Next Chapter With Some Valuable Lessons Learned

As God is my witness, as well as my husband, my family and friends, I have been struggling and panicking of the unknown that was falling around me.  My husband and I have been in a tremendous down burst of financial worry ever since December, and it seemed as the past three months have tagged along, the financial burden worsened instead of bettering itself.  It’s been scary. I was doing everything I could to cut corners.  I was homemaking our laundry detergent, fabric softener and fabric sheets.  I was home preparing store-bought mixes *Bisquick, corn muffins, nesquik, pancakes, etc*, we cut out our once-a-week date night evenings, we had no cell phones, and we ended up in my Grandparent’s basement.  In other words, money was tighter than tight, it was non-existent.  There were days where I would cry myself to sleep and questioning why all of this was happening to us.  We were good Christian people who tried each and every day to live by God’s eyes, why us?  If it wasn’t for our love for each other, and our faith in God, we never would have made it through.

Sooner than later I knew my Savior was going to pick me back up and dust the dust off of my knees, but the waiting process was getting hard.  We began making a back-up plan of moving back up to our home-state, Michigan, to live with my Mother-in-law, where we would be shoved into a small bedroom with just our bed and placing all of our other belongings in a friend’s garage for a few years until we picked back up on our feet financially.

However, just as I was breaking off my chains and throwing them aside, God answered my prayers: I got hired on full time as a CNA at a hospital!  My dream of becoming somebody in the health care field has come to reality.  I am so grateful for this opportunity, all I want to do is fall down on my knees and thank the God Almighty for all that He is and all that He promises and grants.

By the way, if you are wondering how I home-make a couple of my things I use on a daily basis here are the links:

Pancake Mix: http://www.armommy.com/food/home/

Bisquick Mix: http://www.ehow.com/how_4533016_homemade-bisquick-mix.html?ref=Track2

Corn Muffin Mix: http://thewelcominghouse.blogspot.com/2012/01/making-do-without-missing-thing-master_03.html

English Muffins: http://myfairbaking.blogspot.com/2012/12/homemade-english-muffins.html

Pizza Dough: http://lizziejanebaby.blogspot.com/2012/08/tasty-tuesday-homemade-pizza-dough.html

Nesquik: http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/2012/08/homemade-nesquik.html

How to regrow your green onions: http://www.bakedbyrachel.com/2011/11/kitchen-tip-green-onions/

Laundry Soap (I prefer powdered, but there is a liquid option): http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/2011/07/brand-name-laundry-detergents-last.html

Fabric Softener: http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/2012/02/homemade-fabric-softener-finally.html

Fabric Sheets (I went to the thrift store and purchased $1 fleece blanket, and cut it into equal sized squares instead of cutting up washcloths.  I also use my homemade softener in this recipe.): http://thefrugalfind.com/frugal-diy-homemade-dryer-sheets/

There are a ton more things I do to save money.  In fact I’ve realized buying certain things in bulk actually saves you money and time in the long run.  An example: Cottenelle 12 Double Rolls at Walmart is $6.97, but if you buy the Cottonelle 24 Double Rolls at Walmart its $13.97.  They’re the same price in the long run, but the larger package would last twice as long, saving you time.  Example number two: Purina Dog Chow-an 18.5 lb bag costs $12.88 at Walmart, but a 46 lb bag costs $24.88 is also available at Walmart.  Buying the bigger item saves you money because you are getting more pounds for a lesser cost!   Another great hint: Walmart is not always the cheapest place for certain items.  I’ve learned to shop around for every little thing.  Sometimes I will shop at Dollar Tree, Dollar General, Super Dollar (grocery store in my neck of the woods), Walmart, Sam’s Club, Food Lion (another grocery store), etc. just to save a few extra dollars.  For instance, a 10 lb bag of granulated sugar costs around $5.58 at Walmart, but at Sam’s Club it is $4.87!

I even go to the extent of  compiling a monthly grocery list of 20 dinner meals, Sunday breakfast meals and lunches for the entire month!  This literally takes me two weeks, sometimes more, to sort out each and every recipe, compile a list of each ingredient I will need to purchase (then I calculate how much or how many of each product), then I go through my coupons and see if there are any that match the products I need.  When it comes close to the day I decide to go grocery shopping I then begin shopping around for the best deals.

My husband cannot believe all the hassle I put myself through when it comes to the grocery shopping, but when he sees the final bill and all the things I purchased he is always astonished!

In other words, I’ve learned to cut alot of corners by shopping around, clipping coupons like crazy and learning what to buy in bulk when necessary.  It has kept us on our feet for many of years, and still will in the future.

