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2016 - Time to Rebuild!

I was looking back at my word for last year and it was "Adapt" because I was pregnant and expecting a new baby in 2015.  Not only did I lose that baby but 2015 was the most painful, debilitating year of my life.  I still can't tell of all I went through because my body actually relives it as I even THINK on it, I start feeling the pain as if I'm there again.  I felt as though I was broken in pieces and hit the bottom and then the bottom fell out!  I felt ground to powder - I felt forsaken by God but I know that is not true but in the midst of it, I wasn't so sure. I began to think on what my word for 2016 would be.  I knew it was going to do something with recovery as I'm still recovering and it is a long road.  I prayed and the word came - REBUILD !  I started shouting actually because I felt the Holy Spirit so strong - this is the year that not only I, but our family, rebuilds all that has been broken down!   We are so broken on so many levels that the o

A Look Back on 2015

The year of pain, desperation, hitting rock bottom... that was 2015.  But it was the also the year that I grew closer to God, trusted Him like never before, had to allow others to help me and realized how judgmental I had been in so many ways.  Ouch!  What a painful, yet needed experience this past year was!  It was the year I started getting back the "old Bev" - not the sinful one but the one that was strong and able to stand up for herself and say NO when needed.  Not sure how I lost her but she is back. Sure, this past year was full of losses - my baby and my uterus - but it was also a year of miracles.  As a wise older woman told my husband; it was the year your wife didn't die!  Yes - instead of saying this was the year that I lost my baby, that I lost my uterus, that I developed numerous health issues and believed I was dying........It was the year I did NOT die, though Heaven would have been nice a bit early but my husband is thankful it wasn't my time! I&#

The Story Behind the "TV" Stand/Window Seat

We purchased a TV, not cable or anything, but an actual TV monitor, along with the Amazon FireTV and a TV stand.  I don't even like the word TV - and some of you may remember why in posts from year's past about how the TV was my enemy as a child, at least in my mind.  We didn't have one until I was 9 years old and it took away my parent's attention and my sister's and it caused a host of other things .  It was the enemy. So, when I sat and reasoned what was different from having a "TV" screen that was 43 inches from our Kindle Fire - I couldn't come up with much difference, other than the obvious size.  It wasn't like we were getting cable television or even going to watch bad things.  I couldn't even press the button to purchase the thing, I had my daughter press it.  From that moment on, even when it was here, I felt horrible.  I would wake up in the morning and see it and it would turn my stomach.  I couldn't stand having the thing in

Real Life Becomes Before & After

Yesterday, I took pics of my house and how horrible it was because I had planned to blog about living with chronic illness.  I was going to show the reality of it all and how my house has been looking for a long time because I've been physically unable to clean, pick up, etc.  I woke up this morning and felt good - which is not normal LOL!  I ended up, along with my husband and daughter, being able to do a clean up and I was amazed at how much we got done and so I decided to take some after photos! I will start with the living room - things everywhere and toys as usual and the after after my daughter vacuumed and we all picked up and folded the throws.  Yes, I'm aware our ADT yard sign is IN the house, we hope to eventually get it in the yard. The kitchen is usually piled with dishes but the after photo was actually worse than the before LOL - well, can't win them all! The dining room is where we also homeschool and I do the budget, computer work, etc.  It is hardly

What Today's Youth Need to Hear

The President of a Christian University wrote this to the University's students and I'm sharing some of the quotes but go read the whole thing - it is that good!! This past week, I actually had a student come forward after a university chapel service and complain because he felt “victimized” by a sermon on the topic of 1 Corinthians 13. It appears that this young scholar felt offended because a homily on love made him feel bad for not showing love! In his mind, the speaker was wrong for making him, and his peers, feel uncomfortable. I’m not making this up. Our culture has actually taught our kids to be this self-absorbed and narcissistic ! Any time their feelings are hurt, they are the victims! Anyone who dares challenge them and, thus, makes them “feel bad” about themselves, is a “hater,” a “bigot,” an “oppressor,” and a “victimizer.” .........Oklahoma Wesleyan is not a “safe place”, but rather, a place to learn: to learn that life isn’t about you, but about

What Will Really Matter?

