Saturday, October 2, 2021
Thursday, September 23, 2021
"Oh, wow. That was really cool. I should write about that..."
It's happened many times over the last year, including many times I don't even remember now.
It's funny how knowing you need to do something and putting it off makes that something even bigger than it actually is in your mind... I know nobody has been hanging on the edge of their seats to find out how my life has been going. But every time I think about this blog I think of all the updates I need to make how I don't know how to make that interesting or readable... so I don't post.
So, here we go... There have been a lot of ups and downs and ups in every area of our lives. I've had a lot of 'a-ha' moments, things I wanted to share. But I hadn't updated anything, and I kept feeling like I needed to do that first.
Instead of letting this post fall to the wayside like the last ones did, I'm going to tell you that we have paid off almost all of our debts except for a small portion of my student loans and the house. We are still working on both, but the amazing thing is that Mike and I paid off over $95,000 between October 2019 and March 2021.
In case that doesn't wow you, let me add that's more than our taxable income was last year and it included over $30,000 that I owed the IRS from when I started my business and didn't know how to do taxes (that's a whole lot of interest.)
Hey, new business owners, if you have employees find an accountant to take care of your monthly and quarterly taxes or, at the very least, a good payroll program that tells you when to pay who.
Anyway, I'm really thankful that we made the decision to get out of debt when we did. It's the only way we made it through 2020 better than we started. It would have been so easy to take every stimulus check or business grant and find a way to blow it on something cool instead of getting out of debt.
God has been so faithful through all of this as we've turned to him with decisions and without finances.
Next I'm going to get my businesses re-situated so that my husband can quit his job and work somewhere else part-time while playing music. My goal is to get him out of his job by the end of 2023. Can I do it on my own? Maybe. But, the story will be better if I let God help. It's amazing what His Grace does for us.
I have more to share, but that's it for today. 💖
Saturday, August 1, 2020
They have both made their statuses public and made it clear it's not a secret.
Her: I have a girlfriend.
Me: I figured.
Her: Why? What did (sister) tell you?
Me: Nothing. I just knew you weren't social distancing, so of course you caught the gay.
One of our love languages in my family is a mixture of sarcasm and silly jokes. I felt like that was the moment she understood that I understood.
In case you are concerned, this love language works both ways. One of my daughters told me on Mother's Day this year, "You're a good mom, even if you did raise two gays."
I assumed that would shut down the conversation about it for the night. I was wrong.
Thursday, July 23, 2020
Hire A Housewife went entire weeks without a single customer. I tried to innovate and offer new products as well as show clients that we cared, but people were concerned about safety, and they had every right to be.
Then the CARES Act put some things in place to help... and help they did. Between qualifying for SNAP benefits (meaning we haven't had to buy any groceries out of our pockets this 3 months) and a PPP Loan, temporary unemployment, and a few other things, we've made great strides towards paying down debt. (This is especially true as a self-employed person with student loans... there is a provision in there that was super helpful for us.)
Yesterday I made my final credit card payment.
That's a photo of some of them all cut up. I mean, I couldn't do ALL of them. I will keep a few for emergencies or car rentals or business expenses that I will then pay off every single month.
I still owe student loans, my car, and the IRS, but we are making headway and it's pretty amazing to see all that has been paid down so far.
In fact, in 8 months time, we've decreased the total debt by 48.27%
Credit card debt alone was over $23,000. Now, considering my NET income last year was less than that, this is a pretty big feat. It involved a lot of working smart in addition to working hard.
One important aspect of all of this was saying I DECIDED to get out of debt. If I hadn't put that stake in the ground last year, it would have been very easy to say, "Woohoo! Free money!" and bought some fun things instead of paying down debt.
One thing that will change in the future is the total amount of IRS debt I owe. I finally got all the paperwork figured out and sent in, but they are running behind in opening mail at the IRS, so it might be a few months before I know what's going on with that. I'm not worried though. God's got this. And as astronomical as the number the IRS gives me is likely to be, we'll work it out.
(even when the circumstances seem less than favorable.)
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.
Saturday, June 6, 2020
I thought giving an honest answer might help others understand how to get the message across as well. Then, when I went back to paste my answer in, the question was gone. So I decided to turn it into a blog post.
