Monday, May 03, 2010

Breathe In... Breathe Out

Posted by Mandy at 7:23 AM
Life has suddenly become very crazy, but on the flip-side, much more relaxing in the past few weeks. I knew that getting out of credit card debt would take some stress off of us, but I had no idea it would be this dramatic. I didn't realize how much mental stress I was under constantly worrying over it, wondering how we'd pay it off, wondering how long it would take. Years later... we finally made it! We also just paid off our van... and I totally understand what the person felt that coined the phrase "it's like a huge weight lifted off of my shoulders." Money can't make a miserable person happy... but when a happy person finally doesn't have to worry about money anymore - wow!

Now that mucho stress has been removed from my mind, I also made the decision to majorly cut back on work. We now don't need my income at all. (can you hear the angels singing?) I can just work for enjoyment and for 'extra' cash, which is of course ideal. Now, my Canine Corrections clients.. don't get all upset. I promise I'm not quitting! Just cutting back. You will need to schedule boarding a lot more in advance - and be prepared for more "no's" than before. This is me entering my "I'm tired of being so tired" stage of life... already.

This weekend I had arranged to have NO work. My last dog for boarding went home Saturday (and she was super easy anyway) and that was that. Sadly, Samuel and I both ended up sick... so we had no real fun, but what a RESTFUL weekend. Oh how we needed that. I barely got off the couch. Clayton and I watched movies, the kids and I built castles with blocks, played Wii, read books, and just sat around. With the stormy weather we barely even went outside. What a dark, rainy, GLORIOUS weekend. There was nothing we "had" to do. I cannot remember the last time we had a weekend totally off. This is going to be a more regular thing now. Clayton has weekends off, and I will have a lot off myself. I just have to make it happen.

It was so hard to turn down work before. Sure I was tired, I wanted a break, but the debt hanging over our heads pushed us both to just buckle down and sacrifice in the short term. As Dave Ramsey says, "Live like no one else so that you can live like no one else." We definitely felt like no one else was living like we were! It was hard, it took forever, BUT IT WAS WORTH IT! Now, from now on, we can relax! What a blessing!!

A strange side-effect of financial freedom is that I'm suddenly very content with the things I have. My desire to buy a new car totally vanished with the last check we gave to the credit union. My urgency to move... gone. My new desire? SAVE MONEY. We're fine here... really. Could we be more fine in a larger home, closer to town? Umm.. yeah. But, for now, this is cool. We can do foster care here and this home has already passed our first DHS home visit. (whew! That was Thursday.) It makes sense to live as cheaply as possible in order to care for more children if I stop and think. Not being able to buy that perfect house that I loved a month ago is making total sense now. Now we sit in waiting. We will wait for God to place the perfect place into our laps. As Clayton always tells me when I get impatient (which is often),
"God has taken amazing care of us all of these years... do you think he's not doing it now?"

Ugh.... I know.. he's right. God has blessed us so much more than we deserve. He's let us suffer consequences from poor choices we've made along the way, but we've discovered that even that was a blessing. How can you learn from your bad decisions if he doesn't allow you to feel the pressure of what happens because of them?

So, today I sit here with ONE dog for daycare, one sickly son that is begging to go for a walk in the "stroll-wer", and a full and content heart. For today anyway...


aLmYbNeNr on Monday, 03 May, 2010 said...

Congratulations! That sounds absolutely blissful. :)

My debt isn't too bad in comparison with most but what I'm most looking forward to is having my time back to myself once I'm done grad school in a year. I had a year in between college and grad school where I was just working and it was awesome to come home and not having any homework or obligations related to school. Now I'm still working and going to school and that book I wanna read? Well, I shouldn't, but I procrastinate to make time for it. It's not completely guilt-free.

Guilt-free, a great feeling, right? ENJOY! :)

Amy on Tuesday, 04 May, 2010 said...

Congrats! I know exactly how you feel. We are about to pay off everything as well and begin saving money for our Dream Home! It feels great!

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