It’s Just Stuff

I have lots of things swirling around in my head today… I eluded to some yesterday and I have plenty more added to it.

Our move is getting closer, and there is still no clear path. Our lease here is not up until the end of July, so we still have time. I’d love to rent a house, but they cost more per month. And honestly, we are really really really trying to get our finances back in order. They have been so out of whack, and it just adds so much stress.

That was one of the reasons for this hospital change for Sean. It will mean more hours for Sean. And the potential for more, if needed. Sean rarely got his 40 hours before. In fact, he recently looked over his income from last year, and made $20,000 less – yes, you read that right – $20,000 less, than he should have, had he been making his 40 hours per week!

That blows my mind! No wonder it was still a struggle for us last year!! That is money that would have been going to our debt reduction. So, we are a year behind in that area…

But we made a firm commitment to being frugal. And I am really trying to take this seriously. I mentioned it yesterday, and even have a blog set aside for this topic. It’s called Frugality, and it will focus on frugal living and the women that make it work.

I know my mom was a champion of this. Unfortunately, I didn’t pay attention. So I am back to square one on learning of this topic.

There are so many awesome blogs already devoted to frugal living (which I will highlight and reference A LOT). Mine is just a drop in the bucket. Frankly, it can be a bit overwhelming keeping up and trying to cycle through all of their ideas. So, I wanted to have a one stop place, where women could look over topics from those blogs and each and read posts that are relevant to what they are facing in the frugal living department. I am still organizing it all – if you have ideas or suggestions please let me know.

I’m realizing – actually, re-realizing, that so much of what we have is just stuff… it’s not what matters in the here and after. Not that those things are bad. But when they detract from what is important and from what the Lord is calling to us to do and focus on, then it becomes out altar that we worship at. Some of us worship at the altar of Old Navy… some of us worship at the altar of Home Depot… some of us worship at the altar of TV… some of us worship at the altar of the computer…

A book that I recently read (Revolution in World Missions by K.P. Yohannan) reminded me of the differences in our lives from those of so many others in the world. We throw away food that those people would gladly dig out of the dumpster and eat – just to have something in their tummy. (I am soooo guilty of this…) We want the best for our children — but so do those parents struggling in China, or India or other 3rd world countries.

I figure, if we, in our home, become frugal, and manage our money more wisely, we can better afford to help those in need. What we give now is such a tiny bit of what we could be giving.

So, we are considering what we really need in our home… do we really need cable? do we really need high-speed internet – or internet at all, for that matter… I don’t want to sound like wild crazy woman in the wilderness… but it’s something we are giving thought to. I’m really resistant in some areas (NO INTERNET??!!!??), but would gladly give up top notch cable…

So, I am laying it out in front of the Lord and asking Him what I need to be willing to let go of. It’s hard work becoming debt free… but we’ve got to do it. We were able to do it once before, after Abigael was born — unfortunately, we let our desires for stuff get the best of us… (man, that makes me so mad when I think of where we could be financially by now if we’d not let our guards down!!!!)

Goodness, this isn’t where I thought this post was heading when I first started typing it out!! I thought it would just be a brief update type post… but these are things I want to lay before the Lord. Things I need to put out there and let Him guide me.

For when I am weak, He is strong.

Blessings,
Karla


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Comments

  1. The Flip Flop Mamma! says:

    We don’t have cable, we don’t even hook up our antenna, so we don’t even get basic channels. We do watch DVD’s sometimes in the evening, but you will see how much more stuff gets done when you take tv out altogether. We don’t have a land line for our phone either. We have a family share plan on our cells, so it’s cheap, and I only try to use my cell after the free hours start, unless it’s Verizon to Verizon which is free. Since I don’t have a land line, I get naked DSL, and it’s only $25 a month! And the deal I got was great and I paid $25 to start up, and my first 3 months were free! And I think you know that we cloth diaper, which is a huge savings! And we buy most of our clothes from thrift stores, although Old Navy has an awesome clearance section! We have stopped eating fast food altogether too. You’d be amazed at how much you spend at those places! We do still go to sit down places, like On a sunday if we’re invited out. And occasionally durring the week when I don’t feel like cooking :)(not every week though!) I have completely stopped buying new books. I get everything online used through amazon.com.

    That’s all I can think of. Hope this helped!

  2. I hear you, Karla. Rob and I are living on about one quarter of what he used to make. I’m lucky. I grew up so poor that just the way we HAD to live comes back to me now when I most need it.

    So I appreciate what you’re thinking about. But no Internet? That means no Looking Towards Heaven and that, my friend, is unacceptable.

    Cut your expenses somewhere else but don’t you dare shut this blog down. :-)

  3. Karla, You need internet. You can watch most major cable shows through it. You can use skype to call people’s landlines for 25 bucks a year and its free for skype to skype. The internet is a great communication tool. I enjoy reading your blog. You live in a bigger city so you could get tv stations with rabbit ears. You could get an almost perfect picture with an hdtv and rabbit ears. Laurie uses naked DSL and it works well. I wish you well on Sean’s new job and your move.

  4. These are stretching moments. Just remember, that God has no issues with technology – He gave us great brains to use! But it is how we use those advancements and where we focus our hearts that matters.

  5. i totally hear your heart. i have been wrestling with this as well.

    i’ve been astounded by all the garage sales in my area. EVERYONE HAS SO MUCH STUFF! and then we sell it or throw it alway so we can get more stuff. stuff the stuff i say.

    it’s not that stuff is so bad or had to be….but bigger and better sometimes means more and more debt.

    i am trying to forge a path through the clutter in this as well. the society we live in dictates another path but it’s not one of freedom. And personnally, i’ll take freedom over cable anyday.

    shalom to you my friend.

  6. Cable is one thing, internet is another – and honestly, we’ve cut off our cable before for the summer because it’s all reruns then ANYHOW, so it’s painless. You can get movies out at the library should you need to!

  7. Terri @ In His Hands says:

    Do not cut off your internet! No, no, no, no! You won’t miss the cable but the internet? Um, yes. Yes, you will miss it and more importantly, lol, we will miss you!

    Your camping trip made me laugh. Jackson hated marshmallows until about a year ago and now he LOVES them.

    How are you feeling, btw?

    Praying for you!

  8. Janice (5 Minutes for Mom) says:

    I can use all the training and inspiration with frugality I can get. I am NOT good with being frugal enough!

    And girl – no internet??? – stop talking crazy!

  9. Hi, Karla! I found you through A Chelsea Morning and if it’s okay with you, I’d love to add your blog to my sidebar. I read your 100 things about me post and we actually have a lot in common. The thing that stood out the most in my mind is the fact that you have your babies fast . . . .me too. I’ve never found anyone else in the world to have their baby in less than an hour like I did. From start to finish my last child was laboured and delivered in 53 minutes. My baby before that was 2 hours from start to finish. Anyways, I love what I’ve read so far in your blog and would love to return on a regular basis. Have a great day!

  10. I forgot to mention that I can totally relate to you with regards to the financial struggles. We too face this daily and I really question what God would have us do to alleviate some of our financial burdens, but so far we’ve just been trusting that He will provide and so far He has been. It’s hard and believe me, I know where you’re coming from.

  11. Melissa @ Breath of Life says:

    Karla,

    I’m always blessed by reading your blog, and glad to know you’re not going anywhere!

    I need to hop over to your frugality blog. I’ve been in purging mode for a while now. We’ve had some yard sales at church to raise money for mission trips, and I’ve been happy to take things out of our attic that we don’t need. I’m really trying to pare down & make life SIMPLE!

    God Bless You,

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