Friday, September 21, 2012

Living Debt Free - Our Continuing Story

We are moving towards our 2nd year of living debt free and I have to say that this is the life we want to continue living.  Not only are the chains and/or burdens of debt gone, but the feeling of them gone and the freedom to purchase as we have means available makes life much more enjoyable.  We no longer give in to impulses but rather think them through according to what we can afford, not what we could afford if we borrow the money off of someone else; credit.  The scripture is very true:

Proverbs 22:7
".....the borrower is servant to the lender."

Truly, you are a servant or slave to those you borrow from and with that comes the burden, the chains and the stress of paying them back to be 'free' again.  The problem isn't that there may be a time you would need to do that for an emergency, the problem is when you live that way purposely.

1 Timothy 6:6-10
"But godliness with contentment is great gain.
For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows."

There are no downsides to living debt free because you learn contentment through what God blesses you with in your life.  You don't borrow from the world's system of "got-to-have-it-now" because you know what that leads to - stress, marital problems, discontentment and a multitude of other burdens that will eventually steal your joy.  Living debt free is the tool that can instill peace, contentment, financial freedom and joy into your life and your family.  Our marriage was only ever in turmoil when we were in debt.  Now that the chains have been broken off that bound us, we are freely enjoying life together in a commitment to not sacrifice our joy for a dollar bill or what we can have.

The scripture above speaks of those that covet after money, or those that will be rich - in other words, those that "got-to-have-it."  Having a credit card and/or credit gives way to that sort of lifestyle, but with it, comes temptation, snares and MANY sorrows!  You can be rich without debt and still right with God, however, these scriptures speak of the others that seek to be rich in the wrong ways and with the wrong motives.  Leaving out God and His Word for your financial decisions will only dig your hole a bit deeper and your way a lot rougher in life.  It just isn't worth it!!

I like what Clarke said in his commentary on the above scripture:

It requires but little of this world’s goods to satisfy a man who feels himself to be a citizen of another country, and knows that this is not his rest.

To those that don't have their minds fixed on this world and all its dainties, they are satisfied with little.  I know I have a mansion coming one day, so I'm not going to sacrifice my joy or my family to try and get one in this world that God didn't give us the means to afford.  I've learned to be content in the home that God did provide for us for the time being, even though it may be a mobile home, it is a HAPPY home!  I truly do love this place and though I may wish for a fancy house, I would rather not trade what we have now for the snares that that fancy house may entrap us in.

God brought us on this journey a few years ago when we were drowning in debt of our own making and then on top of that, we had the unfortunate event of hospitalization without insurance, which was in reality another problem of our own making.  For, had we had insurance, we wouldn't have added to the burden we were already under.  We didn't take the easy way out, we didn't take charity that is reserved for those that truly need it, no - we knew we made this bed and we had to lie in it.  We paid off those debts over years and we didn't repeat the same mistakes, we rather chose to do a 180 and go the opposite way - living debt free and insuring our health, life and worldly possessions.  Looking ahead and preparing for the future, rather than being unwise and only caring for the present.

If you never learn the lesson in the financial department and change your ways, you will only continue on the hamster wheel as yet another crisis will soon bring you back to where you didn't win the battle.  The key is to win the battle and change!  Then, and only then, can you have true financial peace that comes with God and contentment.

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Sunday, September 9, 2012

Homeschooling Update

This year has been one of the best years we have ever had in homeschooling so far.  I think it is because I'm very organized, everything is planned out to the 30 minute increments and it goes so smoothly and passes by so quickly and we are having fun and bonding even more.  I've also realized over the years of homeschooling that putting God first is crucial to the day going well, to my sanity and to Katie's attitude.  Our bible curriculum is wonderful and Katie is really being provoked to know, really know, her bible.  It also brings up questions she has about God and day to day things and gives us a special time to grow more in the Lord together.

We started Latin this year and I was thinking it was going to be tedious but it is far from that - it is one of Katie's favorite subjects now.  We both love it and it is fun!  She is even reciting prayers in Latin several times a day before meals and it overjoys my heart to see my daughter have a LOVE of learning - where it isn't a chore but a delight.

We also started chemistry this year and Katie is really excited about it so far.  She builds compounds with her molecule set and gets excited when we search for what she has 'made' online and find the chemical.  I'm learning a lot too as I always had a hard time with chemistry but now I'm getting it - finally lol!

On the music front, Katie really has a passion for violin and she almost becomes a part of it when she plays.  I can just feel her passion for it and she has a dream for playing in the youth symphony orchestra.  The only problem is, everyone we have talked to in the music world has said that her being left-handed will prevent her.  She doesn't let that stop her dreams and I won't let it either, we are even thinking of moving her up to a prestigious teacher that allows her to play in the orchestra twice a year.  It is costly though and far away but if she really wants this, we will sacrifice for her.

I love being a wife, a mom and homeschooling!  I feel that my life is dedicated to my family and the betterment of it.  I don't have a life outside of my family - this is my life!!!  I think of all the memories Katie is going to have of our times together doing school, projects, crafts, etc. - she already has them but what will it be like after 18 or so years of these wonderful memories?  We only have such a short time with our children and I vowed to make the best of it and live with no regrets.  Showing her "the way" that she is to go, teaching her about her God-called role of wife/homekeeper/mother and being there for her and all her questions she has throughout the day.  To think if she wasn't here, who would she be asking those questions to and what would they teach her?  The responsibility is too great that God has given to me and I dare not let another lead her astray but rather keep my children under the guidance, care and instruction of a Godly mother.

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