Friday, February 25, 2011

Changes - Slowly but surely

Our family is slowly making many significant changes in our life. I need to emphasize slowly and many.

My husband and I have had countless "couch chats" about ideal changes. There was a time when Joel was more than resistant when I had a change in mind. Change never came easy to us, but lately, we both have been eager!

Just one big change seemed to jump start it all.
We had been planning for me to quit for months. Months! But we were waiting for Joel to find a second job. We had been over our budget several times and didn't think there was room for us to lose a source of income. We had been struggling with my work schedule even though it was a work-at-home job. I was just too preoccupied with work because I always had a deadline on my mind which was taxing and left me exhausted. Only days after making an elaborate plan to fit my work time into our family schedule, I turned around from my computer and said to Joel "I just need to quit, now". Joel got a small smile on his face and said "Do it. God will provide." (I am seriously tearing up right now. I love this man that God gave me!) The relief that flooded my emotions cannot be explained.

Pulling out and packing up the work files! Yay!

We did our budget again. This time it still wasn't pretty, but we knew it would be possible, just not comfortable. So that you can get the gist of it: we pay the bills, give an offering to the church, pay for gas in the car, and use whatever is left for food. There is no buffer, no savings, and no room for new tires. We used my last pay checks to complete our reusable diaper collections and made plans to only use reusable things (whenever possible) instead of the convenient paper towels etc. There is no room for disposable stuff here.

I cannot tell you how blessed we are! I am at home, mentally as well as physically. I love cleaning the house now (except the bathroom *wink*). The house is getting more organized, we tackled the messy storage room which now looks amazing, and dinner is fun to plan and make, not a chore. I am now able to learn more about taking care of our family and home and focus my energy where it belongs. From this one big change came so many more positive changes.


Thick and Yummy Pea Soup

We are on the path to a more natural and sustainable life, but here is where slowly comes in.
We are of the opinion that as Christians and stewards of this earth, we should be taking care of it! Yes, we do listen to those "crunchy people" when they talk about biodegradable stuff and reusable water bottles. I guess we might be some of those crunchy people in others' opinions after they read this. But listen, we are not doing it as part of a new age, mother earth, or eastern religion; we are doing it because it makes sense biblically, health wise, and quite frankly, financially. We are committed to doing as much as we can naturally with the resources God has given us. This does mean, that because living naturally can be more expensive, especially with food, that we do have to compromise. We know that it is all too easy in this day and age to take natural living to an extreme and make it an idol. We are convicted that we should do the best we can to live a responsible, natural, and sustainable life, but that we should not be obsessed with an ideal when it is out of reach (financially or practically).

A few smaller changes:
We have a "cloth kitchen" as another blogger called it. We always tried to use kitchen cloths for cleaning up spills, but we didn't realize how many paper towels we still used. After trying to use the kitchen towels more often, I don't think we will have to buy paper towels for years. Another change is that we had been doing research for reusable diapers and infant potty training, but only a week before I quit did we buy our first batch of diapers. What amazing timing! Now Noah creeps around the house in style and uses the potty about twice a day.

We are making changes and improvements slower than I would like, but we can't buy all these new things at once, even if we only have to buy them once. Slowly but surely, we will get there and it will be a fun process every step of the way.

Our house smells better, feels better and looks better with our recent changes. My husband is happy and I am happy! To top it all off, we were blessed with a large tax return which payed off one of our debts and put another $100 back into our monthly budget. We didn't plan for this when I quit, but the Lord must have known the timing was right.

Happy Hubby and Daddy

Happy Us.

And it goes so beyond happy! :-) We are so blessed.

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