Who would have thought I would have gotten a blog post from a menopause video but I did.  No, I'm not in menopause but I'm preparing for the future so I can do it in the most natural way.  I found some interesting information from history that I had no idea about it and so far, everyone I've shared it with had no idea either.  Menopause is actually a modern problem because up until the 1800's, women's life expectancy's didn't go past age 50! In Ancient Rome, women normally only lived until age 25!  In Renaissance times, most women rarely lived past age 35!  By the Victorian era, they were living till age 45 and it wasn't until the beginning of the 1800's that they lived until 50!  Today, it is around age 80 that we can expect to live on average as women.  WOW! Here is a chart showing average life expectancy for men and women from the 1850's to 2000 showing how much longer we live now: Image credit: Oregon University Think about that

Preparation for the Future

If it had not been for God and the lessons we learned the hard way, I'm not so sure we would have done what it was going to take to make it through the past couple of years financially.  Most of you remember our story that I blogged about in, Our Financial Story , and how we realized that health insurance was a must.  We went on to pay off debt, insure ourselves and plan for future crisis's.  Thanks to that planning, we have spent the past few years being able to pay off all medical bills through the numerous surgeries I've had and ER visits, etc.  We don't have to be covered in piles of debt anymore!  Preparation really does spare you the extra burden on top of a health crisis! This week, I will be paying our last medical bill for the year.  It was a rough year with 2 surgeries and a surgical procedure, many ER visits, CT scans, ultrasounds and an MRI - along with all the doctor visits and more ahead the next few months.  However, we reached our out-of-pocket maximum

God Created Family

A lot of people forget just who created family.  Who came up with the idea to make a man and a woman produce offspring?  Whose plan was it for us to have children?  Whose plan was it for there to be future generations?   Who would have wanted such a thing - oh wait, that would be our Creator; God! If everyone took on the mentality of some family-opposers, we wouldn't even be here.  Some Christians say we shouldn't have children during these evil days but they forget that when Christians stop bearing offspring, there is less a chance that there will be those that will bring others to Christ.  If anything, we should be having more.  The Muslims get this and they are more eager to promote their religion and they know the key is to produce children and in the future, they will most likely be the majority.  Of course God is more powerful than numbers but even God Himself, wanted Israel to increase in number by bearing offspring. Did Christians fail in the spreading of the gospel

Who's At Fault for Gender Confusion?

You can sit back and scoff at gender confusion and even go so far to say it is demonic but what most people miss is that being confused about your gender is exactly what comes from past generations' lack of gender distinction .  Masculinity and femininity used to be clearly defined.  It wasn't just dress, though this plays a big part, but rather the manner of each gender that was carried out in everything they did and didn't do. Men throughout time took care of their wives - you know when marriage was between a man and a woman?  Then, women decided they wanted to be equal with men and so began the "equality" or what was really the mimicking of being a man.  Then we had women leaving the home, leaving the raising of the children, leaving the wearing of feminine dress and ultimately leaving the delicacy of the female.  Here she was - acting like a man, dressing like a man, working like a man and even carrying herself like a man.  The children were raised by whoeve

Times are SO Bad Now

Times are so bad now, the schools are so bad now, the government is so bad now... Well - times are not "so bad" just now - they were already BAD many, many years ago when they took GOD out of schools and the government .  I guess you have to decide what you personally feel is "bad".  It is either your children not being taught about God and excluding Him from their day or it is a long list of things that ends at, "Oh my goodness, they are teaching about gays now, I can't let my kid hear that."  It was ok to let them hear that God wasn't real, that He didn't create anything, and all that goes along with humanistic education but now that they are teaching changing families, it is a disgrace. It is time to realize that it was a disgrace when they took God out!   That is more awful than a gay, than a transgender, than gay marriage, and all the other perversions they can come up with.  God is more important. The government decided that killing

