When I started this blog, one of the biggest desires of my heart was to live life in a simpler way -- a life that is more focused on what matters and less focused on what doesn't. We were recently put to the test and made life changing decisions with this end in mind. This will take a couple posts to tell. I hope you enjoy reading about our journey.
One of the largest areas contributing to stress and complication in our life -- and most people's lives, I think -- was money. Particularly, not having enough of it to pay our bills each month. When we had our son and we decided it was important for me to stay home part time with him, my income was cut in half. We had somewhat planned for that, but what we didn't plan on was that Matt's income would also be cut unexpectedly. He was cut back to 32 hours indefinitely, which ended up being for about 8 months, and that was a blow. At the time, we didn't have a very good handle on what we were spending versus what we were making each month. We had saved up some money before our son was born and had some padding in our checking account, but each month we saw it go down, and down, and down. It even continued to go down after Matt was back up to 40 hours per week. Through it all, though, we tithed, and God was faithful. Somehow we made it through, but not without a lot of stress and worry.
During this whole time, actually for a couple years, we had been trying to sell our house. At first it was just because I missed having a yard and garden, and we just wanted to have more space. Then it was because I hated how much we were paying for what we had -- we were spending more for our 2 BR 1.5 BA townhome than we could have for a 4 BR 2 BA single family home with a yard. And that really bothered me. During the first 2 years or so of looking at houses online, my price point was higher than it should have been. I was looking to pay as much as -- or slightly more -- than we were currently, but getting more house/land for the money. Not necessarily bad logic. However, God knew the big picture and I didn't, and I am so glad that we didn't end up going that route! If we had, I would not have had the flexibility to stay home part time, and our money situation would have been even more stressful than it already has been.
It has only been in the last year or so that my perspective has really started to change regarding housing and living expenses. Even though it was so hard and frustrating at the time, I am so thankful that our house did not sell in my time frame but in God's! It took about 2 1/2 years, but our house finally sold on April 30, 2010.
To be continued...
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