JUMPING

We're moving.
After 7 years in the same big, wonderful, comfy house WE ARE MOVING. I'm a little sad as I stare at those words. After all, Ellis was only 8, Evan was 11 and Ethan was 12 when we moved in. We've had some awesome celebrations in this house. We will be saying goodbye to our dog and our cat. We will be packing up and downsizing.
You see, we have come to realize something. There are things that we love about our life. But there is one thing we hate. We are in DEBT. Big time. We closed our business two years ago, but before we decided to quit we tried to keep it going with credit cards. Yup, big mistake. Plus we owe on a business loan that we used to get things started. Not to mention the thousands of dollars we owe for my health issues earlier this year. Our list of debt is several pages long. Our credit went from good to bad in a matter of months.
I calculated it the other day and was shocked to realize that I work 6 out of 8 hours a day in my little cubicle to pay minimum payments on that debt. Now I don't mind working, but let's be real here. I am trading my time for payments on credit card debt that is going UP because of penalties and interest. I think we owe more right now than we did last year, and our spending has actually gone down! One of my credit card statements said that if I continue to make my minimum payment, I would never pay off my balance! Don't believe me? Check it out. I scanned it. Enough is enough.
This is not the story I want to live. So I am JUMPING. It goes against my grain. It is out of my comfort zone. It makes me sad. But I am JUMPING because I want to live a better story, and I can't do that when I am being suffocated by debt. The Bible says that the 'borrower is slave to the lender' and I've never felt that as deeply as I do today.
So we are JUMPING into a new story; one that will involve risk and sacrifice and not knowing what is around the corner. We are following Dave Ramsey's plan to get out of debt. As a family, we will not settle for less than financial peace in our lives.
I will keep this blog updated with our search for a new, cheaper place to live. Right now we are just praying that God will open some doors that we cannot.  Please pray for us if you think about it! Also, I would love to hear about your own stories of debt and the journey to be debt-free. Feel free to share them here or send me a message if you feel more comfortable. Thanks for stopping by.

4 comments:

  1. I'm SO proud of you Jenna! I'm proud of your courage to look all of this in the face an then to DO something about it. You are an inspiration to me, and I'm really excited to see what God does with your life (and David and Ellis') because of it. That's terrible to think that you work 6 hours a day to pay minimum payments that will never get you out of debt - insanity. So decisions like this will help you reach your bigger goals. But the ending of things, like we talk about, there is grieving.
    I love you friend! I miss you too.
    Can't wait to talk more.
    cindy

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  2. Jenna~ I am VERY proud of the two of you! most americans are too proud to admit when something goes wrong & they would rather be miserable & keep up with the Jones~ I know in my heart God has a special plan for you! Love you,Keep looking to your goal!

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  3. There is a difference between doing what you oughta and doing what you gotta...when you gotta do something, you have no choice anymore, it is a thing that is a must. When you ought to do something and then you choose to do it, you are in control and have the upper hand.

    I know you did not choose to get into debt and suffer at the hands of the economy and governmental beurocratic nastiness (I will blame anything I can on the government since it is so anonymous!). I am also pretty sure that you really wanted to maintain some sense of normalcy while you were treading water, too.

    It is really kind of funny that six years ago I actually stopped working because my net contribution to the household finances was only $80 per month after taxes, fuel, and the baby sitter were taken care of; I was gone 60 hours a week to work 40 and someone else was raising our children...needless to say, but I will say it anyway, the knot between my shoulders every day was not worth the $80.

    See, the really cool thing about being poor is that when things get REALLY bad, you hardly notice! This whole economy thing has affected us but not as much as others. Business was growing two years ago and we have been maintaining a sort of status quo since then.

    I know this probably isn't making you feel better, but I need for you to know that I absolutely hate not being able to go out and buy my kids a stupid .99 ice cream cone at Dairy Queen because I cannot justify the .52 per mile it costs me to drive my van there, never mind the $5 I would have to spend on ice cream. That trip would cost me $17 in the end. The really crazy part about that scenario is that I don't really do that kind of stuff very often anyway, but because of our own debt, the lack of 'mad money', if you will, I have to keep this stuff in mind.

    I wish we could downsize...I really do not like cleaning such a big house...it is hard! I wish we could do away with a lot of things, but my kids would drive me nuts without Dish! (no, wait...my HUSBAND would drive me nuts! yeah, that's the ticket!) I have alredy quit smoking, I already hate shopping, I don't really go anywhere, and yet I am still being asked to cut back even more...where?

    I believe that now is the time to figure out what exactly we are worth, what exactly we can do to make things better and then we need to figure out how our value and desire can work together for the very best outcome. Are you getting paid for your video work? if not, maybe you should, even if it is just a little bit to start.

    When I was little I did not dream about being a housewife and mother as my first career choice. I don't recall ever dreaming about a career, actually, so maybe I ended up in the 'default' job for the non dreamers...not sure about that one just yet...but I do have some goals for the future. I do want to finish school, get a job, and start contributing to my life, our life (something besides a clean toilet and folded underwear). I do not want the only vacations that my kids go on to be visits without their parents to the grandparents. I only went on one family vacation with my own family and my sister had already moved out before that happened! I was 16!
    I don't want that for my kids and I really don't want that for me either!

    Remember the adage--
    I have done so much with so little for so long, I can do almost anything with practically nothing at all!

    Blessings to you my friend...I hope you find exactly what God has for you so that your socks get blessed off!

    Praying for something practical, affordable, and (Don't tell David I said this..)CUTE!

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  4. I love that you are embracing your situation and going for it! It takes trust and faith in our big God that not many put in to practice. I find many people like to wallow in their bad circumstances instead of accepting them and moving forward in spite of the circumstances. Keep pushing through the muck and you will find a bigger, more awesome God than you could ever have imagined on the other side. I will pray for you guys when you pop into my head.

    I think we are sisters in many ways! Love ya.

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