Wednesday, February 20, 2013


"A modern Native American story tells of a rich father who took his son on a trip to the country with the firm purpose of showing him how poor people can be.  They spent a day and a night on the farm of a very poor family.  When they got back from their trip the father asked his son, 'How was the trip?'
'Very good, Dad!' the boy answered. 
'Did you see how poor people can be?' the father asked. 
'Yeah!' said the boy. 
'And what did you learn?' 
'I saw that we have one dog at home, and they have four,' the boy replied. 'We have a pool that reaches to the middle of the garden; they have a creek that has no end.  We have imported lamps in the garden; they have the stars.  Our patio reaches to the front yard; they have a whole horizon.'  When the little boy was finished, his father was speechless. 
His son added, 'Thanks, Dad, for showing me how poor we are!'"
--from Secrets of Simplicity, by Mary Carlomangno
My chapter today was about money...  How we approach our money and if we dream for magical things to happen - or if we get down and dirty, using practical methods to achieve a little magic in our life.
Last year at this time, Hubby and I were in the middle of Financial Peace University (a program developed by Dave Ramsey).  We went into it skeptically...  Not looking forward to talking about our money situation for 13 weeks.  We weren't really sure how it would help - or if we could handle talking about money with each other for weeks on end!
But, wow, am I glad we decided to take the class!  For the first time in our nine years of marriage, we are on a budget.  A real budget - one that we, mostly, stick to!  And we talk about it - without fighting!  Whoa.
We've made some tough decisions, but we're following the "Baby Steps" and have paid off about $30,000 in one year!  Pretty amazing, right?!  We've cut up our credit cards, have an emergency fund, only have payments left on one of our cars and our mortgage - and have still been able to have a little fun.
We're currently planning for our future - how to pay down our home quicker, so that we can move to the neighborhood we want to live in; and then saving quickly for the far-off future.
Sounds boring, I know - but it's exciting to us!  For the first time, we don't worry and stress about money like we used to.  We know we can manage.  And that peace-of-mind comes with its own brand of magic!
If you're looking to get your financial life straightened out, made simpler, and looking more hope-filled - look for a Financial Peace University class near you!  It's worth it!
Things I am thankful for today:
1.  A good mission team meeting last night - moving forward!
2.  REALLY good news for a friend!
3.  A new vacuum!  (I'm a dork - this makes me very happy...)
4.  Stumbling across an article that could prove exciting.
5.  Making our way through this season of "Downton Abby" (and so far, no one has ruined it for us).
6.  New guests at our Lenten Service - "misfits" to our congregation, but I loved having them there!
7.  Candlelight and time for reflection.
8.  Watching new friendships being formed.
9.  Eagles returning to our area!
10.  Coming home...
QotD:  What word do you most overuse?

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