Monday, November 21, 2011

Hard Lessons Are the Best Teacher & A Week of Thanksgiving {2011}

When my friend Andrea from Lil-kid-things mentioned that she'd be posting all week about thanksgiving and encouraged others to join, I knew it was a no-brainer decision.


Today, I am thankful for life's hard lessons. They are not always fun, but they have taught me to value the things that matter — my faith and my family. Before we were married, hubby and I both knew we wanted to have kids and valued that our mom's each stayed home with us. However, we never really knew the sacrifices that our parents made to make that happen. Going from a two-income household to a one-income household, we did make many sacrifices. However, we did not understand the false security of credit and quickly found ourselves in too much debt and too little income. It was embarrassing and frustrating all at the same it. We worked so hard and already made so many sacrifices for me to be home with the boys. It was like a slap in the face to see that it did not work. Then, we found Dave Ramsey's radio show and Total Money Makeover book. On his radio show, we heard about people paying off debt and were making less money than we were. There had to be hope for us.

During the process of reading the book, I realized that I was holding on to "things" and giving value to them, rather than in my family. It was a serious epiphany for me. We quickly sold some furniture to get jumpstarted on our way out of debt. I sold my favorite dining room table. It was our first purchase, as a married couple. However, my boys were more important than a TABLE. If I had not seen my materialism for what it was, I'd still be wallowing in self-pity. 

We are continuing to live on less than we make, so that we can finish paying off debt. Our dream is to be able bless others with our freed-up income. It's so much more fun to give the money away and see what good it can do!

Through that hardship, I've learned much of what I am sharing on my Almost On Purpose blog. In order for something to stay in my house it must serve more than one purpose. Otherwise, I'm going to sell it or donate it. I don't have room in my life for clutter. Is my house still cluttered? Oh, yes! But I am willing to let go of it. Material things should not define me or my family. (I said "should" because I'm still a work in progress). Plus, we have a greater admiration and respect for our parents and all the sacrifices they made for us.

Have you experienced a life lesson that changed your perspective?


  1. We were in a similar situation and came to realize that we were addicted to "things". We slowly uncluttered our home and now focus on time spent together as a family. Our bills are much lower and we are much happier.

  2. We are in the process of paying off our debt,  we are down to our home - about two years.  We adopted late in life - and in the midst of debt reduction. How did this change my perspective?  I always felt that if we had children I would be the complete SAHM - yet God reminded me that I do not need to "fit" into a roll, but into His vision for for our family.  I work two days a week and have a fantastic co-teacher for homeschooling. It has been awesome to see God's blessings as we have listened to His plan for us.

  3. "Material things should not define me or my family" So very true and yet something so many people have such a hard time figuring this out.

  4. I love the idea that something should serve more than one purpose in order to stay at your house.  I just know I am going to spend the next few days wondering about the purpose of every single item in my home. Thank you for sharing that tip!

  5. What an awesome lesson! I racked up debt as a single person and it was meeting Jerry that was my wake up call. He helped me get control of my finances and get out of debt before we got married. In fact, without him I wouldn't have been able to buy my first house! So thankful for people wiser than me in the money department. Thank you for linking up!