Sunday, July 24, 2016

Praying for Our Needs!

I have mentioned in past blog posts that I like to save money. I grew up in a home that didn't have a lot of money so I learned about using coupons and comparison shopping for the best prices. I admit we have gone on spending binges, but only little ones. Lol!

 I decided to write this blog post about spending because of a recent situation in our home. We were told that my hubby's car is in need of some really expensive repairs. When we bought this car we found it online by a private buyer who was selling it at a great price. Well, when we were told that the repairs were going to cost about the same as what we paid for the car we decided that it is not an option to fix it. We would not get that money back out of the car and the car is not worth what we would put into it. It still runs for now, so we continue to use it. So, what is our plan of action? Prayer. We began to pray for God's guidance in this situation. 

Let me back up a little bit. A few years ago we took a finance class that I recommend to anyone. It is called Financial Peace University. This class teaches about what the Bible says about money and gives steps to get out of debt and stay out. We have been working on these steps for some time now. We are very close to being out of debt aside from our mortgage. Right now we have no car payment and                                       want to keep it that way. 
It would be easy to go out and get financing for a different vehicle. The interest rates are great right now so the payment would be low and there are so many options for great family vehicles out there. But, that is not how we want to do it. 
We have some money in our savings, but not enough to buy something decent. So, I go back to us praying. By the way, this was not our last resort. This was the first thing we did. As we prayed, we came to the conclusion that a loan was not the way to go. 
God says in the Bible that he will provide for all of our needs and knows what we need before we even do. 

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[e]?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:25-34

We are going to trust in his provision, because we know he already has a car
picked out for us. In his timing he will provide the funds as well. How do I know? Because he created the heavens and the Earth, so he can whip up a car in no time. He also owns everything, a car is something he can afford. ;)

I am writing this also, so those who read it will be able to know and see how God does provide for his people. It is not easy to wait. I want to jump in the car and go get that financing and the car I want, but then where is his hand in that? I want this to be on him. He wants to give us the desires of our hearts.

          "Take delight in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart.
                    Commit your way to the Lord;
                  trust in him and he will do this:" Psalms 37:4-5

 He loves us and loves to give us things. Plus, I want what he wants for us. He knows much better what car will be best and work best for our families needs. We may make the wrong decision if we just run out and buy what we want. I will keep you updated on the situation so you can see how He provides. 
Money problems are one of the top issues in families and our nation today.
According to a study done in 2015 by, the average household has $130,922 in debt with credit cards being $15,762 of it. There is a way out and it isn't too late to start. 
If you want to learn more about FPU, simply go to It hasn't been an easy road but it sure has been fulfilling! 

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Where Are the Department Store Portrait Studios?

This is a photo from my last session. My client informed me that she had been going over an hour away to get her daughters photos done because the department stores who used to have portrait studios do not have them anymore in our area. She liked that she could save money on her photos at these convenient studios. 
 Well, for anyone else who misses those department store studios, I can help you out. I offer a package that includes 5 poses saved to a CD for only $69. I wish I could offer $8.99 like the others did, but I can't. I do offer 4 more poses than they did and the ability to make as many prints and sizes needed of each pose. Those department store studios did not offer that!! ;)

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Letting Go!!!!

I don't usually do this but I am going to share something I wrote after God woke me up and wouldn't let me go back to sleep until I wrote it. He is a bit persistent sometimes. Lol
I wrote a blog post not too long ago about the empty nest or preparing for it. He woke me up with something that I was going through related to this topic. This is what I wrote:

We all experience loss at some point in our lives....loss of a loved one; loss of jobs; loss of health. Those are pretty obvious losses. And then there is the losses that are not so obvious.
Those life changes that involve loss but we don't even realize we have lost something. Things like moving to a new home or town, graduating high school, or having your first child. You are excited and happy because you are gaining something but deep down there is a sense of loss that we often cannot pinpoint. We often call these times bitter/sweet.

        (Sesame Street)

                                                                                                              (happy face clipart)

What am I getting to? I am on the verge of having 2 adult children. When my kids were very young, I thought if  we made it through this (which had to be the hardest part) and we raised them right, they would make most of the right decisions and go on to be successful adults and I could retire from parenthood happy and rich in memories of a job well done. It was that easy!

It turns out it is not that cut and dried! It does not get easier the older they get. It gets more complicated!
Right now, I am at a crossroads. I can continue to be mommy, but risk hindering what they need to learn for themselves or I can step back and let God teach them through life what they didn't learn from us. Sounds like an easy decision to me, but it isn't. Stepping back means giving them back to God to be the parent. But I am the mommy! I have held this position for over 20 years. It feels as if someone is saying "We're sorry, Maam, or should I say Mom, your services are no longer needed." What?! I have put so much time and energy in this project, and now you are telling me I am no longer needed? (Or at least it feels that way!) This is the loss I was talking about that I didn't realize I was going through. I thought I was gaining freedom, which I am, so why does it hurt so much?

