As you come to him, the living Stone--rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him--you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 2: 4-5

Friday, January 1, 2010

Of finances, friendship, food, and family reunions

I know I said that I wasn't going to make any New Year's resolutions this year, but as I welcomed in 2010 last night, I couldn't help but ponder the things that I wanted to change in the coming year: finances, friendship, and food. The family reunion part, well...that happened this evening when our family was finally all back together again as Maddy and Sarah came home from camp and we celebrated Sarah's 15th birthday. So first...the pictures....
Josh and Maranda

Hannah and Sarah blowing out the candles on her birthday cake.
Josh and Daryl wrestling. I don't think they ever really grow up!

Maddy and Sarah right after they came home. They had a great time, but they were soooooo tired! Hannah was so happy to see her sisters!
Earlier in the day--Hannah sitting with her "baby Charlotte" so she doesn't fall off the chair.

Aren't they just incredibly cute??? I could just eat them up. Which just happens to be a great segue into my "focus areas" for the new year.
Food One word: HEALTHY. Healthy food choices + healthy relationship with food=Healthy Me Need I say more?
It's no secret that times are tough right now all around. I don't think that it's any secret that this includes us as well. We have been so blessed this year to have had good jobs and that Daryl had just enough electrical work to provide for everything we need, and even some of what we want. God has provided for us time and again this year, and yet I continue to be amazed and surprised when He does. We are called to be good stewards of the things that God gives us, and that includes our money. There are certain areas that I cannot control. My job, which I love and I feel called to, is not the highest paying job that I could get. However, it allows our children to get a solid, Christian education, and the sacrifice is worth it. We pay between $800-$1000 in childcare each month. However, we feel that this is also a sacrifice that we are willing to make for the quality of care and the love that our girls receive. We live at least 30 minutes away from our children's school, friends, and sporting arenas. In short, we drive a lot. In a big car (that we need to carry all of us) that guzzles gas. Every day. We have five children who are the greatest blessings in our lives, but that need clothes and shoes, school supplies and activity fees. At times I feel guilty as Daryl works two jobs, nights and weekends, to provide for us. I want to do more, but I am always at a loss as to what. It will be my focus this year to find ways to save us money, to be more frugal, to find ways to live for less. I already have a few ideas that I've gotten from subscribing to a frugal living blogroll, reading and studying Dave Ramsey, and talking with friends that have successfully simplified and reduced their spending. More on this later, as I put into action the ideas that I have.
I used to be a great friend. I was thoughtful. I was generous. I went out of my way to help anyone and everyone that needed it. But that was BC--before children. When I became a mother, I let many things slide, and friendships have been one of them. I could say that it is because none of my friends have children that are little...and big. And that is true. I could say that I am busy. And that is certainly true. But when it comes down to it, I am just a bit lazy and self-centered. You know the acronym J.O.Y.--Jesus, Others, Yourself? Mine tends to be Y.J.O. I think of the people in my life, I am concerned for them, I have great compassion for them and their problems, I pray for them, I have these great ideas of ways I would like to help them. But when it comes down to it, none of my ideas ever make it to fruition. Because in the end, there is always something else that I have to do, that I want to do. If my kids and house and work are all taken care of, I want to have just a moment for me. I don't want to get out again at night to get a card and mail it to a sick friend. I don't want to take my precious family time in the evenings to make a phone call. I am so set in getting my work done at work and getting home to my babies that I don't think to stop and ask a friend about their day, their family, their life. And while I could easily say that this will get better as the kids grow up and have lives of their own, I don't want to waste this time right now. There are those who have been such good friends to me, who continue to be good friends to me, and it's time for me to pay it forward.
I am excited about 2010, and I am excited about the changes that I am going to make in my life and the lives of my family. This is our last year before Josh goes off to college, where all of us will be living under the same roof, every day. And I want to make it a year to remember.

1 comment:

  1. love the new look! happy new year!