I can't believe it's already been a year, and trust my being late writing this post is seriously the story of my life lately...
One year ago I set out to start blogging as a way to challenge myself out of my comfort zone and to write down and share my many thoughts. To be honest I still struggle some with getting out of my comfort zone especially when it comes to posting my blogs and speaking up. I sometimes wonder, "why would someone care what I think..." but I've been blessed by the positive texts, emails, calls, and even topic suggestions I have received over the year. I am overwhelmed by the amount of views and new readers each week and I’m grateful for all the support given.
I have also been blessed by the opportunity to guest blog on my friend, Jayme Hull’s, encouraging website since February. www.jaymeleehull.com I still don't know everything there is to know about blogging and I have tons of improvements to do, but I'm glad I went ahead and took the first step and just got started instead of waiting for everything to be perfect first. This is something that typically hinders me from moving forward in my goals.
This year in a nutshell has been a very "testing" year for me. I've been challenged beyond what I even thought I could bear at times. I've been stretched and I’ve questioned my goals and direction on multiple occasions. Sometimes I've been negative and compared myself to others and sometimes I've held onto God's wise counsel and compared myself only to who He has called me to be. I've also really struggled at times w/ balancing being a wife, mom, and friend.
It's been difficult to say no and not over-commit to requests. It's also been hard for me to take time for myself and not feel guilty about it. (Mom guilt!) I’ve struggled with being in the middle of unnecessary family drama. I can think of some moments this year that God has told me do something but I procrastinated and put it off because of fear of failure. At times this year, Ive not been 100% supportive of my husband, nor opened my Bible to read nearly as much as I've needed to.
BUT GOD...Thank God for hope and grace because on the flip side, this year I've also had many beautiful moments where God has continued to show me how faithful he is. I've seen him make a way out of no way for myself and those around me. I've had prayers answered and situations turned around. In the midst, I've learned many lessons that will only make me a better person. I've gained some amazing new relationships and have worked hard to try to do the things that are “eternity focused” but not always popular.
The goal of my blog was to share my faith in God, my marriage, my parenting, and my life with others and I believe I ultimately accomplished that goal this past year. I pride myself on being a super real and transparent person. I don't think I'll ever be the “life of a party” but I do believe that people know that if they need someone to talk to about real life who is relatable, I'm that person! ;) I want people to know I don't have it all together. I have similar struggles and fears as the next person. I'm human and flawed and good news- I don't have to be perfect because I'm not God!
As I continue to blog and work to become the person I was created to be (which sometimes is a challenge in and of itself), I hope you join me on this journey and challenge yourself as well. Thanks again for your love, encouragement, and support and I look forward to what God has in store for the next year!! Love you all!
Below is my guest blog post for the month of Sept (www.jaymeleehull.com) Please check out Jayme's beautiful website!
Although I'd never be casted in an episode of Extreme Cheapskates, (bc I'm not THAT crazy!!!), I am definitely serious about getting a great deal!! Trust me I wasn't always this way. I realized when I went off to college that I never learned how to become a financially responsible adult!
Although I worked all throughout college to support myself, I still managed to rack up college and credit card debt and had no savings to fall back on. Looking back it was pretty pathetic the way I viewed money and debt. I didn't mind taking out extra student loans to get that alluring "refund check" and I saw no problem with paying minimum balances on my credit cards. I was just crazy!
Now fast forward to my life now. I am CRAZY thrifty and proud of it! It took many tears, years, prayer, sermons, books, and tons of delayed gratification to get to a point where I am no longer held captive by my past financial choices. I also no longer care about how things may look to others bc appearance isn't alway reality.
My prayer is that I can save my own children and others from the annoyance of financial stupidity with my transparency. Drastic measures were required to initially change my past poor thinking however everyone's financial situation is different so this way of living may not make sense nor even be necessary for you.
Living within my means has just become a part of my life, starting from a place of desperation but evolving into becoming a better steward of what God has blessed us with.
So how thrifty am I... you ask? Here are some basic examples:
We live in a time where people seem to have more and more stuff/affluence yet seem less and less fulfilled and more depressed/lonelier than ever. Discontentment and dissatisfaction is running rampant and more stuff won't fill that void.
I have learned to be content in whatever the circumstances I am. I know both how to have a little, and I know how to have a lot. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being content- whether well fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need. I am able to do all things through Him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:11-13
Wes and I are far from rich money-wise, but we have God, love, family, good health, necessities, and a purpose, so what more do we really need?!?! I imagine that most of us live in abundance, especially if we viewed our lives based on what we actually need.