Robbing God, His House & His Pastors

I was waiting for the final thing to put this post together that I've been considering the past week and I got it this morning from the sermon!  God is always right on time!!  I'm going to blog about our financial role in supporting the house of God.  I'm here to state why every true Christian pays tithes and gives offerings to their church. The house of God, or the Church, does not run by itself.  Did you know that!?  I mean someone has to pay for the building, the land, the upkeep of both, the electricity, water, heat and even the pastor!   So, for those of you who don't believe in paying tithe - do tell me how all that gets done?  God is a God of order and He has set up a way that the Church and the Pastor will be taken care of and it is our duty to take care of them as Christians. Abraham paid a tenth of his increase, which is tithe, before the law was even given - so that is for all those that say "we are not under the law" in their excuse to keep th

Part 8 - Q&A - Living On One Income

I have to apologize because one of the questions submitted was missing the last part, which contained more questions.  I missed this somehow and only found it when I went to delete the file from my documents.  So, I'm reposting the entire question here and my answer - sorry to whoever this was! Q. Hello, I have been following your blog for some time and had a few questions on one income. My husband and I are both currently working full time high stress career fields, which has definitely taken a toll on our marriage. We have talked about me eventually quitting my job and either pursuing homemaking full time or an accounting/or bookkeeping job that is under 10 hours a week that I can work from home. I want out of corporate accounting. The catch is like most Americans we are currently in debt. My husband currently has around six thousand in student loans. Thankfully, my husband paid for my college, so I don’t have any loans. We have three cars, two of which still have car payments

Part 7 - Q&A - Living On One Income

Q.  Hi Bev, My dear husband lost his job of nearly 25  years suddenly on Good Friday. His job was funded by the State of IL and the Governor ceased all spending on Human & Social Services with NO warning.  My husband's program was NOT a government handout program, but one that prevented juvenile delinquency.  I have been home from my job as a public school teacher for 13 years.  I LOVE being a stay at home wife and mother and my husband says it's his top priority to continue that.  Any ideas on what to do in this situation?  This is my first time dealing with this.  Thank you in advance!  A.  I think the person that asked this, also asked in 2 other comments and so I'm copying/pasting my answer from there to here.  First of all, PRAY! God will open another door where it was closed I believe. Next, seeing that he has 23 years experience, he will probably be able to find another good job I assume in his field. A possible move to another state or area to find a job

Part 6 - Q&A - Living On One Income

I only received a few questions and we will start with the first few in this post and finish up the rest in Part 7. Q. What activities do you do as a family for fun? A. We are pretty easy to please and it doesn't take much for us to have fun.  We like playing board games (7 Wonders, Funglish, Rummikub, Made for Trade, 10 Days in.., Homeschoolopoly to name a few).  My kids and I watch Netflix (my husband doesn't watch movies).  Things we like on Netflix are educational, documentaries, cartoons, home & craft shows and some Christian films they have like Ace Wonder that are clean.  We do things outside and sometimes go to the park or for a drive.  Church is our big family activity - I guess you could say that is fun but more so, it is the basis of our family life. Q. For retirement do you only fund one account in your husbands name or do you both have seperate accounts? A.  We have a joint retirement account - nothing separate because we are married and that end

Part 5 - Budgeting - Living On One Income

I've blogged about budgeting in several series before - Financial Budgeting 101 and Living Debt Free .  I did want to touch on a few things about budgeting in this series for those who haven't read the other series.  Your husband can do the budget or he can defer that to you.   My husband always did the budget until the past year when he let me take over.  I'm very good with numbers and so, he has given me reign over it now. In Part 4 , we talked about the home management fund, which includes food, necessities (toilet paper, etc.), clothing and some maintenance (cleaning supplies, light bulbs, etc.).  There are still other categories left to budget for and they are: Tithe - should always be first and foremost! Here's why: http://www.christianhomekeeping.com/2015/05/robbing-god-his-house-his-pastors.html Offerings Tax (federal, medicare, social security) Charity Savings/Retirement (emergency fund, college funds, etc.) Housing (mortgage or rent) Housing mainten