I, of course, believe Black Lives Matter. Always have. I love people, all people.
However, I only started saying it that way very recently... within the last week or two. It was hard to switch from saying ALL to BLACK... Here's why.
Second, change and growth often mean admitting you were wrong before. Admitting you might have been wrong is a hard thing for us humans, but so are change and growth... and we know those are desirable. Still, because of the other reasons mentioned here, there was no way I was saying they were right and I was wrong.
Third, it seemed like it was tied to a political party. I felt saying it meant turning my back on my other political beliefs. I was afraid I was accepting an agenda I knew nothing about and didn't understand from a political party that makes no sense to me. I wasn't giving up a part of myself that was important to me (the rest of my political beliefs) for a phrase I didn't understand.
Which is the fourth reason... I really didn't understand. All lives matter feels like the most agenda-less of the two phrases. It felt like a phrase nobody could disagree with in a society where everyone fights about everything all the time. "All lives matter" feels safe.
How many times in my life, have I sat at the feet of Jesus, broken, and said, "Tell me You love me, Lord." Imagine if the message He sent back, however He sent it, came across as, "I love all my children."
And that's the one reason I say, Black Lives Matter.
Tuesday, June 2, 2020
|Does deleting them say more about you or them?|
And maybe you won't. But shouldn't you try, even if trying is just you living your life true to you and they see it and make changes that you never see?
Another problem with this... You are helping propagate selection & confirmation bias for both you and the person you want to delete. Everybody believes something that is based almost entirely on the fact that everyone they know believes the same thing. Or, these days, because they read it on Facebook in one of their heavily biased groups. You might be the only voice of reason some of your friends see on a given topic.
You don't have to be friends with everyone, and boundaries are good. But when your boundaries are so tight that you can't even turn your head to try to see something from someone else's viewpoint or to see that there is more value to another human being than one belief they hold, then regardless of what it is you don't agree with, there is something wrong with your boundaries.
Even Jesus hung out with imperfect people who sometimes said and/or believed stupid things. He didn't cast them away. He walked in grace and gave them the opportunity to learn.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and don't curse them.
Live in harmony with one another.
Do not be haughty, but associate with the humble.
Never be wise in your own sight.
~ Romans 12 (Excerpts)
Tuesday, April 21, 2020
Last week I typed this:
It's okay not to be okay sometimes
That's what I keep hearing.
It's a sure sign a lot of us aren't okay,
when everyone is telling everyone else
for the sake of reminding themselves.
It was supposed to be the beginning of something encouraging. But I was struggling, feeling irrelevant and useless. I didn't have anything encouraging to say.
Over the last couple weeks those feelings could be temporarily pushed aside for the sake of a Zoom meeting, or coming up with another way to try to keep business going in the current state of things, or in those rare moments when I actually was able to help a customer. I could get past them a little at a time.
There is no doubt I'm an extrovert, a super-shy-often-awkward extrovert, but I love people none-the-less. I need people. Not having people is seriously taking a toll on me.
Last week the announcement that school was cancelled crushed me, and the tears started. Sometimes I could get them to stop. I'd temporarily lose myself in some binge-worthy show or get involved in a project... but every time someone said school or senior or unfair or anything that made me think of how unfair this all is, they would start up again.
It didn’t take me long to realize I wasn’t just crying about what my Senior was missing out on... I am grieving the loss of all those last moments we were going to have before he leaves for college. I am grieving the uncertainty of everything that is coming.
Watching the governor speak every day at 2:30 feels a lot like watching the news reporters in the weeks after 9/11, talking about what is happening today... and knowing our lives won't ever be the same again in a million tiny ways. Someday we'll watch a TV show and something will seem weird to us and we'll say, "Oh, that was recorded before Covid-19. People used to do that back then." the way we do now when someone meets their love at the airplane gate on an old movie we watch today.
I do still have hope in all of this. Hope that God will use things meant for evil and turn them into something good. I also know that in those moments when my heart is broken over a situation, He's here with me.
It's not a particularly positive post, but it is real... and some day I will want to look back and remember how I really felt. Maybe I'll share it with my grandkids... because as much as I fear change, I do know life will go on and in spite of possible fears and disappointments, there are a lot of joys left for all of us.
~ Psalm 34:18