Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Nudge. . .or 2

Ok, I'll admit it. . .I'm a little bit very stubborn.  I try to do things my way; I struggle with controlling situations.  Over the last 5 months(year really), the Lord has done some incredible things in our lives.

To get to the point, we have to go back to January of this year.  Ricky and I read Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey several years ago.  I LOVED the concept. . .not just the thought of being debt free but the principals and discipline behind it all.  However, we read the book when we had just moved back to Amarillo.  Ricky and I were both working part-time jobs.  Without a source of full-time income, we just kind of pushed the thoughts away. So, January of this year, Ricky is delivering bread and I am teaching part time.  We have a steady income and the realization of how much debt we were in was taking a toll on us.  It was such a burden! (I don't feel the need to disclose the numbers on a public forum! It was A LOT to us!).  After very little discussion, we decided to pay it off.  The Lord was(always is) so good to us and somehow large chunks of money kept coming in(tax return, a car wreck where our vehicle had no damage but we got a $500 check, etc).  We used anything extra that came in to pay off those debts that were weighing us down.  We stretched our budget really thin and started making a HUGE(to us anyway) payment each month on the one credit card that was left.  The Lord blew us away again in July when we were able to pay it off in full 3 months early.  As of July 2012, we are officially credit card free! We still have one loan that we are working towards paying off(we have 6 payments left) to be able to say we are completely debt free.  BUT, we have made HUGE gains in the 10 months since we started.  I look back on this time and I am blown away by the Lord's provision.  (We will call the desire to get out of debt nudge #1.)

All that to say, we were VERY excited for the financial "freedom" that came with having no(less) debt.  We were looking forward to being able to give more, being able to afford the luxuries that we had given up over the last year, etc.  BUT, the Lord had a different and MUCH BETTER plan for our lives!

After 2 years of teaching 1st grade part-time at Ridgecrest, the funding for my position was cut.  I found this out in May. . .the Tuesday before school was out to be exact.  I wasn't really surprised and honestly wasn't all that worried.  After all, I was an AISD employee.  I felt certain that they would help me find a position at another campus.  (We will call the funding cut nudge #2.)

Well, without going into great detail, the position never came.  With all the personnel changes within AISD this year, I kind of slipped through the cracks. It was a long summer of waiting and sadly, stressing.  I found out the week before teachers reported back to school that I had to "resign" my position and re-apply to work for the district.  Needless to say, most positions were filled at that point.  But, I held out hope that a position would become available for me. (We will call falling through the cracks nudge #3.)

As the school year approached, I interviewed with a couple of schools(even a different district) but nothing was a fit(for me or the schools).  So, we enrolled the boys in our "home" campus.  Strangely, that was one of the hardest things for me.  I had NO idea who their teachers would be and knew very little about the school(I always thought they would just go with me so never researched the local school.).  However, the Lord reminded me that they are really His and that He can take WAY better care of them than I can! (We will call enrolling the boys nudge #4)

The school year started and it has been incredible! Elijah has the BEST teacher for him this year(and I had NOTHING to do with it)! AND, Kyle's teacher is phenomenal! Letting go was so hard but they are EXACTLY where they are supposed to be right now.

 As for me, I am staying home with my sweet Annabella(and Kyle in the mornings).  This never would have happened had the Lord not placed it on our hearts nearly a year ago to be disciplined(I use that loosely as we still struggle) with our money and get rid of debt.  We are still paying that one off and still learning to live off of one income.  We were so excited to use my income for luxuries but the Lord's plan is SO much better!  It has been a learning experience but one I would not trade!  The Lord has me exactly where I am supposed to be right now too(even if He had to literally shove me there)!

And what is a post without pictures?!?!

Kyle had orange day at his school this week so we went on an orange scavenger hunt to get pictures.  There was a trip to his favorite store(Home Depot of course) and a pumpkin patch.  This was after dinner one night and ALL 3 of my kiddos have food on their faces! ha!
Kyle, 4

Elijah, 7

Annabella, 17 months(she SCREAMED when we left!)
AND, just because I think this picture is too sweet not to share. . . Annabella after church a  few weeks ago! 

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