This week I am thankful for my health. With Carrie fighting a losing battle with cancer and my brother fighting an uphill battle with Ulcerative Colitis, I am witness to some very amazing people suffering from terrible health issues. I count my blessings that my health is good right now and I pray that Carrie and Hermano can overcome these hardships. Health is something you can work hard to keep but not everyone is blessed with it. I am thankful that God is allowing me to be healthy so I can be strong for others who are not so lucky right now.
I have been blessed with many amazing opportunities recently and I am thankful that so many doors have been opened for me. I know that I have worked hard and earned some of the chances I have gotten, but some of it has just been luck. If I had sat back a year ago and asked myself what I'd be doing in a year, I would not have dreamed of having so many amazing opportunities ahead of me.
A job that provides new and exciting adventures every week. Last week, I went to take a driving class so I could be certified to drive the company vehicles. The class took place at one of our storage facilities across town. This facility is on 1,000 acres of land and they have cattle and horses and other random animals. Recently, the facility has acquired a miniature donkey. His name is Bubba Jr. and my friend Kim and I wanted to hear all about him. Before we went out to do our driving test, our driving instructor took us by to meet Bubba Jr. (who is sooo sweet and friendly!). Not everyone has a job that has so many exciting aspects and I love the new experiences I get each day.
Money. Haha. I know this sounds awful, but I am thankful that we have enough money to live off of. Lately, Husband and I have been having expense after expense. It seems like each month, something new needs to be fixed. Two months ago, Husband lost his phone and we had to buy him a new one, last month it was the AC in my car, and this month, the dishwasher needs to be replaced. There doesn't seem to be an end in sight and I always feel so anxious when I have to pay the bill each month. I refuse to carry a balance on my credit card so each month I pay it off no matter what. It just seems like lately, my checking account has been getting smaller and smaller. I have to take a step back and think about how lucky we are that we CAN pay all of our bills each month AND make double payments on Husband's truck so that it will be paid off by January. It seems like we are living tight right now, but I'm so thankful that we are living a life that doesn't force us to miss bill payments or other obligations. Basically, I'm thankful for the money Husband and I make and the ability we have to make it last.
This college student really represents what I believe is the true American Dream.
So many people today want to live in a bigger house or drive a nicer car and they don't care what it takes to get there. They will rack up debt to have something right now. I am guilty of it too - wanting something right now instead of waiting and saving, but I am proud to say the only debt I have is a little bit of debt from law school and a mortgage on our house. Our mortgage is about the same price as the cost of a nice (not amazing) apartment and we are hoping to have it paid off in 14 years. I have no credit card debt and my car is completely paid for.
To me, the American Dream isn't about having the best/newest thing but it is to make it on your own and live the life you have earned for yourself. This student will be successful in life because they know how to work for something they want and takes pride in knowing it was 100% due to the efforts they made in life.
I like to read The Upper Room every day to take a couple minutes and reflect on the daily devotionals. Today's devotional was about giving 10% of your income to the church. I guess God is continuing to remind me how important it is to give back. Yesterday I talked about how I struggle sometimes with giving a large amount to our weekly offering plate when we are having personal expenses at home. It's funny how God speaks to you when he's really trying to drive something home.
Tonight begins the first week of an 8 week Bible study that Husband and I will participate in this fall. I'm looking forward to deepening my understanding of God's word over the next two months. Maybe I'll have more opportunities to give back to my church during this time!
Oh yeah, and I tried the Lemon Walnut Chicken recipe yesterday and it was delicious. If you haven't had a chance to try it yet, give it a shot! It doesn't take too long and Husband really liked it!
Just stumbled across this Web site for Christian Personal Finance and I'm definitely going to have to spend a lot more time looking through it. Sometimes it's hard to let go of my hard-earned money... especially when it seems like there are ALWAYS new expenses.
Each week at church, we donate money to our collection plate and I give Husband a hard time because I'm always the one who carries the cash and he always cleans me out. I'm sorry about that :( Last week he made the comment, "God's been too good to us, we have to give back" and he's right. We gave $20 and stumbled across an extra $100 later in the week. It's funny how God works in such mysterious ways. It's not always that clear-cut, though. Sometimes you can donate and donate and feel like it's just draining you, especially when you're having a financially binding month like we did in August.
It's good to have a reminder every once in a while that although it may seem like you're giving up something, you're actually gaining something by giving back to those who need it. I found this link and I'm going to try to make a point of reading it on a regular basis. It's easy to get caught up in life's expenses and forget that God is in charge and will take care of you.
Just like it says in Philippians 4:19 - And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.
Take a look at a few more versus on this page that may help you next time you're stressing about YOUR personal finances!
Loving and learning a little more each day.