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Thursday, March 8, 2012

In the Desert

I am sure most of you have heard the story of how God led the people of Israel out of Egypt. Then how when they got into the desert, the people complained against God, thinking He was going to let them starve, even after all He had already done for them (parting the Red Sea, etc.).

The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the LORD’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.”
Exodus 16:3

I used to feel real superior when I read that story and think to myself "How could they doubt God after all He had done for them?" Then one day, I had an epiphany when I realized that I do the same thing all the time myself.

Take today for example. Yesterday was an amazing day. I had a phone call from a creditor that I had sent a $25 payment to last week. They offered to settle the account for $320 (it was around $575) AND accept $25 a month on that amount. What a huge blessing. I really felt like God was blessing us for our efforts.

Then this morning, I get an e-mail from a parent who may want to take their child out for the summer so he can stay with his brother at grandma's. Now, don't get me wrong, I totally understand that. But our budget is very precarious right now and it threw me for a loop for a little bit. Instantly, I went into pity party mode: "Why me? Why do things go wrong as soon as they seem to start going right?". Then I realized...God will take care of us. He will provide a way. I may not see that way yet, but it's here. I already know of another family who may be looking for a spot just for summer for their child, so it will all work out. And I do have in my policy that I will charge a fee to hold a spot open. So if they do want to hold the spot, then I will at least have that income coming in.

God is in control!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Debt updates

Okay, well we've been in Financial Peace class since February 5th, so it is time for some updates. For now, I have decided against posting a complete list of our debts. Suffice it to say, it is well over $100,000 (a vast majority of which is student loans). However when I look at that big picture, it scares and depresses me. So I've decided to focus on small bits at a time. Reminding myself constantly that God is in control and HE will get us through this if we are faithful and follow His plan.

So, since our first Financial Peace class on February 5th, we've paid:

$100 towards student loans
$118.02 towards our Napa bill
$107.78 towards our tax bill
$150 towards one credit card
$25 towards one credit card
$25 towards one credit card
$50 towards one credit card
$100 towards our Bass hospital bill
$18.80 for a doctor bill
$72.09 interest payment on our house (it was time for the balloon payment and refinance last month).

For a total of: $766.69!

Additionally, we have $205 in our Emergency fund and we paid two cell phone bills and two house/cable/internet bills in the last month to get completely caught up on those. Our electric bill got paid on time in February so no late fee. That's probably the first time since last spring that it's been paid on time. After the horrible, horribly high bills last summer, we had a terrible time getting caught up. Our gas bill was behind, I made payment arrangements on that so we're working on that.

We have a March budget done and so far it's going pretty well. I had a certain amount budgeted for groceries/Wal-mart shopping last weekend. I really wanted to go to United's double coupon event last weekend, but after getting what I needed bought, I only had a few dollars left. I decided not to even tempt myself by going in there. I figured I'd find something I "needed" and blow my budget. Sometimes the best thing to do is avoid the stores. Plus I wanted to save a few $'s to send with Tom today to get some great deals at Jumbo's (canned vegetables for 25 cents a can with coupons and salsa for 50 cents a jar with coupons).

So...keep sending those prayers up for us. And I have an interview on March 20th to fill a spot with a newborn in mid-May so please pray for God' direction there. Thank you!