just pray about it before payday and ask that he reveals a cause to me. something that i know is in his plan. sometimes it’s a church or a fundraiser or an adoption. this week it was our local christian radio station. i think God’s cool with it. if i don’t do this immediately on day 1, it gets spent. for a month now we have spent the tithe. it feels icky.
One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. Proverbs 11:24
Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need. Malachi 3:10
Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine. Proverbs 3:9
2. speaking of wine… there is one other thing i say it’s cool to spend on today. a $10 treat. i got a bottle of cheap wine and some nail polish. it satisfies the whole ‘i can’t buy anything or do anything fun’ thing, without blowing all your spending money in one day. don’t go out to eat! that’s $60 you’ll wish you had back next week. hold on to it for a bit and see if you still want to.
tomorrow’s broke topic: grandma wisdom.
and i won’t forget today’s Thankfuls.
32. Children’s HopeChest and World Vision. We have some sponsored kiddos through those organizations and they have been amazing. i am so thankful for trustworthy organizations like these. i was thinking of it today when we were talking about tithing. alot of times we’ll put our tithe towards our community in ethiopia. we still need a couple more sponsors. seriously! this little girl has no sponsor. what’s up with that?! my hubs said she’s the stinkin’ smiliest cutest thing ever. he said she’s bouncy.
33. a dryer!!! ok, line drying is charming and everything, but dryers are freakin’ awesome. do you know how many loads of laundry we’ve done in the last 24 hours?!
that’s all, folks. chime in with all your tips on graciously being broke. i’d love to hear them!
hey guys! we went out of town for the weekend. we went back to houston for our final homestudy. they said we could keep jude. yay for no more homestudies!
so you know how mopey i am about my two house problem. my thankfuls have really really really helped me learn to love this house. but it didn’t erase my love for my old house so i bawled like a baby for a spell. then i decided maybe i should photograph some of my favorite things from there. maybe someday we’ll be in renovation mode and i’ll bring a little of it over here. so my weekend thankfuls start off with my faves from my old house. i am thankful for all the time i got to spend there.
27. my chandelier. i actually might move it. can i do that?
28. my ghetto bathroom. i used to think this bathroom was outdated and boring. i was way wrong. i didn’t know what i was talking about then. now i have [practically] an outhouse. never again shall i complain. i had the best shower while i was there this weekend. with just regular city water and no scorpions. it was awesome.
29. my fireplace and brick floor. that’s what made me buy the house in the first place. love it.
30. the funky stained glass by the front door. it’s a little weird with the hummingbird and everything, but it really grew on me and i think stained glass is so charming. i’d really like to get some going here.
31. then we came home from our weekend away and i found this on my door! wonderful, lovely surprise mail! and margarita loveliness at that.
so that’s my Thankfuls for the weekend. tune in tomorrow for my ‘how to be broke’ series. lots of wisdom coming at you from my grandma! should be good.
you guys are so cool. i can’t believe you liked that snail mail thing and want to do it again. this is so fun! last weeks sister was so blessed these past two weeks. she just so happens to be a photographer, so i’m going to have her take some pics and do a post for y’all soon. but on to the next sister…
again, the secret part of the secret snail mail is that i don’t really like to super duper publicize anyone’s story without permission. they are hard, sad, sensitive stories and most people don’t know we’re doing this so it’s a little touchy. but i will give you a quick little brief. this time we are blessing a mama who lost her oldest child in afghanistan this summer. i must say the breath is stolen out of my lungs when i try and think of what to say to her. a woman i don’t know. chocolate seems silly. dish towels can’t help that. but when i got to thinking about it, they can actually. just the prayers and effort to reach out to her could mean the world. i can’t begin to imagine what she’s going through, but i’ve already started praying that god will give me the words that she needs to hear. so email me if you want in and i’ll shoot you her address and all that jazz. if you participated last time, don’t worry about it. i’m shooting all the snail mail sisters an email tonight with the info.
on to my Thankfuls. well, i already tell you guys everything. you know my bank account and the state of my house and everything. you know i struggle with my weight every day of my life. so you might as well know that today i’m back on weight watchers. it’s worked for me in the past and i like that i can have everything i like (just not all of everything). so today i’m Thankful for…
25. salads that are not gross. that seems like a silly Thankful, but believe me, it’s no small thing. it’s no brainer diet food, but salads can get boring real fast. i am not a commercial. nobody pays me or anything, but i do want to tell you about this stuff that made my salad not gross. that’s what friends do, right? i got this stuff at HEB today. It was next to the salad dressings. If you’re a weight watchers girl, then you speak points. it’s 4 points for some of this salad granola business. not awesome, but not awful, but trust me when i say it’s crazy good. i promise not to talk to you guys about my diet all day long on this totally random blog, but if you’re in diet mode too and need a partner, email me. it’s way more fun with someone else. firstname.lastname@example.org
26. i’m really really thankful for jude mastering a cup!!! that’s a major milestone, y’all! now we’re down to just diapers and i’m a free woman! ok, i know diapers are a long way off, but babysteps. hidden sippy cups with chunky milk = not cool. this is a very good thing.
so that way maybe the weirdest, most random post ever. a girl’s got lots of facets, and i’ve got no boundaries here. it’s just the story of me, all of it. i know successful blogs focus their content and post relevant material pertaining to their audience. but this is not a successful blog. this is a bunch of girlfriends getting together, right? feel free to tell me all your business too. i really want to know. you know my email. 😉
today i woke up to -$84. that’s the making of a bad day, usually. i felt oddly calm. i think my Thankfuls are responsible for me keeping my head with negative dollars. my eyes are starting to be trained to see the good in every circumstance. even the ones that don’t appear to be great. so i have less than no money? we have food and several houses (house poor!). that’s all we need. i used to look at all we don’t have and now i’m seeing all the gifts that we do have. there’s a blessing in the krusteaz box! it only asks for water! amen. today my Thankfuls are for the free stuff. 🙂
22. A bunch of deer in my front pasture. Every night from 7-8pm they come like clock-work. Deer are very quickly winning a spot in my heart. i think i need some dear art.
23. Open windows
24. a pumpkin smelly candle. this one’s technically not free, but i had it sitting around.
now, nobody panic or offer us money. it’s almost payday, and i’ve actually learned some really cool tricks to help us “adjust” to this new norm. i’m going to share how to properly be broke next week. 😉
nothing big and fantastic today. no brilliant musings or extraordinary photos. just my Thankfuls today.
19. Thankful that the cone of shame is gone. It was really a pain. He’s up to his old tricks once more.
20. For white sheets on the line. I can’t pretend that I love everything about hanging my clothes out to dry. You don’t get this dreamy effect when it’s your son’s Avenger tighty whiteys. But there is definitely something wonderful about white sheets waving like a flag. The sound and the breeze is hypnotic.
21. For some seeds in a bucket. It’s not the right time of year for zinnias to grow, but I found a packet and threw them in some dirt and prayed for this little gift. You know, sometimes God just gives you something good to see you happy. I really believe that. When I planted them I knew He’d grow them and here they are. I prayed he would and I knew he would because at the time i really really needed them. he gives such good gifts.