My kids don't need me as much. I need to step away and let God take over and I think it is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. I want to go back to the simple times where I taught and they learned and if they did wrong there was a consequence. If they fell, I kissed them and picked them back up. Oh they will still need me from time to time but not in the same way. I am grieving this loss, and just as in any other loss, there is a grieving process that I have to let run its course. I  will not learn what the heavenly Father has for me to learn if I don't.

So, I reluctantly gather my belongings and place them in a box and leave my office. I know I will be called
upon if and when I am needed again. I know, so dramatic, isn't it. Lol. Well, hey, it was the middle of the night.
                                                                                               (Bethel gospel radio)
To sum this up, we lose and gain in this life all the time and God has a gift in each and every loss and gain we go through. We need to take the time with Him to see what that gift is. Believe me, it is priceless! I am still in the middle of this process and He is right there walking me through it all. Teen and adult children are hard! We aren't meant to do this alone. The Lord created them and put them in your care for a reason. But at a certain age, He takes them back to continue what we have begun. I trust that He knows how to parent much better than me, so Lord, they are all yours!                                                                                                                                        

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Got the Shot!!!!

I went outside last night for a few minutes and saw this great photo op. I ran back in the house and grabbed my camera! I got it! I got the shot!!!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

4th of July 2016

We had a great time celebrating the 4th of July with some great friends. The guys played some basketball and us women sat and chatted or took a walk. The weather was beautiful. The kids had fun with their friends! It was a perfect day! I took some photos of the beautiful fireworks. Here's to perfect Summer days!!!!

Creating a Legacy: Family Fun!!!!!

We all have those family times in our childhood that we remember fondly. Those family vacations or events that are in our hearts forever. These times are part of what makes us who we are and what we love to do by ourselves or in families of our own. Some of mine were camping trips, church outings, and family or friends we spent time with.

There were things I knew I wanted to do when I grew up and had my own family. I am so big on traditions and making memories. My kids will probably have more memories than their brains can store. Lol! But I guess that isn't such a bad thing. In this blog post, I would like to share some of the things my family does to keep us close and create a legacy for our kids.

I have a larger family than the typical American family, so we always have a budget. When the kids were younger we had what we called a Family Fun Bag! This bag contained little slips of paper with all sorts of different family activities on them. We tried to keep them very low budget. Such as making rootbeer floats or ice creams sundaes, have a movie theater night, or play games.
Saturday was our designated family day. We would start with a family discussion time. We would discuss all sorts of different topics that pertain to our family, such as, treating your siblings with respect or where should we spend our next family vacation. We followed these discussions with whatever was chosen out of the family fun bag. It gets harder to keep up with as the kids get older and are off in different directions, but it was valuable to our family!
If you would like me to give you more family fun ideas, please message me and I will send you a list to make your own bag. The internet is also a great resource for ideas.

As I said earlier, one of my fond memories as a kid was camping. I carried this on into my own family. We used to camp almost every weekend. Camping can be inexpensive, but can get expensive very quickly, so again we had our budget. We have had campers and we have had tents. The only type of camping I haven't done is sleeping right under the stars. Not my thing! hehe Unfortunately, as each one of our kids got to be
about 15 or 16, camping was no longer family fun. It turned into whining and pouting and "do I really have to go?" So, we invested in a timeshare. I know....timeshares have gotten such a bad rap. Well, I am here to say that it has been a huge blessing to our family. We can go on family getaways and the kids really enjoy it and we don't hear anymore whining or pouting until its time to go home. The condos have kitchens, so I plan a menu and we save money by not eating out everyday. We go to places that are within driving distance to save on airfare. Airfare x 6 = no money left in the bank!  Timeshares are not something to just jump into without doing some homework but I do think it is worth looking into. Again, if you would like more info about them, please message me. 

We like to go hiking, take a day trip to a nearby town or have a picnic in the park. We pretend we are camping at home by spending the day outside playing games and roasting hotdogs over a fire. 

No matter what your budget or family size, making memories is not only possible, but in my mind a necessity.
You are leaving a legacy for your children whether you intend to or not, so why not make it one that lasts a lifetime and can be passed on and on. This is priceless!!!!

In my next blog post, I will talk about the many traditions in our family. I don't mean just holidays, I mean traditions we keep. Some are weekly, some are monthly, some are yearly. Until, then, keep making those family memories!!!