Part 4 - Home Management - Living On One Income

We've talked about why women should be homemakers in Part 1 , why men should provide for their families in Part 2 , and then the basis of being able to do in Part 3 on contentment.  I will do a future post answering all the questions submitted but it will be last in this series.  In this post, we are going to discuss home management, which entails everything that you are responsible for in being the manager of your home. Home management usually (this may vary) includes the cleaning, meals, clothing and care of the children and some maintenance.   The wife usually takes care of these things as the husband is busy working outside the home to bring in the funds to run the home.  I think it is a good idea to budget a "home management" account that the wife can cover the above things and decide how much goes where and then she can also save and have spending money of her own.  We used to do it this way for years but now I do the entire budget and so I decide a lot more, but

Part 3 - Contentment - Living On One Income

I know all about this one as I've lived it, was able to come to the place of true contentment and am still practicing being content no matter the future decisions.  I can say that I've been there, done that and bought the entire collection.  What am I talking about?  Contentment. If a wife learns to be content with what her husband provides, she will save herself, her husband and her children a lot of needless problems.   I admit that I was NOT content in the early years of our marriage because I didn't fully understand what was really important in life.  All I could see is what we didn't have and there was always something more I wanted.  This caused problems with our marriage and with our finances. As a wife, you must learn contentment and learn to be content with what your husband provides.  If you don't, you will be that millstone, that nag, that brings everyone down.  You will squander the family finances on your discontent and tear down your house with you

Part 2 "The Why" for Men - Living On One Income

In Part 1, we talked about "the why" for women and now in Part 2, we will discuss "the why" for men.  I know that this is a blog for women but believe it or not, I do have male readers.  I'm mostly blogging this for women but hey, the men need to hear this too, especially in this effeminate society we have today. I'm going to be very blunt here, so if you get offended, consult God's Word and then tell Him off.  There is no way around it - a real man, a real husband, will not put his wife on a job.  *dodging rocks*  I remember a preacher that used to say that you shouldn't prostitute your wife out on a job and that has a lot of truth to it.  Men throughout time took care of their families.  At some point in American society, most likely when women became domineering, men lessened their manhood.  Throughout all time, wives were a "help meet" to their husbands by keeping the home, bearing and raising their children and making a home of peac

Part 1 "The Why" for Women - Living On One Income

I'm starting a series about Living On One Income in hopes of helping those that are on the fence about doing so and continuing to encourage and help those that are doing so. Obviously you know that we live on one income, my husband's, and I'm a homekeeper. The first post in this series is going to be about “why” you should live on one income as a Christian woman. God intended for women to marry, bear children and keep the home and that is a full-time commitment. When you step outside of God's design, you live on the arm of flesh financially as you don't really 'need' God anymore in that regard. You also forsake what scripture told you not to – bearing children and loving your husband. Titus 2:4-5 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home , good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. 1 Timothy 5:14 I will therefore t

"Poor" - Depends On Who You Ask

We discussed what real wealth is in my previous post and how if you have no debt and some cash in your pocket, you are in the top 75% of Americans.  We had an ER bill that my insurance denied coverage saying it didn't meet "medical criteria" for a medical emergency.  On the third try, someone finally got it covered and upon notifying the hospital billing, I found out that they had already zeroed out the bill because they consider us poor.  We are so poor that they don't require any payment from us at all for our future hospital or ER visits - it is all covered at 100% and that is without insurance even.  We are poor according to who you ask ... Poor - hmm, I don't feel poor.  We have a nice 1500 sq. ft mobile home we rent that has 2 bathrooms, 3 bedrooms with big walk-in closets and our master bathroom has a garden tub.  We have a large pantry room between our living and dining rooms and we have a locked, electric-provided shed to use as storage and a nice-size

How Do You Determine Real Wealth?

My financial posts on this blog are becoming some of the most read posts of my entire blog and I love writing about financial things and seems like others like reading it, so before I start the series on Living On One Income , I wanted to talk about wealth. Most people think of wealth as making a lot of income but that is not true wealth.  I know people that make large amounts of income that are poor and I know people that make low amounts of income that are wealthy.  What wealth really comes down to is what your net worth is.  What does net worth mean? Net Worth = Assets - Debts Your net worth is a true indicator of your financial situation.   That is how you can make $100K a year but the guy next to you that makes $30K could be wealthier than you because he has no debt.  As the saying goes, when the dirt hits the fan, you will find out what your financial situation is.  (That is the "Christianized" version of that saying)  What happens when the income stops - are yo