The one great thing about being economically scarce in this economy is I realized the importance of living off of the things you need and using eco-friendly versions of typical resources that are available store wide.  In fact, I’m still going to continue making things homemade and I’m still going to shop around and look forward to Sunday couponing!

In addition to clipping coupons out of my Sunday newspaper, I also visit http://www.coolsavings.com/, http://www.thekrazycouponlady.com/, http://www.craigslist.org/, I purchase All You magazines and clip out valuable coupons, I ask family and neighbors for their unused coupons, and so much more.

What are some of the ways you have handled living in tight circumstances?  Have you gone to the same stretches I have?  Are you willing to take a chance on any, if not all, of the links above?

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Everyday Struggles

I’m not one to complain, especially after knowing what Jesus put himself through to allow us forgiveness for our sinful behaviors, but every once in awhile, more than I would care to admit, I catch myself wallowing in pity and asking myself why me?  I’m also not one to ask for pity, brag about my accomplishments, or the type to envy others for some unknown reason, however, I am human, and I do have emotions that run wild at any time of day.

My everyday routine is the same: wake up at 7AM, let the dogs out, drink my coffee (usually an entire pot 😉 ) while watching the news, eat breakfast, exercise (if I have the motivation available, which is usually not the case!),let the dogs out again,  shower, household chores, eat lunch, prepare for my husband’s return home from work, let the dogs out again,  internet blabbering while he is sleeping (he wakes up at 4AM, so a nap is always in his schedule) prepare dinner, let the dogs out, wash the dishes, prepare my to-do list for tomorrow, read a little, in bed by 10PM.

So as you can see, and no I am not complaining one bit or bragging, I do not sit around on my butt doing diddly squat!  In fact, just a couple of months ago I was working from home watching 2-7 kids at a time while completing my daily to-do lists (which I miss doing desperately).

I’m a busy stay-at-home wife, and I wouldn’t change it for the world, but as the months have progressed, a number of things have began to spiral out of control (finances, job placements, establishing a home), leaving me wondering if God is trying to tell me things have got to change for the better.  But then I stop and ask myself why?  Isn’t this supposed to be the way things are supposed to be?  Me staying at home  holding down the fort while my husband works, and so on and so forth.  It’s complicated, it really is, but then again it isn’t meant for me to understand, I’m only here to follow in His path that is so preciously paved out for me with no questions asked.

So, even though I have gone through a miscarriage only 2months ago (will explain more in a future blog), Bambi decided to total our car leaving us to take out an extensive loan on a new vehicle, which has left us very tight for cash, entitling us to move out of our own place and striking a residence in my grandparents basement (which is unfinished and very cold with no bathroom or kitchen), and we are headed towards a meltdown financially and mentally, I still believe God has a purpose for each and every thing in my life.  Therefore, I have taken the initiative to apply for any and all CNA positions in the area to help with our financial situation, as well as my husband has began looking for another job closer to home (we’re spending way too much in gas with the new vehicle to get him back and forth to work).  So far he has the chance of a part-time job in the area (which we are thankful for in so many aspects).  I on the other hand have had one interview (I did not get the job), turned down one job (was only part-time working every other weekend) and one more interview in a couple of days.  It’s nerve wracking, especially not knowing if this is the road God wants me to establish, but if it is, than I will have all the motivation to push forth and pursue it.  I know that if it is the path chosen,  than a full-time job placement for me will happen and everything will be alright.  It’s all in God’s timing.  I just have to keep reminding myself that and establish a little more patience.

When you believe in yourself, and God alone

Every day I wake up, have my coffee and believe today is going to be the day where I am going to follow through on the role God has planned out for me as a Christian wife, then I begin to see the truth of my life in reality and I end up doing a half ass job of it.  Don’t get me wrong, I dutifully follow my role to the best of my ability, but it’s a daily struggle to sit knowing full well my husband has full authority over me in anything and everything, as long as he is not asking me to sin.  There are days where doing my wifely duties with no problems is a no-brainier, but other days its a complete struggle to not complain or pour my sins out towards him.  When these sins begin to bubble up I typically try to walk in the other room, read a chapter in “The Excellent Wife” by Martha Peace (a MUST BUY-it will truly change your perspective of your Godly role as a biblical wife), recite certain scriptures that are paralleled at the emotions running hot through my veins, and take deep breaths while figuring out a better, Godly way to encounter my husband.  Every moment of every day I realize nothing is done without God’s helping hand, whether its doing the laundry, planning and making dinner, or simple enough as talking in a rightful manner.  He is there ALWAYS, its only a matter of accepting Him into your life, and putting yourself in His hands.