Sunday, July 20, 2008

Coming Home Series/ Week 3

In the last post, I shared that we would be discussing more nuts and bolts this week of the actual reduction in my income. As I shared with you it was approx a 4 year process. The first thing we did, was change from full-time to part time status. That meant that we switched our health insurance to my husbands company. It was slightly more expensive for him to carry the health insurance, but we knew I would eventually be leaving my position, so we thought it best to change while I was still working part-time.
The second thing that changed for us was my life insurance. I was able to carry a large life insurance policy, for just pennies a month. However it was only in effect if I worked full-time. This is an area where faith had to step in. The Bible says "But without faith it is impossible to please him:" (Hebrews 11:6) I was without life insurance for about 2 years. We prayed and left it in the Lord's hands. We were learning that our provision comes from the Lord, not our jobs. God could have us change jobs or even lose our jobs, but our provision came from Him. When the Israelites were wandering in the desert, God provided manna for them daily. Not weekly, not monthly. Not semi-annually. Daily. They didn't have a 401k, they didn't have a pension or money market fund, they didn't have American Express or MasterCard to meet their needs. They had the Lord and He met their needs daily. God has never failed to meet our daily needs. Just recently my husband was able to acquire life insurance for me through his company. It fits within our budget, and it would replace the small amount of money that I make, should the Lord call me home.
The third thing that changed is we started to live (our living expenses) on less than we made. This was the really tough one. We attempted to evaluate every area of our budget. We canceled our cell phones. (Average mo. savings$130-150) We reviewed our car insurance policy(made some changes, savings 200.00 year) We went down to one vehicle. We sold my husbands car which was paid off and that further reduced the cost of our car insurance. We stopped eating out (huge savings, I don't have exact totals but on average $50-75/mo -sometimes more).
You might be thinking those things seem drastic. They were, even to us. Remember in my first post I shared that I was seeking God desperately. Desperate people do desperate things. I wanted to be home with my family and I knew God would do His part, but we must do ours. It is just like the Salvation the Lord graciously gave me, God gave it to me but I had to do my part first, I had to ask. There were many more things that we evaluated and started to save on. Hair care, grocery budget etc.. What I really want to share in this post with you, is to start really investigating where your money goes. I made good money but I spent good money. Most of the purchases I made were desires and wants, not needs. I don't want you to think we live in a cardboard box. No the Lord provided us a beautiful home. We drive a nice vehicle. We wear nice clothes. But we have a different purpose and we do not in any way shape or form attempt to keep up with the "Joneses." See the "Joneses" are used by the master deceiver, he tricks you into being discontent, he places the thought that you don't have what others have and you deserve to.
My Husband and I are completely content that we have what God has seen fit to give us. He is better to us than we deserve. I am home because of God's grace and we chose to make some big changes.
I have many post ideas mulling around in my head. I can not begin to share, truly, what a privileged it is to be home. So many things, but mostly absolute peace and contentment. I will be sharing in a future post how much our marriage was strengthened, when my husband became the full-time bread winner!!
Until then, I pray I have been an encouragement to you. I am praying for you.
Have a blessed day! Michelle

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