I'll Never Be The Same

Romans 8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. This miscarriage has changed me so much that I don't feel I will ever be the same.  It changed me in a good way, some things that I needed changed that I didn't even realize.  It sparked something inside.  It built up my faith by bringing it down to the test of my life.   I felt those feelings of God not there - I related to Jesus in a small way.  I was alone in the garden praying when others fell asleep but I couldn't stop as it was me that was getting ready to go through what I did - alone.  I got a taste of the sufferings of Jesus in so many ways the past few years. I got woken up to the feeling of the grief of death , which I had never really felt before as I've only lost an aunt when I was young.  Sure, I've had miscarriages but they were so early, they didn't really make me grieve in the way this one did.  I

Average Family Water Usage

I shared our family's average monthly electric usage in this post , and now I would like to share our water usage.  I had seen an article stating the average family of 4 spends $80 a month on their water bill and I was shocked.  We rarely go above $25 a month on our water bill !  I had to find out how many gallons we were using a month and then it became a little complicated. On your water bill, it will tell you how much water you used that month but sometimes it is in cubic feet.  Ours is in cubic feet and I had no idea how to convert that to gallons, so the search began for answers.  I found this conversion information on the EPA website: http://www.epa.gov/watersense/our_water/understanding_your_bill.html   That told me that one CCF (Centum Cubic Feet) is equal to 748 gallons.  One CCF is one hundred cubic feet.  Our average water usage for a month is 700 cubic feet and that is equal to 7 CCFs.  I now had the formula to find out how many gallons - 7 CCFs x 748 gallons = 5,236

Thoughts on My 2nd Trimester Miscarriage Loss

I was 18 weeks pregnant when I found out that our baby had died many weeks before.  The size of the baby was measuring 11w 5dy, but they said that they shrink, so there is really no way of knowing the exact time it died inside of me.  Estimations are that it died in the 14th week, which was around New Year's and then spent the month of January shrinking back to the size it was when we found out.  I was just 4 days away from finding out the gender, though I really thought it was a boy, we just will never know.  We were going to call the baby Kyle for a boy or possibly Emma for a girl, so we named it Kyma since we don't know. That image on the ultrasound is not only imbedded in my head - they gave us a copy of it (because I requested it.)   I knew when I saw it on the screen that it just didn't look right.  My baby's body was curled up and it was so small, not moving and there was no heartbeat.  Even though I knew the baby was probably not alive, I wasn't ready to

Where Do I Go From Here?

This past miscarriage was the hardest I've ever experienced because it was the only one of the 5 I've had that I had seen the baby, seen it move and heard its heartbeat three times over several weeks.  I thought I was in the safe zone and I admit I took it for granted.  I felt like I was detached from my body in the first 24 hours or so.  My doctor noticed this but didn't say anything until today.  Some people experience that initial shock and numbness and disassociate themselves from the trauma and that is what happened to me and now I realize that. It did finally hit me and I've been grieving very hard experiencing a pain that I've never gone through.  I've read a lot and though it hurt, it helped too.  I talked a lot with my husband and that has been helping in the process.  I went through guilt and blame thinking I did this somehow by not eating enough or taking tylenol when I had the flu or doing too much, etc.  That is normal too from what I read and wa

In His Arms

I saw this on a blog and wanted to share as it really comforted me through my loss yesterday and I think it would do the same for those who have lost a baby as well: IN HIS ARMS My dearest little baby, my dearest little flower, The time of your departing, was my darkest hour. I longed to see and touch you, I longed to hold you close, I dreamed of counting fingers, and all your little toes. I dreamed of what we'd name you, and the joy that you would bring To your brother and your sister, oh how they'd laugh and sing! For there is nothing quite as precious as a brand new little life, And nothing quite as empty, when it's takes eternal flight. Others think I'm mourning over such a little thing, "We'll have plenty more and our lives are still the same." But what is greater than life? And what is deeper than its loss? Is it not what Jesus gave us when He died upon the cross? Life is the greatest of all gifts, life is the greatest of all jo